We've been taking Elizabeth to Dovercourt for their preschool dropoff programs recently. Three months of unlimited access for $50 sounded like a pretty sweet deal to us.
We were most interested in their swimming program; a drop-off where Elizabeth could play in the water while Mommy watched. In theory they have other classes for adults but Elizabeth doesn't think she's quite ready for that degree of separation yet. Even when she's way across the room she's still checking periodically to make sure that Mommy is "watching for a really long, long time".
We tried out a number of the other classes: biking, cooking, crafting, storytime and sports. These I was not required to watch; Elizabeth went happily with her "teacher" while I used the public computers to actually get some work done (I know!)
The sports unfortunately featured the kids pretending to be alligators. If you spend any significant amount of time with our daughter, you'll quickly realize that Elizabeth has a love / hate relationship with alligators. She loves to pretend she's an alligator (especially a baby alligator being carried in her Mommy's teeth). Being chased by others pretending to be alligators is also thrilling, but the line between good fun and SUPER SCARY is very thin. Sports class apparently crossed the line and about half way through the class they had to bring hysterical child out to public area for comforting. The staff member had no idea why Elizabeth got upset, but once Elizabeth had calmed down she was able to tell me that it was the "alligators" that were going to "bite her head right off". After that Elizabeth checked before every class to verify that no alligators were involved. Just in case.
The biking and cooking classes were Elizabeth's favourite by far. She made friends with another little girl ("Beth") and between swimming and cooking class they spent quite a bit of time playing together. The number of kids at the drop-ins varied considerably. Frequently she was the only child at the biking, possibly because other parents didn't realize that it was outdoors on nice days? When that happened, Elizabeth insisted on that the Dovercourt staff member join her on the bikes. Elizabeth is pretty fast, so the adult would scoot along on the bike. Elizabeth would zoom way past. Adult would stand up, run with bike between legs and then quick sit down again. It was hilarious to watch, especially because Elizabeth didn't think this was proper technique, so the adult would try to avoid being "caught" cheating... They set up all kinds of obstacle courses and let Elizabeth push giant balls around with the bike, so I'm guessing that's why she liked going even though she rides her similar bike at home practically every day.