As well as being a great way for your baby to learn new skills and extend his social circle, it’s also the perfect excuse to get out of the house and meet new people. We’ve picked out some of the best courses to do with your baby. And the good news? They’re available nationwide.
What are the best baby and toddler groups?
1. Dance classes, diddidance.comPerfect for burning off some of your toddler’s endless energy, diddi dance classes use ribbons and hoops as props. Dance classes have a theme, which changes every 5-7 weeks, and includes salsa and 1920s Charleston – think jazz hands.
2. Dance classes, disco-duck.co.ukDisco Duck are nationwide award-winning dance classes for pre-school boys and girls. Designed by an ex professional dancer, dance teacher and choreographer, the classes have been developed to increase little one’s confidence, self-esteem, social skills, balance and concentration. The classes operate in a fun and safe environment and are attended every week by Disco Duck himself! There is also Disco Duck merchandise including a CD and stories, and parties which are really popular with parents and children.
3. Baby yoga classes, yogabellies.co.ukIf you love your downward dog or salute to the sun, you can take your baby along to YogaBellies classes, which includes baby massage, focused yoga postures for the mums, and poses for both you and your baby so you can bond with each other. They’re suitable for babies and toddlers and classes last one hour, which you book in blocks of six classes.
4. Music classes, jojingles.comOk, so your singing voice may be a bit rusty (more reject than Rihanna wannabe), but that doesn’t matter in a Jo Jingles class. It offers music, singing and dance classes for babies and pre-school children from three months to four years. Expect plenty of tambourines and maracas (anything to drown out our singing…)
5. Baby massage classes, mamababybliss.comA good class for newborns and very young babies, MamaBabyBliss massage can help sooth colic and wind, and encourage your baby to sleep, as well as building his digestive, circulatory and immune systems.
6. Swimming classes, waterbabies.co.ukGreat for getting your baby used to the water from a young age, Waterbabies baby swimming classes also boost confidence and improve strength in your baby’s arms and legs. The sooner you start, the more used to the water your tot will be.
7. Language classes, lingotot.comYou’ll be surprised at how quickly your little one can pick up a foreign language (if you’ve ever watched your toddler parroting away to Dora the Explorer you’ll understand). Lingotot classes teach a range of languages including French, Spanish and even Chinese.
8. Ballet classes, babyballet.co.ukbabyballet is a fun, award-winning pre-school dance class for girls and boys from 6 months to 6 years. With a real focus on learning through play, babyballet, which runs across the UK, allows babies, toddlers and young children to enjoy the physical and social benefits of ballet, song and dance in a safe, caring, positive and informal environment. Little ones will build their confidence and social skills, while developing basic ballet technique, coordination, musicality, balance, posture and rhythm. babyballet’s fully qualified teachers are joined in class by the babyballet bears, Twinkle & Teddy, who help to encourage all the little stars to interact and share as they learn to dance without any pressure. There is also a line of merchandise and parties available.
9. First aid classes, nct.org.ukIf you’ve already gone into new mum anxious mode, checking smoke alarms and practising infant choking positions, sign up for a first aid class run by the National Childbirth Trust and the British Red Cross. The course covers health issues such as loss of consciousness, CPR, choking, bleeding, burns, high temperatures and meningitis.
10. Gym classes, tumbletots.comWhile we’re not expecting your pre-schooler to be doing back flips and triple flip twists quite yet, a Tumbletots class will encourage him to climb, jump, and roll while learning how to control movements more precisely. It uses soft play equipment for children to clamber over and under and it’s a great way to make friends.
11. Cooking classes, kiddycook.co.ukEncourage your toddler to help prepare food and he’s more likely to have a healthy relatonship with food. During each Kiddycook session the children have fun creating recipes, which encourages them to learn about good food and explore new flavours in a fun way. Its Cookie Tots classes are perfect for 2-4 year olds and after creating a dish, children then join in with music, games and activities based around preparing and enjoying food.
12. Football classes, littlekickers.co.ukIf you can see your little one as the next Beckham or Rooney, sign up for a Little Kickers football class. They run a Little Kicks class for children aged 18 months to three years, and then you graduate to the next level – Junior Kickers which goes from 2 years to 3½ years. Classes will help your little one gain better body control and co-ordination skills.
13. Signing classes, singandsign.comAs well as being a fun way to connect with your baby or toddler, Sing and Sign classes can help your little one communicate with you before she starts speaking. She’ll learn words such as “milk”, “hot”, “thank you” and “more” but there’s also plenty of singing and games.
14. Arts and crafts classes, thecreationstation.co.ukIf you’ve experienced the *joy* of peeling dried Play-Doh off the kitchen floor, you’ll appreciate the Creation Station. It offers arts and crafts classes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers without the mess for you.
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