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Toddler Activities in Visalia, California

by Kimberlee Broaddus

Visalia, California, situated in the heart of the Central Valley, is a culturally diverse town of over 124,000 people with activities the whole family can enjoy. From early learning to water play to outdoor activities, Visalia offers plenty of entertaining options for toddlers to enjoy.

Early Learning

If you are looking for a place to take your toddler where she can learn, explore and discover, spend the day at Imagine U Interactive Museum (imagineumuseum.org). Children and adults can learn about electricity using a hand crank generator to power lights. In the Toddletown section of the museum, your toddler can build with blocks, engage in imaginative play, look at books or play at the train table. Once a month, the Visalia Library (tularecountylibrary.org/literacyprogram.html) provides early literacy programs for families with the Early Learning for Families program and the Toddle On Over Book Club. Families learn how to help their youngsters with early reading skills while the toddlers enjoy rhyming, fingerplays and songs.

Exercise

Even toddlers can use a way to exercise during a busy week. At Toddle Fitness (toddlefitness.com), youngsters from six months on up can take exercise classes. With a parent in tow, toddlers play their way to fitness using exercise balls in classes either individually or with group of kids. If your toddler is interested in gymnastics, Central California Gymnastics Institute (iloveccgi.com) is the place for you. Toddlers as young as 18 months old can take classes where they learn listening skills while experiencing gymnastic equipment such as the balance beam and the trampoline. Younger toddlers take a parent with them while the 3-year-olds get a taste of independence, leaving their parents on the sidelines.

Water Fun

Get your toddler swim ready by exposing him to the water with swimming lessons at the Jim Booth Swim School (jimboothswimschool.com). Classes are limited to four students, allowing the maximum amount of attention for each new swimmer. New classes begin each month and you and your toddler can enroll at any time, though you do need to become members of In-Shape City to participate. For a low key way for your toddler to get wet and burn off some energy, spend the day at Riverway Sports Park (ci.visalia.ca.us/depts/parks_n_recreation/parkinfo/riverway_sports_park.asp). Toddlers can get some social interaction at the Tiny Tot Park and cool off at the splash pad.

Play Spaces

If your toddler is starting to bounce off the walls at home, spend the afternoon at Boingo’s (boingos.com). There's even a Toddler Arena so you don't have to worry about your little one getting knocked over by the big kids. Your toddler can move around the baby ball crawl or make her way through the giant, soft building blocks. For some outdoor fun, take your toddler to the tot lot play area at Blain Park (ci.visalia.ca.us/depts/parks_n_recreation/news/blain_park_playground_renovation.asp). There is playground equipment for all ages, and parents can play with their toddlers or watch from the picnic area.

About the Author

Kimberlee Broaddus is a fourth grade teacher in California who has written articles for her school's monthly newsletter. She holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis on early elementary education. She currently sits on a district writing committee working on curriculum and assessments for local schools.