Playspace Classes at Recess

Playspace Classes at Recess

Playspace classes a great way to introduce your child to the idea of teacher-led activities and structured play, without having to leave the playspace!

These classes are FREE for anytime members. Limited and mini members can attend classes within their membership times for free or pay $10 to attend classes outside their membership time. Non-members can purchase a day pass and participate in any activities ocurring during their reservation.

Spring Classes (April 3 - June 2)


  • Sensory Lab (1-4y) 9:30am
    • explore rotating stations of playdough, painting, drawing, sensory bins, and more in this open play time. activities are not teacher led, but rather free for exploration- learn new activities to do with your little one at home, and the best part is you don't have to worry about the mess!
  • Baby Play (0-6m) 1pm
    • join Allie, our resident infant mental health specialist, for an informal meetup in our pre-walker area to check out developmentally appropriate toys, read a book, sing a song, and connect with other new parents and build community.
  • Sensory Lab (1-4y) 3:30pm


  • Garden Time (all ages) 12pm
    • Check out our garden space and enjoy the fresh air (in a contained area!) water a plant, play in the sand box, or check out a rotating activity for your little one to explore in the sun.
  • Mini Sensory Lab (pre-walkers) 1:30pm
    • Just like sensory lab, but for littler kiddos! Everything is set up on the ground and more easily accessible, and everything is safe to go in their mouths. 
  • Sensory Lab (1-4y) 4pm


  • Ukulele Concert (all ages) 11am
    • Join Uni and her ukulele for an hour of popular hits, sing alongs, and even a chance to strum an ukulele or sing into the microphone!
  • Sensory Lab (1-4y) 4pm


  • Music + Storytime (0-4y) 9:45am
    • Join us for a few books and a few singalongs in the playspace! We'll read old favorites and new stories, and sing a variety of songs your little ones are sure to love. 
  • Circle of Babies (0-12m) 2pm
    • This playgroup is geared towards our littlest friends, for an opportunity to socialize, interact, and build community with other like-minded parents of new children. 
  • Moderated Playgroup (all ages) 3-6pm
    • Join Amanda, child development specialist, for tips and support on dealing with every stage of your child's development. Bring your questions and join us for this informal meetup.
  • Big Block Play (1-4y) 4pm
    • Big block play is a great opportunity to explore legos, blocks, and other building/stackables in the play and learn lab, where knocking towers over is all part of the learning!


  • Sensory Lab (1-4y) 11am
  • Music Time (0-4y) 10am 1x/mo
    • Music time is a fun mixture of singalongs, new songs to learn, opportunities to dance, get up and stretch, and shake an instrument or two. We mix recorded tracks with singing and explore everything from disco, to current hits, to Motown... anything to get our little ones happy and engaged! 

Spring into new classes at Recess!

April 3 - June 2
(no classes 5/29) 

Parent + Child Classes

These classes are designed to be enjoyed by parent and child together! Help support your little one's growth and independence in a fun, teacher-led setting. 

  • Toddler Chefs (18-30m) Mondays 9:30-10:15am
  • Mini Messy Art (9-18m) Mondays 12-12:40pm
  • Art Explorations (18-36m) Thursdays 10:15-11am
  • Baby Sign Language Playgroup (0-18m) Fridays 1-2pm

Drop Off Programs

These classes are designed to introduce your child to a world of independence, self-confidence, and ingite a love of learning. These classes are a great way to help your little one begin to prepare for preschool, with problem solving, collaborative play, and teacher-led learning at the forefront of these classes. 

  • PreCess Kids! (2.5-4y) 8:30-11:30am Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri or 2:30-5:30pm Tues
  • Junior Chefs (2-4y) Monday 4:30-5:15pm
  • Tumbling Toddlers (18-48m) Thursday 3:30-4:15pm
  • Date Night Drop Off (2-7y) Fridays 5-8pm (1x/mo)

Parenting...Feeling more connected.

Parenting...Feeling more connected.


What would you say, if we told you your child is never naughty?
Your child is never bad, even while running from you in the store in defiance, crying because you wonʼt buy him that toy today, ignoring your requests to turn off the computer, continuing to jump on the couch after you have told her 10 times!

Even then your child is not being a bad kid.  This is a radical concept.

Even I, who love and respect kids immensely, have devoted more than a decade to learning about their needs, and advocate for them fiercely, sometimes have a hard time with this one (conditioning runs deep). When your child (or kids you are teaching) just wonʼt listen, itʼs hard not to hear this line running through your head: “Why are they being so bad?!”


Even when you get that your kid might have particular sensory needs and has to wiggle, jump, climb, fidget and move in order to learn and release emotions, it can be hard not to buy into the message our society tells us that, “If your kid isnʼt listening, they are doing it on purpose!” In essence, they are being bad for the thrill of it or just to be naughty. We are told... "Your kid just doesnʼt want to listen!"

How do you counteract that voice you know just canʼt be true?
Hereʼs an example from my child therapy practice: I was working with two adorable and sweet kindergarteners trying to have them sit in a small circle with me to look over the plan for the day (which involved all kinds of fun games I had planned). Of course they didnʼt want to sit; they just wanted to play with the larger than life therapy balls in the play room, bouncing and falling all over them as I tried all my tools to get their attention. For a millisecond my mind said, “Hey! Donʼt they know I have fun therapeutic stuff planned! These kids are being naughty! They should listen!” Luckily I can catch myself (I know thatʼs not my voice in there, but the voice of my teachers and parents from my childhood in their worst moments).

The voice Patty Wipfler, founder of Hand in Hand Parenting, ran through my mind:

“Children are never bad. They are only connected or disconnected.”


When a child is connected it means they are using all parts of their brain in sync, they are not overwhelmed by emotions or sensations and they feel loved in your presence. When a child is disconnected the higher level thinking parts of their brain that manage impulse-control and decision-making are hijacked by the emotional brain in fight/flight or sensory overload.

I could use this message from Hand in Hand Parenting right in that moment. I thought to myself, If kids are only ever connected or disconnected, then if these kids arenʼt listening (and my expectations are not inappropriate) then they must be disconnected. The question then becomes:

How can I help this child feel connected?


When our children are disconnected they need our presence and attention. This helps them connect the brainʼs emotional center to the higher thinking centers. Sometimes they also need some sensory input to connect and harmonize the brain stem, which controls nervous system regulation.

This is the gold. This is where the healing is at. When you notice your child is disconnected (and youʼll usually notice because you feel irritated at ʻhow bad they are beingʼ), you can bring this question to mind: “How can I help my child feel connected?” It reminds you that their behavior really has nothing to do with you. They arenʼt acting out specifically for the purpose of irritating you (though that may be part of the fun and adrenaline-kick they get from it). They are acting out because they arenʼt connected. And they need your attention and presence, and maybe a big squeeze or high jump, to get connected again.


Just so I donʼt leave you hanging, this is what I did with those sweet children in my office after I realized the right question was not “Why arenʼt they listening?” but rather, “What can I do to get them connected?”: I told them before we do circle we should bounce on the balls and asked how many times we should bounce. This gave them some control over the situation, the sensory input their bodies were craving, and the connection with me as I held their hands, looked into their eyes and counted with joy for every bounce.

So next time your child wonʼt listen and youʼre finding yourself irritated, stop what youʼre doing and muster all the attention and presence you can for your child and ask yourself:


Write this new question on a post-it and stick it to your fridge, your mirror, the dash of your car. In time you will find that you have reprogrammed those old voices and are parenting from a more centered and peaceful place.



This series of blog posts will introduce you to some concepts and practices that can help you work through your child's challenging or overwhelming behavior or emotions, or simply your desire to meet the challenges of parenting with your best self and grow in the process. Many of the tools I use are drawn directly from Hand in Hand Parenting. You can learn more at

If you'd like to learn more about these tools and get answers to your questions, or tips regarding your challenges, please join us on the Third Thursday of each month for our Community Meet-ups at Recess.

Or if you are ready to explore working together individually to implement these and other tools, then schedule your child or familyʼs next appointment by visiting or calling (415) 420-9459.

I look forward to connecting and wish you joy, excitement, and love as your parenting journey unfolds.

This week at Recess!

This week at Recess!

We hope you'll join us this week for our family concert, special guest speaker at Circle of Babies, and CPR on Saturday.  

All the details are here:

this week at Recess: Concert on THURS, CPR on SAT, and so much more!
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Happy Hour + Family Concert with The Singing Lizard

Thursday, March 16 3:30-6

Join us for a special St. Patrick's Day party! We'll have lots to play with, special crafts, and a concert by The Singing Lizard!

Event starts at 3:30pm
Concert starts at 4pm

FREE for members, $25/non member family

Learn More

Infant, Child, and Adult CPR and Chokesaving

THIS Saturday 3pm - 5:30pm

Choking, drowning, or other unforeseen events can cause this emergency situation. Knowing what to do in an instant can save your child’s life.

Please make sure everyone who cares for your child has these tools!  Two year Certification offered through ASHI, Safety and Health Institute. Your instructor is a registered nurse (and Recess member!) with hospital experience in an emergency setting. Certification card will be emailed to you post workshop for free!
Learn More

new moms

Circle of Babies: Guest Speaker Pre- and Postpartum Pelvic Health

THIS Friday, March 17 @ 1pm

Annemarie Everett Lepe, PT, DPT specializes in pre- and postpartum pelvic physical therapy at Miracle Physical Therapy in Noe Vally. She will be discussing the pelvic floor, changes that you may be experiencing after birth, and how to safely and comfortably return to your daily activities and exercise. Bring all of your questions for this dialogue and Q&A!

Circle of Babies is our Friday group for parents with children under 1.  If you can't make it this week, join us another time!  

Sign Up

It's time to create, explore and learn through the senses!

Join us for Toddlers Who Tinker on Thursdays at 10:15 with Teacher Amelia (she's amazing!!). Children ages 18mo - 3 years are invited to engage with a variety of activities, explore new textures and media and create.  

Join us this week!  Enroll Here or give us a call to sign up.

Playspace Classes this Week:


  • Music + Storytime (0-4y) @ 10:30am
  • Baby Play (0-6m) @ 1pm
  • Sensory Lab (1-4y) @ 3:30pm


  • Music + Storytime (all ages) @ 12pm
  • Mini Sensory Lab (prewalkers) @ 12:45pm
  • Sensory Lab (1-4y) @ 4pm


  • Ukulele Concert (all ages) @ 11am
  • Sensory Lab @ 4pm


  • Music + Storytime (all ages) @ 9:45am
  • Moderated Playgroup (0-4) 3-6pm
  • Big Block Play (1-4y) @ 4pm
  • Sensory Lab @ 11am
  • Monthly: Working Parents Playgroup 10a-12p 
  • Monthly: Music Time @ 10am (next class 3/25)

FREE for anytime members. Limited and mini members can attend classes within their membership times for free or pay $10 to attend classes outside their membership time.

Premium Classes this Week & Next:


  • Precess Camp (2.5-4yrs) 8:30am-11:30am
  • Toddler Chefs (18-36m) @ 9:30am
  • Mini Messy Art (9-18m) @ 12pm


  • Precess Camp (2.5-4yrs) 8:30-11:30am


  • Precess Camp (2.5-4yrs) 8:30-11:30am
  • Toddlers Who Tinker (18-36m) @ 10:15am


  • Precess Camp (2.5-4yrs) 8:30-11:30am
  • Circle of Babies (0-12m) @ 1pm - Guest speaker
  • Monthly: Date Night Drop Off (2-7yrs) @5pm (next class 3/24) - three spots left!


  • Family Yoga 10-10:30am (next class 4/8)

Read more

Looking Ahead... 

  • 3/28: Positive Discipline for Preschoolers (ages 2-5)- Online Workshop
  • Baby Sign Language Intro 3/24
  • Baby Sign Language Series: 3/31-5/12
  • NEW Kids Classes Begin 4/2
  • SPECIAL WORKSHOP: Cooking for the Whole Family on 4/9
  • Parenting Your Toddler (no's, tantrums & more): 4/11

See the Calendar

Members Save!  

Thank you all for being a part of Recess' community.  Please let us know if there is specific programming that would be helpful to supporting your family (you, your child, your partner, your caregiver...everyone!).  Our goal is to make raising children in an urban environment more do-able by bringing together families, resources, professionals and play.

As part of your membership, don't forget you save up to 25% on all kids classes, parent workshops, rentals of Recess' space (for b-days, special events, meetings, etc), and even our weekly Pilates Classes and co-working space!

Let Us Know What You'd Like To See!

Recess - urban recreation

470 Carolina Street, San Francisco, California 94107 |

Call us: 415-701-7529

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New & Expecting Parent Meet-ups at Recess

New & Expecting Parent Meet-ups at Recess

Being a new parent is an exciting, exhausting, and magical time. Only you truly know the emotional and physical toll a new baby brings, and what a unique and personal experience it is.  Our New Parent Groups are geared towards preparing and supporting new parents in this journey.  Whether you're pregnant or have a new baby, you'll likely have questions about a variety of topics.  

Carve out a little special time each week, and join us in Recess' front studio.  An expert in the field will join us to share relevant information -- on topics ranging from pelvic wellness to breastfeeding to baby sign language to child development.  

After the expert has presented and answered all your questions, we invite you to hang out and get to know other new parents, enjoy snacks and beverages in a laid back environment, and venture into the playspace if you'd like. 

  • Bring a picnic, get settled, and enjoy the infant toys available
  • Join the Professional Presentation / Workshop
  • Stay for Q & A and connect

Meet ups are $15/single day, or $50 for 5/pack (no expiration).  Access to the playspace after the group is included. Discounted for members of Recess.

BYO baby blankets, food/drink, anything to keep you hydrated & your babe happy
Open to newborns, through pre-crawling infants.  Don't worry if you need to take a break to feed, change a diaper, or step away to get some fresh air.  We all get it and are happy to have you in whatever form that takes (babies are unpredictable!).



March 10 - Baby Sign Language Demo, 1pm

Babies already sign when they lift their arms to be picked up or point to a toy.  Wouldn't it be nice to understand what your baby is trying to tell you?  Baby Sign Language teaches parents to communicate with babies long before they can verbalize their wants and needs.  Signing with babies has been proven to help accelerate language development, reduce frustration, enhance a child's self esteem and deepen the bond between parent and child.

In this presentation by Happy Baby Signs, you will learn more than 10 basic baby signs that are based on American Sign Language (ASL). The presentation is designed for parents-to-be and parents with babies ranging in age from birth to 18 months.  Fun activities and songs will show you how easy it can be to integrate these signs into your everyday routine and jump-start your child's verbal skills. 

March 17, Pelvic Wellness Pre and Postpartum
Annemarie Lepe of MiraclePT

Annemarie Everett Lepe, PT, DPT specializes in pre- and postpartum pelvic physical therapy at Miracle Physical Therapy in Noe Vally. She will be discussing the pelvic floor, changes that you may be experiencing after birth, and how to safely and comfortably return to your daily activities and exercise. Common topics include incontinence, diastasis recti, post-caesarian rehabilitation, return to intercourse, and pelvic pain. Bring all of your questions for this dialogue and Q&A!

April 7th -  Auditory and Speech Development & Milestones
Jody Vaynshtok of Sound

The first 3 years of life, when the brain is developing and maturing, is the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills. These skills develop best in a world that is rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to the speech and language of others. Learn what to expect from your infant and when the brain is best able to absorb language.

May 5th - Taking care of your body as you care for your baby - Ergonomics & Pilates
Kristin Jamieson of WIT

Caring for a baby is tough. Really tough. It takes a huge physical toll on the body. And sleep deprivation makes the body even more prone to injury and physical break down. The fact is, preventing injury is a challenge.

If you’re in the trenches of baby care, you know the last thing you need is an injury that could have been avoided through the use of proper ergonomics and body mechanics while caring for the little munchkin.


COMING SOON: Creating a safe environment for your infant in the home
Amanda Hyer, Early Childhood Specialist

Memories to Last a Lifetime - Mini Portraits at Recess!

Screenshot 2017-02-06 at 4.13.21 PM.png

You may have noticed Anna around Recess lately- she's taken some awesome photos of our classes and activities for our website and print materials. Professional photographer and Recess member Anna Psalmond brings another awesome service to us here at Recess - mini photo sessions for children and families! Join us monthly for a quick portrait session to capture your rapidly growing and changing child- in the comfort and convenience of Recess. 

Check Anna's online calendar for the next upcoming photo sessions!

Baby Year Book

Anna's Baby Year Book is an awesome way to get monthly keepsake photos of your little one. Such an awesome opportunity to see how quickly your little one grows! Details of pricing & package options below.

Contact Anna directly to book at 

Kids Play & Parents Connect

Kids Play & Parents Connect

Being a new parent is an exciting, exhausting, and magical time. Only you truly know the emotional and physical toll a new baby brings, and what a unique and personal experience it is!

Our Circle of Babies & Moderated playgroups are geared toward supporting you in this journey, whether you've just begun getting to know your new baby, or if you're curious about how to navigate the toddler or preschool years.

Each group includes time to get to know other parents sharing a similar experience as you. You're welcome to bring snacks and beverages to enjoy in our laid back environment, as you take time to nurture yourself and support your child's development.  Join us! 


• Community Fridays •

CIRCLE OF BABIES (0-6mo) 1:30-2:30pm & (6-12 mo) 12-1pm

Join Infant Mental Health specialist (and mommy), Allie, for a weekly playgroup.  In these hour long groups, new mamas and papas are invited to connect and collaborate to work through questions and struggles. You’ll organically meet like-minded parents and begin building your new family’s community, while gaining resources to help support your little one's growth!

Guest speakers relevant to your baby's needs will drop by with specialized areas of focus like sleeping, eating, and self-care.

Circle of babies groups meet in Recess' front studio space.  Playtime at Recess is included with each playgroup session. Feel free to venture in, utilize our kitchen (with bottle warmer, microwave, fridge, etc), and explore the playspace.  

MODERATED PLAYGROUPS (0-4 yrs) 3:30-6pm

Drop in to this playgroup on Fridays, anytime from 3:30-6pm.  Your child will have full run of the playspace, and our roving early child development guru, Amanda Hyer, will be on hand to answer questions about everything from play, sharing, tantrums, sleep, eating and more.  She has a different topic each week, but your questions always take priority.  

Enroll Now!

New Class Spotlight: Toddlers Who Tinker

New Class Spotlight: Toddlers Who Tinker

Join us in Toddlers Who Tinker, a class where your child will be invited to paint, print, squish, collage, draw, splatter, and build with loose parts! In this process focused class, your toddler will be invited to openly explore a wide variety of art mediums to create beautiful works influenced by well known children's books, songs, and rhymes. Best of all, we'll take care of the clean up!  Appropriate for children ages 2-4 years old.

Teacher Amelia returns to Recess this winter to lead a great new class for toddlers and preschoolers.

Pre-K and Elementary Camps coming to Recess

Pre-K and Elementary Camps coming to Recess

CAMP EDMO is coming to Recess!
Ingenious Fun for Pre-K-8th Graders

Enroll in Summer Camp by 2/28 and Save $20/Week!

Kids discover awesome stuff about the world and themselves at CAMP EDMO. Weekly themes feature activities, designed in partnership with museums, universities and industry professionals that are scientifically proven to build Curiosity, Courage & Kindness. Mix and match weekly science, art, maker, tech, and nature themes for maximum Social Emotional Learning AND 21st Century skills. 

Programs offered for all ages from napping 4-year-olds through yapping 8th graders. Voted the Bay Area’s “Best Summer and Technology Day Camp” 2009-2016. 

Their 2017 Sessions include: Wings & Things, DIY da Vinci, Minecraft: Mod Maker, Critterville, Botany Buds, Tech Styles, Girl Coder, WordPress Web Design, and more. Every camp day includes vibe-tastic staff, rallies, outdoor rec games, team challenges and —The EDMO Vibe Game. 

Camp runs June-August at Recess (and 20+ other Bay Area Locations). Dates may vary by location. Optional AM/PM Programs. Visit or call 415.282.6673.

Look for details in February about Spring Break Camp at Recess 3/27-3/31!

Parenting By Connection

Parenting By Connection

building community to help parents and children

by Karen Wolfe, MFT

Pretend Play.jpg

Parenting can be isolating and exhausting. There's so much to be done that at times we get so stressed out we act in ways we really don't want to, but we don't know what else to do. We lose touch with the sweet moments that are possible just being with our children as we get lost in the day to day grind. 

But what if it doesn't have to be that way? What if we can come together as parents to connect, support one another, laugh, cry, and remember how to stop all our mind chatter and running around and appreciate these moments with our kids before they are gone. What if we could even remember to play?

This vision is exactly what the Parenting by Connection Meet-ups are all about. It's a time for parents to gather and remember we are in this together -- a safe place to work through challenges in parenting, and a time to get re-inspired with tools to address parenting and connecting with your kids.

We will get together monthly to share in one another's presence, offer listening time for each other, and talk about Parenting by Connection tools for helping your child through difficult emotions, setting limits, adding more connection and play into your family life, and plugging into a support system of other parents.

We are not in this alone. Join us!

Parenting By Connection Meet ups are held at Recess on the third Thursday of each month, from 7:30-9pm

Learn tools to connect with your child, set limits with love, and get support for the tough job of parenting in community with other like-minded parents.


Karen Wolfe, MFT is a psychotherapist in San Francisco and the East Bay. She is passionate about helping children and families thrive and has particular expertise with children with exceptional learning and sensory styles.

Learn more about Karen at