I have really enjoyed checking out a variety of classes that I found advertised at the back of “Your Baby” magazine. This is the kind of thing I would really enjoy. It isn’t just stimulating baby, it is also a nice opportunity for moms to get together and have some social time. I think this is a really good possibility for me to do as you could work from home and choose your hours. Each one of these works like a franchise.
This was the first one I went to. The lady has the whole thing set up in her back yard, both indoor and outdoor activities. Each baby has a mat. Top Tots has a mascot, Tommy, and as we sang a greeting song she used the giant puppet to “shake hands” with each one of us, holding our babies.
They had an unusual twist to “tummy time” (when the baby lies on his tummy). They placed a little mirror on the mat in front of him. I think the mirror is a great idea but I wouldn’t have put it there when he is still learning to hold his head up. I had my hand in front to catch his head which flops down when he gets tired.
Otherwise I was really impressed with their program. They had an activity to practice visual tracking with a card stuck on a lollipop stick. They had beads in a balloon to shake on either side to test auditory skills on each side. They had rope and ribbons with knots on to grab onto and thread in little hands. They had an activity with a big ball that babes would roll on, front and back. There was one activity that Nicholas loved where ribbons dangled downward in front of him. Outside there was more sensory stuff to feel and pay with. We tried out the ball pit.
As a souvenir we got to take away Nicky’s footprint which was quite cute. She gives handouts in a flip file.
Mothers and Miracles:
I loved the name of this group. This lady uses her church facilities (looked like a Sunday School classroom, she also had an outdoor play area). I also liked that she took pictures, but unfortunately I never got them, although they were sent.
We also had a greeting song, involving the left and right leg. Bubbles were blown.
This particular group combined the age groups. Nicky was the youngest and she would bring different activities for him to do. There was one where a pipecleaner snake was hidden inside a roll. Instead of searching for cut out butterflies with the rest he had a scrunchy bag to play with.
One really fun activity was messy play, where they played with a soapy butterfly that was spayed on a tray. Nicky put his hand in and got dirty.
I loved the set up of this particular franchise. She had a whole house and lots of space. There was a room for changing nappies and a nursing room with a rocking chair.
Like Top Tots, Clamber Club has a mascot. His name is “Jog the frog”. You can even find him on TV. Jog has a special “jog jiggle” song and action. Clamber club also sells CDs of their songs. I liked the action songs. There was lots of lifting up and down and other movement. They also did bubbles and the big ball, but this time mom went on the ball too.
Outside we had a tea break in the middle instead of the end, like the other places. Nicky sat in a beanbag! We then proceeded onto some outdoor activities. She had a triangular wedge that Nicky lay on while looking into balls with water. She had a couple of other toys to show him, and then we went into a pool of balls, which he grabbed!
Clamber Club had a lovely goodbye song and then we were given some homework. I was very impressed!
Moms and Babes:
This lady used her home. It looks like she converted her garage into a lovely big room.
She also had a greeting song. There was a box of stuff at each mat. They used a big flower and a paper plate to do the eye movement tracking.
There was lots of gross motor activities. They had a nice rolling over one where you joined hands and feet together as you rolled. Nicky loved that one. He also loved one where he completely summersaulted over. For tummy time they put him on the pillow and rolled a ball in front to look at. They also took a car which you rolled on his back just to get the sensation. Later on they used a make up brush and oven glove also for feeling sensations.
Then there was a nice craft activity where you cut a paper plate into a mobile. Nicky liked this a lot.
This group was probably one of the most chatty and talked about all sorts in between all the exercises.
All the groups allowed me to breastfeed Nicky during the time and it wasn’t a problem if the babes drifted off to sleep. There were times when only one mom was doing the activity with her charge because everyone else was either sleeping or drinking. But that is the nature ofbabies, and the great thing is that you could always catch up later or use the ideas at home when babes is more awake.
It would be difficult to settle on who was the best, because they were so similar. But this kind of thing with moms chatting with babies really appeals to me, and I will continue to look out for this kind of thing and perhaps it could be a possible idea of a future career for me.