parenting

Well, hello!

I created Recess in 2008 to support moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers and growing children. We're a nonprofit space designed to harness the power of community to ultimately lighten the load for families with young children.

We provide space. Space to be together, to commiserate, to reduce isolation, to be playful, to feel safe, and to breathe. We work with local experts and vetted professionals to bring quality information to you in a digestible way. In 2018, we moved to the Outer Sunset and are thrilled to be carrying on this mission in a new community.

We have a brand new playspace for kids 0-4yrs with an array of clean toys and playthings to support your child's development, a kitchen so you can bring food/drink for the inevitable new mama and toddler munchies, bathrooms and changing tables, and other families who are in the same boat as you are...making their way through this wild journey (myself included!).

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This month, we hope you can join us & check out:

Daily activities including playspace yoga & sensory play
Intro to Baby Sign Language on 4/7
Family Yoga on Sunday 4/7
New Parent Groups on Mondays at noon
Pilates Classes for parents on Tuesdays, starting 4/9
Sign Language Playgroup starting 4/25
CPR workshop 4/30
SPRING FEST afternoon of play with facepainting, live music and more on 5/4

See the full schedule here.

Can’t wait to see you. Thank you for being here,

xx
Lisa

August at Recess + Details about our New Location

As you probably know, Recess in Potrero Hill is open through 8/31 for play, parties & classes and then we'll be moving out to our new home on Taraval.

Read below to check out all the fun that's in store for both locations & our pre-opening deals this month and beyond.

Join us this month for:

- Saturday 8/11 for Family Yoga with It's Yoga Kids (10:30am, $25 for the whole family!). 
- Tuesdays 8/14 & 8/21 for our last two toddler chefs classes (4:30pm, sign up ahead of time!)
- Monday 8/20, Dance Party with Charity Kahn! (noon, $30, includes a day of play)

EXPECTING PARENTS - We have three spots left in September's Childbirth Prep Class, and 2 each in the October Childbirth prep & Newborn Care classes. https://www.recesscollective.org/prenatal

We'll be taking the month of September to relocate to our new location on Taraval, called Recess Collective & should be ready to welcome you this October/November! If you'd like to secure the cheapest prices for membership, join before August 31 with one of our founding packages.

Thank you to all of you who have already become part of our new community. We are super excited & grateful for your support. Looking forward to building a wonderful, cozy, inclusive community with you this year in our new home. I can't wait to share all the great programming we have in store! 

www.recesscollective.org/programs

Navigate your options & design the birth you envision

Welcoming a baby is a time of transition and transformation that is likely to be filled with joy and challenge. It is also a time of decision-making for yourself and your baby, in a sea of opinions and advice from friends, family, and experts.  This class is designed to give you the information you need to plan for a birth that matches your ideals.   

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The intersection of intelligence, extremely proficient communication, empathy (incredible awareness of others as individuals) and experience, make her a fantastic guide for any couple preparing to meet their baby. She is inclusive in her topics and presents a range of childbirthing options without judgement, if a leaning towards natural strategies, and one takes away that she has long witnessed women in their “power” via childbirth.
— Rachel S., San Francisco

About the Class 

Gents (if any are reading, if not, then tell your husbands ladies), I’ll be the first to admit that I was dragged kicking and screaming to that class. Two-days, four hours each session, and over the weekend no less! That said, I can’t properly express how well served I was, in retrospect, by having attended. It was relaxed, interesting, and really did provide the two of us with the information we needed in the run up to our son’s birth without (and this is key) overwhelming us. I would have been **absolutely** clueless at the hospital had I skipped that one.
— Wilson R, SF

Holistic Childbirth Prep workshops are designed to empower, explore and celebrate the many ways families choose to give birth and create family. This essential workshop is designed to demystify birth while guiding class participants to discover personal beliefs around pregnancy, partnership, birth, and parenthood, which will allow for a truly holistic childbirth experience. Class is designed to meet the needs of families birthing at birth centers, in their homes, at the hospital, or those who haven’t decided yet. This class is relevant to parents having their first, second or third child, depending on the needs of the family. 

In the one day Childbirth Education class with Kelly Gray, we will practice and review the following techniques and information:

• Love and Relaxation: Guided relaxation and the hormones of labor
Hormones are the bridge between the mind-body connection. They allow us to feel emotions and trigger physical responses to our environment and internal thought process. By understanding the hormones of labor, we can begin to understand how our connection to ourselves, our partner, our environment and our birth team will have a dramatic affect on our ability to birth from a place of safety. We'll practice guided relaxation while being informed about why it works beyond just feeling good. 

• Spinning Baby: The role of the baby, optimal fetal positioning, and troubleshooting through birth
One of the most important things we can do to encourage labor naturally and decrease interventions is to create more space in our uterus for the baby to align into the optimal fetal position. In class we will review optimal fetal positioning, exercises and yoga positions for before and during labor, and interventions that may impede optimal positioning and how to troubleshoot positioning when interventions are necessary. 

• Moaning and Moving: Evidence based healthy birth practices, from vocalizations to opening the pelvic floor
From understanding the sounds and positions we turn to during labor to release tension, families can benefit from creating body memories of what empowered birth may sound and feel like. 

• The Landscape of Labor: Understanding the emotional and physiological process of birthing your baby
In addition to myth-busting the textbook stages of labor,  we will have a fuller conversation about the non-linear landscape of labor,  how to support birth as it unfolds, and tools for working with each valley, peak and summit, from a physiological, emotional, and logistical viewpoint. 

• The Role of the Partner: Creating Safety
Partner support is a central focus of class. Birth partners (life partners, family member or trusted friend) will learn how to intuit the woman's needs, engage in the experience, and create an environment that feels safe, protected and conducive to birthing. We will review verbal and non-verbal communication skills, birth room etiquette, and the art of observing birth.  

• Being in Birth: Massage, Acupressure, Positions, Vocalizations, and Breathing Techniques
We will review the art of touch, breath and saying yes to birth. Partners will have a chance to hold, massage and practice pressure points that will assist in getting labor going naturally while creating counter pressure along the hips. 

• Advocacy and Collaboration: Positive Communication Skills with Providers
Class participants will walk away with the terms and phrases most used in the birth room so that they can have informed conversations with their providers. We will review strategies for collaboration, advocacy and informed consent. 

• Understanding Interventions
Most people can agree that safety is paramount to birth, and that the mother's experience is not separate from healthy outcomes but rather an integral aspect to mental and physical health during the childbearing years. We will review common interventions through an evidence based care perspective. By linking our conversation around advocacy and collaboration with providers,  we start to answer questions around necessity of interventions. We will build a toolkit  for decreasing unnecessary interventions, increasing vaginal birth outcomes, and avoiding cesareans. In addition, we will review tools for maximizing positive outcomes when interventions are necessary and review natural counterparts, as well as protecting the micro biome and the breastfeeding relationship. 

• Watching, Hearing, Knowing: Empowered Birth Videos
We will watch uncensored videos of families having empowered births. 

• After-Birth
We will review the sacred hours after birth and discuss how our choices during birth impact breastfeeding, your infant’s immune system, mother’s recovery, mental health, and hormonal balance. We will review common interventions and support offered after birth. 

Each class is kept to seven couples or less, as this allows for individual and hands-on attention from the instructor while allowing for community building with other expanding families. We encourage participants to bring meals, pillows, snacks and other items that will allow them to get comfortable and relax.

This one-day workshop includes an hour lunch break and lots of movement. Please wear clothing that allows for squatting and access to the lower back for massage practice.

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About the Instructor:  Kelly Gray

Kelly is a mother, educator and community organizer.  When she’s not sitting on a birth ball with a model pelvis in her hand, she’s creating forums to raise awareness and expand access to birthing options in Sonoma County. Kelly has been teaching her popular Holistic Childbirth Prep Workshop for over seven years in the North Bay and Bay Area, and spent several years attending low risk and high risk births in San Francisco, and spent three years as a manager of a birth center in the North Bay running their community education center. She has curated an on-going column about reproductive experiences in SQUAT Birth Journal and has been included in the anthology Birth Work As Care Work.

Kelly's focus on hormones and the mind~body connection, building intimacy between partners, and evidence based care sets her teaching apart from the standard birth class; participants leave feeling excited and confident about birthing their family.  Kelly is passionate about providing  up-to-date information and insights into birth research, support measures, community resources, communicating collaboratively with your providers, and all the powerful dynamics parents face as their children enter this world. Kelly sees the work that she does in helping women and families have empowered births as one part of a life long love letter she is writing to her daughter.

Investing in your child's early development

A child’s brain undergoes an amazing period of development from birth to three—producing more than a million neural connections each second.  Our goal at Recess is to provide space to support that incredibly active time in your baby's and toddler's early learning, while also supporting your core needs. 

We invite you to join in for play in the playspace, and check out our services specifically for parents and grown ups.  These include workshops, playgroups, fitness and our co-working space.  "Support" means different things to different parents and caregivers.  If there are ways we can assist your family's journey as you grow, please don't hesitate to reach out!

Learn more about the crucial role you play in building your baby’s brain, get your questions answered, and find some fun “brain-building” activities to share with your little one by checking out our upcoming workshops and visiting our space.

 

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The development of the brain is influenced by many factors, including a child’s relationships, experiences and environment.  Engaging in play with your little one is a great way to connect and support development simultaneously.  

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play

1. Children learn through their play.
Don’t underestimate the value of play. Children learn and develop:

cognitive skills – like math and problem solving in a pretend grocery store
physical abilities – like balancing blocks and running on the playground
new vocabulary – like the words they need to play with toy dinosaurs
social skills – like playing together in a pretend car wash
literacy skills – like creating a menu for a pretend restaurant

2. Play is healthy.
Play helps children grow strong and healthy. It also counteracts obesity issues facing many children today.

3. Play reduces stress.
Play helps your children grow emotionally. It is joyful and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.

4. Play is more than meets the eye.
Play is simple and complex. There are many types of play: symbolic, sociodramatic, functional, and games with rules-–to name just a few. Researchers study play’s many aspects: how children learn through play, how outdoor play impacts children’s health, the effects of screen time on play, to the need for recess in the school day.

5. Make time for play.
As parents, you are the biggest supporters of your children’s learning. You can make sure they have as much time to play as possible during the day to promote cognitive, language, physical, social, and emotional development.

6. Play and learning go hand-in-hand.
They are not separate activities. They are intertwined. Think about them as a science lecture with a lab. Play is the child’s lab.

7. Play outside.
Remember your own outdoor experiences of building forts, playing on the beach, sledding in the winter, or playing with other children in the neighborhood. Make sure your children create outdoor memories too.

8. There’s a lot to learn about play.
There’s a lot written on children and play. Here are some NAEYC articles and books about play. David Elkind’s The Power of Play (Da Capo, 2007 reprint) is also a great resource.

9. Trust your own playful instincts.
Remember as a child how play just came naturally? Give your children time for play and see all that they are capable of when given the opportunity.

10. Play is a child’s context for learning.
Children practice and reinforce their learning in multiple areas during play. It gives them a place and a time for learning that cannot be achieved through completing a worksheet. For example, in playing restaurant, children write and draw menus, set prices, take orders, and make out checks. Play provides rich learning opportunities and leads to children’s success and self-esteem.
 

Laurel Bongiorno, PhD, is the director of Champlain College’s graduate program in early childhood education, with specializations in teaching and administration, in Burlington, Vermont. She has taught preschool, directed early childhood programs, and studied parents’ perceptions of preschoolers’ learning through play.

Copyright © 2016, National Association for the Education of Young Children. All rights reserved