I’ve recently been asked by friends with new babies about what classes I would recommend, so I thought I would write a little blog post all about the ones I have tried and loved!
Firstly my overall favourite…TinyTalk.
Tiny talk is a baby signing class to help babies communicate before they can talk. (A bit like Mr Tumble) During the class there is lots of singing, sensory activities for the babies and when in toddlers, story reading and lots of other lovely things to keep them engaged. Obviously the main focus is the signing and each week you’re taught new signs and then practice them with songs etc. Having done some sign language during primary school, it all came back to me quite quickly when we did it with Bets and obviously with Bo I knew it all already. You begin learning the simple things that will help the babies very first needs, so Milk, water, food, all gone, enough, Mummy, Daddy etc… It’s super easy to use them all at home and how quickly your baby starts to understand them is amazing. Bodie hasn’t done his first sign yet (7months) but he totally understands Milk and form around 4months old has shown so much excitement when I sign it to him. He literally shakes! haha And now we are on our weaning journey the other signs related to food and dinner time have really come into use. Bets signed milk at 8 months old so I’m hoping Bodes will do the same.
The class runs from early baby right through to pre schooler. I think Bets was very nearly 3 when we finished and by then she had learnt and could sign over 100 signs. Obviously when they start talking they dwindle off a little, but it’s always handy to be able to sign to each other through a window! ha
For me, possibly the most important class and life lessons. As a swimming teacher myself I have taken both my children to swimming classes, not because I can’t teach them myself, but because I wanted them to interact with other children in the pool too. Children learn a lot from watching each other and the classes are so much fun. With Bets we swam with Aquanaughts for around 18 months and then I was happy with her swimming ability and confidence that we stopped and I taught her how to actually swim, rather than just be happy to go under the water. She is now one of the best 3year old swimmers I’ve seen. She swims about 15m front and back with her face in the water. Some of the skills she has in the pool are better than 10year olds I have taught and the massive bonus is that she absolutely loves it! Bodes has had a slightly different journey so far…Being born in the summer meant that by the time he was old enough to start swimming it was turning colder. We tried out a few different (more local) swim schools and found one at Mottram Hall. The class was lovely but the pool was just too cold for him, even with all the baby wetsuits etc so unfortunately we had to stop due to him getting poorly and not being able to attend. I have however kept up with his swimming and having Bets in the pool seems to be doing the trick. He loves the water so much, isn’t phased about going under the water and will splash about for ages! I intend on teaching him just like I taught Bets and thankfully we have the ability to do that in a nice toasty pool. But I would definitely say..take those little lambs swimming and get them used to having water in their faces, its one of the best life lessons you can give them!
We are just about to start our new Jo Jingles class, well hopefully if Bodes sleep patterns tie in with the classes. Betsie absolutely loved this class. It’s basically a rhythm time class but with the use of a little doll with bright yellow hair and trousers and a red top. He sits at the front of the class and is used by the teacher to attract the attention of the little ones. It’s 45minutes long so not too long for them, and has some great features. Again a little bit of sensory time, so bubbles or special noisy instruments and then lots and lots of singing. I honestly must know every nursery rhyme and more because of all the classes, but the children love it and having a large repertoire of songs in your head is very helpful throughout the day!
This is a class we didn’t actually do. I think I did a taster class with Betsie and although it was lovely and she enjoyed it, it was something I thought I could do with her at home anyway. So we made sure after every bath time we relaxed with a little massage after and it was lovely, I think it really helped Bets soothe into a sleepy state. With Bodes, he’s rather different, he doesn’t ever stay still, so it’s a quick lather up with his moisturiser and then jamas on and bedtime. He soothes himself during his milk.
Mummy and baby fitness
Just recently, I think after watching Sam Faires, The Mummy diaries I researched a new fitness class for mums and babies. I luckily found one just down the road from me and it worked with our times really well. Bets would be in school and me and my little man would be able to go and do some working out. It’s a great class, they provide toys and mats for the kiddies and the lady who runs it helps you out with the babies. It’s really friendly and not a major issue if you can’t finish an exercise because your little one needs you. We do a good 50mins of hardcore working out and then 10 minutes of stretching, which I think is totally wonderful because stretching is something that I don’t ever get chance to do! If you’re kicking into a January health kick like most of us are, then I would highly recommend looking into one of these classes. They are great!
There are lots and lots of other wonderful classes out there for you to explore with your little one. If you can recommend any that you have loved please comment below. I’d love to hear about some more!!