Back in our old family home near Brum, in what now almost seems like a different life, we used to take Jake & Ellie to loads of really good regular activities; particularly in their 2nd year. There were playgroups at a local nursery, each slightly different, with arts & crafts, messy play, reading, puppets, musical instruments & singing + signing. They were excellent, & it was a great shame when they had to stop due to budget cuts just before we moved. There was also a great church-run playgroup, Tumble Tots, & a home & away playdate.
Since moving to Wales & their spending much of Mondays – Thursdays with Karen’s little group, as a preparation for Nursery, we haven’t done that so much. Karen takes them to a church playgroup but, apart from Tumble Tots until the local franchise went belly-up, that was about it.
Just recently though we’ve found a couple of brilliant activities for them. I think it’s partly that they’re old enough now that they’re able to take on more mentally & physically demanding activities. They’re both on a Friday, which may account for why I’m often so tired on that day!
In the morning – after grocery shopping, which is always fun* – we do Monkey Music. There they learn rhythm, playing percussion, associating actions with sounds & music and some basic dance skills. It’s great, & they really enjoy it.
We’ve also discovered a children’s gym, where we go after they’ve had a nap. It’s huge! It caters for all levels, from the casual user (us) to serious competitive & successful gymnasts. It’s a real find: there’s everything you could imagine there & more: a big central space with soft things to roll or jump on, in or over. Things to throw & kick. A bouncy castle with a climbing wall & slide. A trampoline, a little running track, vaults, parallel & non-parallel bars, beams, rings, a rope swing. Not only all that but the apparatus available seems to vary each week.
What they are brave enough & physically able to do has been a real eye-opener for us, & they seem to be able to do more each time.
And do they enjoy it?
They seem to…