Children from an early age enjoy the tonal and rhythmic qualities of music, and respond with crude movement or by banging on simple instruments such as drums or bells. To help develop the artistic portion of their brains:
▪ Music Together By the Bay features classes with music, movement and simple sign language, musictogetherbythebay.com.
▪ Gabriel’s Art Kids offers “Sound Artist” programs for birth to 5 years, gabrielsartkids.com.
▪ Bellingham Public Library and branches of the Whatcom County Library System have weekly storytime programs that include music and movement in addition to readings. Go online to bellinghampubliclibrary.org/children/events/storytime, or to wa.evanced.info/wcls/lib/eventcalendar.asp?ln=ALL.
Make a mess
Many parents like to mark baby’s first birthday with a professional portrait, and among the more popular sittings is what’s called a “cake smash” among photographers.
Bellingham photographer Katheryn Moran said the cake smash is becoming more popular lately, along the lines of the trendy bridal “trash the dress” concept.
“They’re not usually walking very well at that age,” Moran said. “They’re just starting to fool around with stuff and they like to get messy. Everybody’s laughing; it’s all a good time.”
Parents frequently supply their own clothes (often it’s done in just a diaper), the cake, and maybe a favorite toy for a studio portrait. The cake smash can also happen at home or as part of an on-location birthday party shoot, Moran said. Prices start at $200 to $350 as part of a portrait package.
“It’s pretty popular,” said Marlene LeBaron, whose Ferndale-based NoraBel Photography is her surname spelled backward. “A lot of people are looking specifically for that. You put the cake in front of them and have them dig in. For the most part, it’s pretty fun. It happens pretty quickly. They grow so quickly, you can’t freeze time.”
‘Cake smash’ resources
▪ Katheryn Moran photography, katherynmoranphotography.com
▪ NoraBel Photography, norabelphotography.com
▪ Melissa Jenkins of June Bug photography in Snohomish County will travel, junebugphotography.org
“There are numerous benefits to signing with your baby or toddler, including early communication, learning a second language, development of fine motor skills, and bonding in a fun, creative way. It cuts down on lots of frustration.”
Offers baby-signing classes through Powered by Qi in Ferndale. For more information online, go to poweredbyqi.com/classes/children.