New York City's premier infants, toddlers, and twos program

"Free to Be Under Three is a precious gem of an early learning experience"
-Owen, Annabelle and Oscar's mom

"The people that we met in Free to Be Under Three became wonderful friends"
-Max's mom

"Free to Be Under Three is the one to which we return every year"
-Charlotte and Jonah's mom

Our Program

Free To Be Under Three is a course designed specifically for the growth and encouragement of children 7 months to 34 months of age. Language development and the respect for the individual spirit of a child are the commitment of this program. We offer children under three a safe, nurturing space to develop language, self-esteem, imagination, and a sense of belonging.

All classes have a relaxed structure where each child participates at his or her own level of interest. No matter what class you begin with, instructors always take great steps to know the individual child and the unique dynamic of each class, adjusting activities accordingly, always with gentle, joyous energy and insightful, loving guidance.

The outstanding success of Free to Be Under Three is based on our instructors' enthusiasm, gentleness and joy in enriching the development of a child's first three years. Trust and confidence are fostered and nurtured in a warm and inclusive environment. A keen awareness is always paid to the changing developmental needs of each child. Although this is not a music class, we use songs, rhythm, and repetition for their essential support in language acquisition. Many songs will be familiar and consistently repeated in a style that is both engaging and uniquely patterned for word and sentence building. Although the structure is always presented it is never enforced. This allows for the wide array of personalities and developmental stages to flourish.

Class by age

6-10 months

6-10 months

Each class begins with about 10 minutes of free play, with beach balls for the young children while live soft music plays. Sound repetition, word deconstruction, and delightful language plays are the core of the baby classes. Our instructors use character puppets, animal puppets, large color photos, and simple songs as well as color and number props to engage recognition.

11-14 months

11-14 months

The babies in this age group are beginning to pull up, get up and take off! We continue our soft acoustic guitar music played live, delightful use of sound repetitions, and object identification language play, but our teachers adapt the pace of the routines we've established to support the child's sprouting language and increased mobility.

15-18 months

15-18 months

As they begin to crawl and walk we begin moving faster through their beloved routines. A key to infant learning is repetition, repetition, repetition. This also contributes to your child's confidence, emerging sense of self, trust and comfort in their environment.

19-23 months

19-23 months

These classes focus on language use, confidence building, and offer socialization opportunities for the children who are ready. In addition to the first fifteen minutes of table play with language-rich manipulative toys, instructors add more games, songs, emotion-defining activities, an open-ended creative project, a story time and bubble-popping.

24-33 months

24-33 months

This old fashioned nursery school structure finds the appropriate balance of independence in free play and art, paired with an adult cooperative circle time that engages their nuanced motor skills, emotional understanding, socialization, imagination, and fuller language experiences. We end with a loving puppet story, warm freshly baked bread, and a recounting of our time in class.

Kind Words
We thank you SO much for the joy that you brought to Molly and our family - we really loved the classes and attribute her first words to her experience at Free to Be!
Molly's mom
We have been a Free to Be family since our oldest son, now almost 7 years old, was just 7 months! I have done the class with all three children and I cannot say enough wonderful things about it.
Shafer and Lennie's mom
Free to Be Under Three was hands down my favorite class in which my children participated. Each new semester kept them equally engaged.
Gabriel and Dylan's mom
As a speech therapist and a mom, I can't recommend this class enough. There is something magical about the repetition, simple language used and songs sung in class that really captures each child's attention.
Demi's mom
Free To Be is the first class that I recommend to all new moms! My children love Free To Be and I think they create the best classes in NYC.
Jack and Evelyn's mom
Meet our team!
Jesse is a birdsong enthusiast and music lover

Joe created Free To Be Under Three over twenty-five years ago!
Naeemah lives to dance, sing, gaze into the universe and wonder
Joe is a computer man who plays any instrument he can get his hands on
Charlie loves lullabies and has a windowsill full of miniature treasures
Cassidy loves playing guitar for her many houseplants
Little films for little people


There are so many animals and plants


Watch us play and learn with us!

Story time

Stories and other featured fun


Classes take place Monday through Thursday mornings, from roughly 9 AM til 1 PM, EST. Classes for children under 18 months last 45 minutes, classes for children above 18 months last 1 hour.

Our Fall term starts September 13 and lasts for 12 classes through December 14. There is no class Tuesday September 27 (Rosh Hashanah), Wednesday October 5 (Yom Kippur), or the week of November 22-24 (Thanksgiving break). Our Winter term will begin in early January.

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