Baby and Toddler classes. Some people love ’em, some people hate them. I firmly sit in the love camp – I found it really helped me to get out and about and interact with other parents. This list is for classes that have to be paid for in blocks; I will do another list for groups and ones that are free or on a more casual pay as you go basis. I should also state I havent been asked or paid to promote these groups, they are ones I have (and still do!) paid for myself. So, in no particular order….
1) Massage My Baby
I loved the idea of baby massage and when asking around people overwhelmingly recommended Sue Baughan at Massage Your Baby. She holds the classes in a bright and airy room in her home just off Narborough Road and its all very relaxed, with no more than about 9 Mums to a class. Sue is absolutely wonderful and just has an aura of calm about her, even on days when your baby might be having a hard time and crying and you feel stressed out, she has a way about her which instantly relaxes you. So much so, that even though I knew the massage routine from my first, I still went with my second baby and in fact, on my 2nd course, we were mostly 2nd timers.
During the course she will lend you a massage book to borrow if you want to read more, as well as a hand out and provides you with a bottle of oil. I was a nightmare and forgot my towel each week and she always had a spare! The routine can really help settle a fussy baby and the little songs she teaches you to go along with them are cute! Plus, each week she bakes a cake to be shared at the end. Her lemon drizzle is particularly amazing!
2) Baby Sensory
There are two different people covering Leicester for Baby Sensory and due to work commitments when I had The Littlest, I have attended classes with both. They are both brilliant, but Panna edges it for me as she holds amazing one off events too!
Baby Sensory classes are themed each week and as the name suggests, you learn how you can help your babies development through sensory play. We have been transported the jungle, been under the sea and into space! Panna explains how each routine or activity can help your baby and there are tonnes of great ideas for sensory toys, we loved making pat mats and ribbon dancers! For The Biggest’s 1st birthday it was a joint affair with two friends and we had Panna do a Baby Sensory session at it, which went down really well as 1st birthdays can be a bit boring otherwise! Her Halloween and Christmas themed specials were absolutely brilliant too. *These classes run nationwide*
3) Muddy Boots
This was one I discovered a bit late and The Biggest wasnt far off starting preschool and I was pretty pregnant with The Littlest, so we only did two terms but can’t wait till The Littlest is walking comfortably so we can go back, as loved this group!
Muddy Boots is a playgroup at the allotments in Aylestone, its in a lovely gated off community garden, with a sand pit, mud hole and mud kitchen! It’s run by a lovely lady called Emily and each week there is a story relating to the activity you do, the kids get to try new foods or herbs that can be grown, or look at new plants and wildlife. We have been on bug hunts around the allotment, planted flowers, picked fruit, made bird feeders and all sorts of other wonderful stuff. Every one brings something for a picnic and we all sit down at the end and share it and finish off with some songs. I love being outdoors and its a brilliant environment for the kids to explore and learn. As well as the Allotment playgroup, she also runs a Forest School, but it’s always clashed with my working days, so we haven’t been to that, but looking forward to also trying some of the family forest days.
4) Rugby Tots
My side of the family have always been more Rugby than Football, so I had looked into starting Rugby Tots when The Biggest turned two, as we were keen he tried a sporty class. I had put our name down on a waiting list for a class on the other side of the city but then as luck would have it, a new class started just after his birthday right by us.
Rugby Tots is ace; the classes are unisex and grouped into 2-3.5 years, 3.5-5 and 5-7 years. It’s so much more than just ball skills as well, when they first start, they learn colours, shapes, counting etc which aids their development in a fun way.
Coach Dave who runs our classes is so good with the kids, they have really come along way under his supervision and care, mostly for The Biggest the lesson of you dont need to win a certificate all the time. ? He has also made some great friends there, which I think is a nice part of attending groups and classes, as it gives kids a chance to form relationships out of the confines of nursery / school. As soon as The Littlest is old enough, he will be going too! *These classes are nationwide*
5) The Little Cooks Club
The Little Cooks Club is completely unique to Leicester and run by an awesome lady called Lisa and she holds cooking classes from ages 2 – 11. I attended the preschooler class with The Biggest, each week you bake a recipe and whilst you wait for it to cook, there is a craft activity too.
The Biggest is such a fussy eater, I enrolled in these hoping it would help, getting him involved in preparing them definitely makes him more open to trying it, even if he isn’t too sure! She offers special events in the school holidays too – I took The Biggest to one and it was great, it had two makes in it and two craft activity, so great value for money. Looking forward to when after school classes come local to me and when I can take The Littlest along, only a year to wait!
Find Lisa at: www.facebook.com/thelittlecooksclub
What about you, did you go to any classes? I also really fancied Tiny Talk, but the timings / days didn’t work for me, but as my work hours have changed, I could try it but worry The Littlest might be too old for it now?
Look forward to hearing what you get up too!