Things to do with 3 yo on Friday afternoons?

Our kiddo is going to start going to preschool 9-6 Monday through Thursdays, but we made a Friday a half day so that we can have a regular mommy and me afternoon.  I was thinking that maybe we can bake / cook / garden together, maybe go to the park.  But there are a lot of Friday afternoons to fill!  Any suggestions about what else we can do and places we can go?  Or any good classes on Friday afternoons?

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Oh my goodness, there are SOOO many things you could do! Like an excursion to Little Farm and the Merry Go Round in Tilden Park. A trip to Habitot or Children's Fairyland or Lawrence Hall of Science are all wonderful for a 3-year-old. Go to the beach with a bunch of sand toys, a blanket and a big snack. Go on a short hike to Redwood Regional Park;after you park, there is a play structure just a short hike in on the Stream Trail, easy enough for tiny legs (less than a quarter mile I think, and it's on a paved trail if you prefer stroller); there are a few picnic tables just a short walk beyond the play area for snack time.

You can also do theme afternoons at home. Like maybe one day is ABC day, and you get out the ABC puzzle and blocks and magnets (or whatever you have) and play with all of it and then take a walk through the neighborhood to see what letters you can find. Or tea party day where you make tea together and then have a tea party with all the stuffed animals, or superhero day where you pretend to be your favorite superhero and then play with figures/characters. We even did a fire safety day, where we talked about basic fire safety, tested the smoke alarms and practiced crawling to the front door; my kid LOVED seeing Mommy and Daddy crawl around (we did it on a weekend as a family); then we each pretended to be a fire and took turns pretending to put out the fire with a pretend hose.

Get out art supplies and do it together (color on opposite pages of coloring book, or color with markers on thick paper, or glue stuff together, or string beads).  Also have days your kiddo leads the way, because sometimes spontaneity is best. If you're looking for places to go, check out 510families, which has tons of ideas for kiddo outings. Have fun!!

I recommend looking into Jon's School of Music, which offers classes for toddlers and kids (age 1.5-6) at Totland park in Berkeley, including on Friday afternoons. Jon's music classes offer toddlers a chance to play a huge assortment of musical instruments, many of them in toddler-size (e.g., guitar, cello, violin, horns, piano, etc). Plus the kids learn musical concepts and have a blast while doing it. My 3-year-old son has been taking classes with Jon for a year, and he adores it. To give you a sense of his enthusiasm: After taking a few weeks off, I told my son we'd be restarting music this week, he jumped up and down and hollered with joy of the level you'd expect for a trip to Disneyland. Even though the new class sessions technically started this week, Jon is still enrolling new kids. Highly recommend!

We are also a big friend of Jon Music of School!!! My son is with Jon for over 2 years now. He LOVES the music class so much and whenever he gets off from the class, there always a big smile on his face. Jon is a professional musician and he knows all the music skills and tricks to teach children, toddlers, etc., One of the specialty of Jon is: he can combine music theory into fun games, pretend play & drama. Even young toddlers can understand and follow his instructions too. Another bonus part is: we always have our kids do a play date at the Totland playground after the music class since the class takes place inside the Totland playground clubhouse. So, kids are friends and playmates inside and out of the music class. I would say, Jon music not only bring us the joy of learning music but also bring us a good group of Mama/Playgroup support group too! So, we are highly recommended it to everyone who is looking for music class and fun things to do in the East Bay Area!!!