A mobile music and “creative play” space has its permanent sights set on Logan Square. No, this isn’t a theme bar for the hipster set, it’s Stomp and Shout, a learning program for kids between the ages of 8 months and 4 years.
The company’s Chicago branch is mobile right now, but is hoping to establish a permanent home in Logan Square.
Stomp and Shout is the brainchild of Cassie Slater and Jo Solomon, two mothers, performers and teachers who started the program in 2013 to bring music, imagination and art to kids and their families.
Slater’s booming energy gets all the toddlers on their toes.
Does jumping around to music with abandon prepare toddlers for a mosh-pit filled future? Perhaps, but there are real benefits to creative play, Slater says. Guided group activities help build confidence, encourage teamwork and most importantly, build fantastic imaginations.
The Scholastic publishing organization agrees. In a January feature they write, “Young children learn by imagining and doing. Pretending builds skills in essential developmental areas.”
So what exactly do they do at Stomp and Shout? Slater was more than happy to fill me in.
“We have a big globe ball that we pass around in a circle to see where we’re traveling,” she says. “The last person to hold the ball points to where we’ll go! In my class today we went to Russia, saw a cow and moo’d hello to her, tried some borscht, and waved hello to all of our new Russian friends.”
Also this session, Slater says, they practice tempo and rhythm on “cool monster drums” then flip the drums over and pretend-eat alphabet soup while singing their ABC’s.
The Next Step for Stomp
The company’s planned Family Arts Complex will offer unique classes for a wider range of ages, including after school and weekend classes for older kids and performing arts events for families. They hope to open by summer.
They’ve launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for the project—which closes March 17 at noon. Donors have the chance to have their child featured in songs, poems and promotional material.
You can check out their current classes here.