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Spring is in the air and the sun is making an appearance finally. We love this time of year as it makes us smile and puts a spring back in our step. Getting out and about without getting drenched is also a bonus! Have you been enjoying the outdoors with your little one over the last few weeks? In case you missed it, our recent blog post gives some great reasons why you should!
It has been a little while since we last updated you so what have we been up to in the land of Tots Play, so here's a little round up of what's been going on, as well as what we have coming up for you soon.
Tots Play 10 Year Celebrations
March saw Tots Play turning 10. 10 years since the launch of the very first class! The time has flown by and we couldn’t be prouder of how far we have come and how many wonderful families we have welcomed over the years.
Tots Play was born out a desire to bring a class to you that would incorporate all of the elements of classes that we had attended and topics that inspired us, in one easily accessible and affordable package, but not only that to bring parents in the community together and form lasting friendships and support systems. To find all these years later that a small idea has turned in to something this magical is very heart warming. To read more about Tots Play and its anniversary celebrations thenhereis a blog all about it.
Our Tot of the Decade contest that we ran through March was also hugely popular, and many thanks if you entered or voted. We ended up with two winners, the gorgeous Rosemary from our Scottish Borders classes, and cheeky chappy, George from Chesterfield.
Tot of the Decade, Rosemary.
Tot of the Decade, George.
During the 10 year celebrations we also took the opportunity to raise funds for a national charity Click Sargent and each area also chose a local charity to support. We are pleased to announce that the total raised for Clic Sargent was £2686! We would like to thank you for your support in raising this fantastic amount. To find out how much you raised for your local charities please visit the Facebook page for your area.
Award Season
Spring has definitely also been awards season. Tots Play has been nominated and shortlisted for a whole range of awards this year. Some we are still waiting to hear about, but in the Hoop Awards, which have already been announced we were delighted to win in Cardiff, and were runners up in Birmingham, Essex and Northamptonshire. Congratulations to our franchisees in those areas, and many thanks to everyone who voted.
The Clubhub awards, where we have three finalists will be announced this weekend, so fingers crossed for those. We will let you know how we get on via our Facebook Page.
More Voting Please!
We are thrilled to have been nominated for yet another award too, this time in the What's On 4 Kids Awards.
We were delighted to win our category at these awards last year and would love to do so again, but for that we need your help. Would you please be so kind as to pop over to the voting page here https://whatson4kids.co.uk/awards/vote and show us your support?
It just takes a few seconds, but would mean the world to us.
We are nominated in the Most Loved Baby Activity Taught by 30+ Leaders (see second pic). All you need to do is find the category, (see pic below) click on Tots Play and confirm your vote.
Easter Sessions
You can’t have spring at Tots Play with out celebrating Easter! There was so much fun to be had enjoying the sensory treats that Easter can bring along with Easter songs and photo opportunities for families to share the cute pictures with their families. We had such a variety in our classes from Easter sensory bottles and pat mats, carrots on coco pop fields, Easter chick nests, you name it it was featured in one of our Tots Play sessions. Below are a few pictures from our Easter classes. We hope you and your Tot had lots of fun if you joined us for these too.
Summer Sessions
If you feel like you have missed out on those fabulous Easter sessions then don’t worry, we have you covered! If you are not already taking part in one of our classes then keep an eye out on your local Tots Play Facebook page for Summer session announcements. Many of our franchisees run sessions throughout the Summer which, as well as ensuring lots of seasonal fun, allow you to come along and try out the classes before committing in September (we are very confident that once you come along once you won’t want to miss out!). To find your nearest class take a look at our website.
Here's a picture from one of our previous summer sessions, where everyone had a splashing time!
What you tell us
We love hearing all about your experiences at Tots Play and how you and your little one have enjoyed and benefited from the classes. This month we it is the turn of Cathryn in Wolverhampton, thank you Sharlene for your review.
“We are approaching our third term with Tots Play and my son (1 years old) loves this class. There is so much variety, yet it’s not overwhelming, for him. Also, Cathryn was amazing at my son’s 1st birthday party over the weekend, the children loved the activities, the soft play and the range for the little and slightly older children. Thank you so much!”
Our Favourite Spring Pictures
We struggled to pick just one this time, so here are our two favourites!
This is a picture of some of the gorgeous tots that attended Kelly in North Tyneside’s 10 Year celebration session. I think you will agree that they fully embraced the jungle theme and look absolutely amazing!
The second picture is from one of our Baby Developmentclasses run by Hanna in Northampton. Have you heard about our 6 week course especially for babies from birth to 6 months? It's a fantastic place to learn lots of activities that will not only support your baby's development, but ensure lots of fun playtimes together. It's also a great way to meet other parents with babies of a similar age. How gorgeous are this lot? I have no doubt that they, and their mummies will be great friends for a long time to come!
So that's you just about caught up, but don't forget to check with your local class leader for full details of what is going on in your area.
Whatever you are up to, and whoever you are with this week, happy playing!
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As we talk about a lot at Tots Play, when it comes to supporting your new baby's development, things you may think of as simple are often the most effective. Going out for a walk with your little one is a great example.
While they are still tiny, your first instinct might be to keep your baby indoors as much as possible. But although you might think this is the safer option, health professionals will tell you that spending time outside can actually be healthy and have some great benefits for your newborn. And what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than by going on a walk? You'd be surprised how much fun a stroll around the corner could be for your baby. Not only does this open their eyes to new possibilities, but it also provides a fantastic way for you both to bond. Of course, the key here is to go out prepared for every little adventure. Things like dressing your newborn in appropriate clothes for the weather, equipping yourselves with a buggy suitable for where you are going, and picking child-friendly locations, can make a big difference to the enjoyment of your outing for you both.
A sensory experience
Babies are the most curious creatures in the world. Because everything is so new to them, the simplest stroll can feel like an exciting journey. A walk outside provides a chance to explore and learn more about their surroundings — from the vibrant colours of flowers and the cool breeze, to the sounds of chirping birds and the fresh smell of leaves. These experiences are especially rich at this time of the year, as we previously discussed HERE in our previous blog post, all about nurturing your baby's senses in Spring, so now is an especially good time to get out and about.
But more than being a fantastic way to spend time stimulating their senses, heading outdoors also provides a wealth of benefits for your baby's cognitive development. In fact, according to a study published in the European Journal of Social Sciences Education and Research, the outdoor sensory experience can promote early language development, compared to spending time indoors. Simply talking to your baby as you walk and describing some of the things you are seeing and experiencing will really enhance the benefits of your walk.
Get socialWhile outside, your baby can get acquainted with the neighbourhood. The chances are, you'll bump into an old friend or two — or better yet, make new ones. Whoever you encounter, being outdoors can be a great social activity. Even just exchanging smiles or greeting strangers good morning can help your baby's social development, demonstrating speech patterns and how to interact with other people.
A chance to relax
If you sometimes struggle with putting your baby to sleep at night, save the extra bedtime story for now because a walk may just be the prescription you need. In a 2004 study in the Journal of Sleep, it was found that spending time around nature and under sunlight can help in establishing good sleeping patterns for babies. Even if you're just pushing them around in a stroller, the fresh air gives a certain calmness and relaxation that later translates to some quality shut-eye. And that can only mean a win/win for parents, too.
Healthy nature exposure
For optimum sunlight, go on an early morning walk right before the afternoon sun (at least during spring and summer). Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D. But before you drench yourselves in the warmth, be sure you and your baby are wearing clothes that will keep your skin cool. While you're outside, it is also important that your buggy is well equipped to handle the terrain, to ensure that your baby stays comfortable during your walk. iCandy points out that modern buggies are now designed to cope with a variety of surfaces— from the pavement to grassy areas. Should you decide to walk even further and hop on some public transport, lightweight buggies are great, because they are generally foldable or easy to manoeuvre onto buses or trains.
Quality time with your baby
If, like many, you're dealing with some challenges to your mental wellbeing in this postnatal period, the March of Dimes organisation recommends some outdoor time to help ease its effects. There truly is no better cure than nature, and the boost will help you enjoy the quality time with your baby. On top of this, it could also help improve your self-esteem and ward off any neonatal tension.
Another great place to find support through the huge transition to parenthood is at classes especially designed for young babies and parents, such as our Baby Development course. Not only will you be guided through a range of simple activities such as massage, tummy time play, calming techniques, sensory play and more to help you bond, play and communicate with your new bundle by a knowledgeable and caring class leader, you will also be around like-minded parents with babies of a similar age, people who completely understand the challenges, the overwhelm, and the joys of this period in your life and may even go on to become lifelong friends. Take a look to find your nearest class HERE.
Those new friends may make great companions for you and your baby on your next walk too. Happy Playing!
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Balance is a vital gross motor skill and forms the foundation for most other movement activities.
Your child's balance development starts as early as a month old when they begin to gain head control. As your baby grows and learns to sit, pull themselves up, cruise and eventually walk, they will be constantly increasing their balance skills and this continues up until the age of 12 when a child is considered to be balance mature. In this article, we will explore what is balance, why it is so important and some of the stages your toddler will go through in developing their balance .
What is balance?
To balance is basically to control your body, specifically to remain in control when doing an activity without swaying or falling. There are two different types of balance, static and dynamic. Holding a pose or position and staying still is static balance. Staying upright when moving is dynamic.
Why is balance important?
Marjorie Woolacott is a Professor of Human Physiology at the University of Oregon and with all her knowledge and experience, she couldn’t be clearer about the significance of balance when she says, “Balance is the pillar beneath every skill we have.”
An Active Lifestyle
We know the importance of physical activity and we are constantly told that it helps to fight obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Good balance is an important building block to developing and enjoying a healthy active lifestyle.
Children who have good balance tend to have better levels of concentration too. It may seem odd to connect these two key skills, but if you think about it, learning to balance takes a significant amount of energy and brain power. Imagine how you would feel if you tried to walk a tight rope; you wouldn’t be able to think about anything else. You certainly wouldn’t be able to concentrate on a book or a learning task. Once you have balance mastered, it becomes second nature and your brain is free to focus on other higher level activities.
Thinking Skills
Balance also improves thinking skills. Catherine Jackson, Chair of Kinesiology at California State University in Fresno states that “when kids stabilise themselves from an unstable pose, they learn how to focus faster and more efficiently.”
Strength of Character
Good balance also gives your growing children the opportunity to access new skills, building upon their developing motor skills. Engaging in new activities builds confidence, resilience and strength of character. Remember, part of learning to balance is learning to fall. Allow your child to fall safely as they learn because they have to learn to manage their own bodies. If an adult protects them all the time, then not only do they not learn to gain control, but they also don’t build up resilience. It’s also worth remembering that you will not always be there to catch them, and allowing them to develop these skills in a safe and nurturing environment will benefit their future.
How does your toddler develop their balance?
Like many things in life, practice makes perfect. The most valuable thing you can do for your toddler to help them develop good balance is to encourage them to be active. According to a 2014 study published in the Medical Daily, inactivity leads to poor motor skills, cognitive function and academic performance. So the main thing you need to do with your child is to keep moving!
Every child develops differently and there are no set rules for the rate and order that your toddler will gain their balancing skills. Here is a simple guide though, showing the typical progression from bouncing baby to toddling toddler:
Balancing Beginner : 1 year +
Standing independentlyPulls and pushes toys while walkingFirst steps (in-between cruising)Independent walkingGains in confidence and gets fasterWalking backwardKick a ball in any direction
Better balancer : 18 months +
Can balance on one foot for a couple of secondsClimbing more confidentlyCan bend over and regain controlWalk up stairs with both feet meeting on each step as oppose to climbing up them on their knees (this will also depend on height)Can kick a ball forward with purpose Can throw a ball over head
How can Tots Play support your toddler's balance?
Young children learn best and develop not only their physical, but also social, emotional and cognitive skills, through play. Our structured but fast-paced classes provide the opportunity for you and your little one to engage in a variety of physical activities that give your child fabulous balancing opportunities. While doing yoga stretches, action songs, playing with small equipment such as balls and beanbags and even reaching for bubbles, your child will be practising the art of balancing without even knowing it! You will pick up lots of ideas to carry on the fun and learning at home too.
Tots Play aims to be every class your child needs in one, with a unique, multi- activity programme packed with opportunities for your little one to develop and practise a wide range of skills, including balance, in a warm and welcoming environment where you can share special time together. Why not come and join us?
Learn more about our programme HERE, then find your nearest class and book a trial today.
You could even run your own Tots Play classes through our fantastic franchise programme. Find out more HERE.
Whether at class, at home or out and about, if your little one is playing then they are learning, so whatever you are doing to practice those balance skills today, happy playing!
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When you have more than one child, life can easily become a juggling act and your job seems to be to keep everyone happy. The baby needs feeding, burping, changing and entertaining, but at the same time your older children want your time and attention too. This can be especially hard if you have school-aged children who are home for the holidays. Everyone seems to want something different from you, the different age ranges have different needs and meeting all of them can feel like an uphill struggle.
What if you could organise activities that allow your children to play together, without your constant intervention? Obviously they always need close supervising, but how nice would it be to put your feet up just for 5 minutes (and with any luck, more!) and watch them play independently?
These opportunities are not just good for you and your sanity, but your children benefit too because they get the chance to bond. Building a strong sibling relationship makes for a more contented family atmosphere. It certainly doesn’t mean they won’t argue, but if they have spent quality time with each other, they will grow up valuing the relationship and this makes recovery from arguments easier.
In this post, you will find 5 ideas for activities that your baby can do with their older siblings…
1) Row Your Boat and other songs
This can be played two ways, depending on the age of both your children. They can do this while singing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat.’
For the younger ones: your older child sits with their legs open and the baby can sit in the middle. This keeps the baby stable and secure. The older sibling can lean back and forth rocking and pretending they are pulling the oars of a row boat. For the older ones: your older child can lie down flat and the baby can straddle their older sibling; holding hands, they can rock back and forth as if your older child is the row boat.
Apart from ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’, your baby will probably already know a few other action rhymes. Even if they are not old enough to join in or sing, they will recognise a select few and respond with joy when they hear them. Some of the easiest to pick up include 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' and 'Round and Round the Garden'.
Your older sibling will take great pleasure in teaching the baby what they already know well and often it will slip into a parent or teacher role-play game. You might want to play an audio of nursery rhymes to help your older child if they need inspiration and ideas, and you can download these, as well as other Tots Play favourites, HERE.
2) Peek-a-boo
This game never loses its appeal! The ease of it makes it simple and fun for any age to play. There are many variations to this that you can teach your toddler to do, these include…
The older sibling hides behind their hands, blanket or scarfThe older sibling hides behind the sofa, a door or a bigger object and jumps outThe older sibling can play hide and seek with a favourite toy of the baby’s, hiding it just out of sight and then saying peek-a-boo when it reappears.
As baby gets older, they can then participate in the reveal and also be the one leading the 'peek-a-boo-ing'!
3) Roll the Ball
Have baby and their older sibling sitting opposite each other. Depending on the age of the baby will depend on the distance between them; the older they are, the bigger the distance can be. Using a light ball of any size (the bigger it is, the easier a young baby will find it to manipulate), your baby and sibling can roll the ball to each other - simple but very effective. If baby isn't sitting yet, this can also work with them laying on their tummy (great for tummy time practice) and their older sibling can roll the ball from side to side in front of them. Baby will be able to follow the movement of the ball with their eyes and head, which is great for their visual tracking and strengthening the muscles of the neck and back.
4) Baby Sleeping Lions
This is an altered version of the game that will amuse your baby and your older sibling; you may even enjoy it yourself! Your older sibling can lie down near your baby and pretend to be a sleeping lion. They have to practise being very still.
Your baby will naturally poke and prod your sibling and at a moment of surprise, they can leap into action and roar, reaching out and tickling their baby brother or sister.
As the baby gets older and able to crawl, this game can be extended with space, developing into a chasing game that will literally bring tears of joy to everyone involved.
*Warning – your older sibling will most likely want you to be the one to play the lion at some point, so be prepared to put your cup of tea down!*
5) Baby Class at Home
Teach your older sibling some of the activities you have learnt when taking your youngest to a baby class. If you have attended a class like Tots Play, there are lots to choose from including: physical play; sensory play; sign language; music; baby massage and yoga. You could pretend to be the teacher and your older child could be the parent, interacting with the baby under your instruction, or your older child might want to take a turn leading the class, or doing activities with a teddy or doll while you do them with your baby. One simple sensory idea you could incorporate is exploring the textures, shapes and colours of the vegetables you have at home, just like in the picture below.
Get More Ideas at Tots Play Classes Nationwide
Tots Play classes are multi-activity, developmental play sessions for babies and toddlers and are held nationwide. If you don’t yet attend but would like to find a class near you, click HERE and follow the links to your local area for more details.
Could You Be Our Next Franchisee?
Alternatively, if you particularly enjoyed the role of teacher in the game, then find out how you can do it for real and own your own business with Tots Play HERE.
However you plan to keep your little ones busy this week, enjoy your special time together and happy playing!
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Watching our babies grow and develop is such an enormously rewarding part of being a parent. It can also be a time though when, rightly or wrongly, we can have worries about their development and if we are doing the 'best things' to support and help them.
Throughout these early days, what is most important to remember is that all babies are individual and will grow at their own rate and reach the various milestones, particularly in their motor skills, at different times. Some guidelines, and the advice of your health visitor, can be helpful to ensure that any potential developmental delays or problems are identified early, but worrying or following those charts too rigidly can take away from the joys of the personal journey that you and your baby are taking together as they grow.
That is not to say that your role is not important, and there are lots of things you can do to support your baby’s motor skills that will encourage their progress through the natural developmental stages, making the transitions through them easier and smoother.
When you feel they are ready, try some of the following activities with your child:
Improve neck control bymaking tummy time fun; in the early days keep it short. Keep your baby interested, one idea is to lie opposite them so they can see your face.
Play with your baby using appropriate toys or objects, encouraging them to reach and grasp.Another way to improve grasping as your baby gets older is to place toys within reach while they are on their tummyGently stretch and move your baby's arms and legs or try some simple yoga-inspired poses or movements.When your baby is able to push their chest off the floor in tummy time, they will soon start to rock from side to side. You can help this by gently rocking them to guide this motion. You can sing songs at the same time to increase enjoyment.When your baby is ready to sit up with help, sit on the floor behind them with your legs open. This is a great position to play games such as the mirror game and sing action songs together.When your baby is ready, allow them to sit unaided with lots of pillows around, always stay close and keep hard objects or surfaces out of the way.When your baby starts becoming mobile, play games with them and join in with them, modelling the movements. For example, if your baby is trying to crawl, get on your hands and knees and do it with them. Additionally, you can create obstacle courses and put your baby’s favourite toys just out of reach.
Remember to keep your play time fun and always give your baby positive praise and encouragement as you do these activities.
If your baby was premature, their motor skills may be a little delayed. Sometimes, this is because of the necessary treatment that they received as newborns. Being on a ventilator means that baby is positioned differently to when in the womb. Health professionals are increasingly more aware of this and special positioning techniques are often used. This doesn’t completely make up for the different environment though and slight delays are perfectly normal. It’s worth remembering though that premature babies might just need a little more time and practice to master these skills and to take into account your baby’s corrected age, rather than their actual age, when measuring and tracking your little one’s development.
Whether your baby was premature or full term, and whatever age or stage your baby is at, don’t put too much pressure on either of you through these early weeks and months; try not to compare your little one with what other babies may be doing (or not doing) and focus on enjoying this time with your precious baby. As much as you want them to advance, it won’t be long till you are wishing they were infants again!
For more fun, age-appropriate activities, and the opportunity to help your baby to develop their motor skills in a fun, relaxed and comforting environment, why not come and join us at Tots Play classes? Attending a class will also give you lots of ideas on how you can incorporate these activities into life with your baby in new and engaging ways. Our class leaders can help you to tailor activities (if necessary) to suit your baby’s needs, so it’s never too early to start.
Find your nearest Tots Play class HERE, and get in touch with your local class leader to book your place today.
Happy Playing!
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Having a baby opens up a whole world of new experiences, but can also be a very isolating when you are thrown into that world without an instruction manual or support network. Making connections with people that understand what you are going through can therefore, be vital for your well-being.
Attending a class with your baby is a great way to meet people in a similar situation and who understand and "get it" when you share the challenges and joys that come with this stage of your lives. It’s not uncommon for the friendships that have begun in these classes to develop into something significant that lasts longer than the duration of the class, often for life.
What you may not realise though is the value of the friendships for your baby too. It is easy to overlook these first peer relationships as initially there appears to be little interaction between them. There is however, huge significance to them. So why are these connections so important? Let's explore 3 key reasons every mummy and their tot needs baby class friends.
1) Your babies are all around the same age
You might have friends and family who already have children but it is unlikely that their kids are at the same development stage as yours. Being able to talk to people who are in the exact same position as you is empowering and comforting, it breaks that isolation and helps you to understand you are not alone. As your children grow, you will continue to share experiences. First teeth, first steps, first day at school, having pals to turn to through the good and the bad can help you make the most of the journey that we call motherhood.
For your baby, meeting others little ones at the same development level also has its advantages. While interaction with any age group will have its benefits, growing alongside peers can help as they learn and play together. Potentially the baby’s that lie next to each other on a mat in baby class may go on to playgroup, pre-school or even school together. Reaching those milestones with someone by their side whom they know well and can look to for support, will help as they transition through the stages.
2) Friendship Modelling
Children learn from what we do, just as much as what we say. If from day one our children are able to see us interacting in a positive way with our peers it helps them to do the same. Obviously, this is a learning process. Children go through natural stages when interacting with other people and as ego centric little creatures they can seem to be very self-centred. They don’t always understand the rules of play but this is all natural. Whether or not they eventually learn how to form significant connections with their peers will depend a lot on what they witness.
A baby class is the perfect opportunity to regularly meet with mums and build bonds that will extend beyond the class. As your babies grow you will give them the opportunity to understand the etiquette and the value of real friendships at exactly the same time as they are exploring their own.
3) Building a support network
Some people are lucky enough to be surrounded by family falling over them-selves to help out with childcare, errands and anything else you might need for the next 18 years. Other people are not so lucky. It’s also worth noting that even those who have a supportive family network don’t always feel right asking or relying on family members or may worry that their parenting strategies are at odds with their own.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, building a bigger network of mums who will be there for you when you need it can be invaluable. Whether it’s helping each other with childcare, doing the school run with your eldest child while your house bound with a poorly sibling or picking up something you need from the shop… the list of ways you can be supported is endless.
These small acts of kindness can make the world of difference when you’re at your wits end and the friends that you meet through your baby group will be more willing than most to help you out; why? Because they understand exactly what you are going through and they know that if they ask for your help, you will be there for them as well.
Your children will benefit in many ways from this support, including the fact that if you and your friends support each other with childcare then they are not meeting a strange babysitter each time, they are going somewhere familiar with people they have known since birth. In the absence of a village (in most cases) to help you raise your little ones, your mummy friends can really help fill that gap and make the job of parenting so much easier and more enjoyable.
Make friends with Tots Play
At Tots Play we really understand the importance of having a support network of mummy friends, and our small class sizes and personal approach are designed to help facilitate these friendships. Our Baby Development course classes (suitable from birth) are restricted to just 10 families to ensure everyone has the chance to get to know each other over the course of the six weeks, and many of our groups continue their journey together through our Discovery, Social and Action Tots classes.
The Tots Play programme incorporates activities of five baby classes in one; sensory, baby massage, baby yoga, baby sign and physical play, all mixed with music. This combination of experiences makes it a unique experience that supports your baby’s development as well as your blossoming friendships. We have classes all over the country, so why not come and join us soon? Click HERE to find your nearest sessions.
No classes near you yet? Perhaps you could be the one to bring them to your local area. Find out how to start your own rewarding, family friendly, business running Tots Play sessions through our Franchise Programme HERE.
Whatever you are up to, and whoever you are with this week, happy playing!
Click HERE to Subscribe to our Blog for regular updates and activity ideas.
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If you have been thinking about joining us as a franchisee, one of the things you may be wondering about is how we train you to deliver all the different elements of the Tots Play programme.
There is a lot to learn, not only about how to lead classes but also how to launch and run and business, but there's no need to worry as our training programme takes you step by step through all this and more.
When you join us you have access straight away to our online training portal, which has a range of modules for you to work though in your own time. When you are ready, you would then come along to the training facility at our head office in South Wales for 3 days of hands on, practical training.
The ladies in the picture above have just completed their practical training and were kind enough to let me follow them round with my camera so you could get a glimpse of what they got up to! (notice they are still smiling having completed it all, so I don't think they minded too much!)
Fun with the Theory.
In order to be able to run classes effectively and be confident in helping to support the development of children attending them, it is important for our franchisees to have a good understanding of why we do all the different activities in the programme and what the benefits of these are.
At Tots Play we, of course, believe that learning should be fun, so our trainees are invited to test their knowledge of the previous training they have done online, plus engage in a little friendly competition, with an interactive quiz to get our training underway. I can tell you that this was closely fought with the lead changing several times along the way but all agreed was a great way to reinforce their learning and gave them a boost of confidence that they already knew more than they thought they did!
In between quiz questions we talked more about the different elements of the programme. Here we are looking at some examples of what might be included in the sensory play section of our sessions.
Lunch Break!
We like to make sure all our trainees are well looked after while they are with us, so lunch and refreshments are all provided. Breaks are a great chance for our new franchisees and class leaders to chat and get to know each other too. While there is lots of support and friendships developed across our nationwide network of franchisees, there is always a special bond formed between those who train together and embark on their journey of business ownership around the same time. A bit like those first mummy friends you seek out after having a baby - they "get it" because they are going through "it" too.
Getting Hands On.
It was then time to put all that theory into practice and break down each section of a class in order for our trainees to learn how to deliver them. Using the same demonstration dolls as we do at classes (for the baby age range) we worked through leading the different elements of the programme including massage, yoga, sign language and sensory play activities.
Having each person take a turn at the front of the "class" of other trainees starts to get them into the mindset of leading a class, not just learning individual activities, and it is fantastic to see them grow into this role during the course of the training.
Above -Practising being at the front of the class.
Below - Getting hands on with some baby massage.
Having fun exploring what sensory play is all about.
Practice Class (with real live babies!)
Day two of the training is where all that learning and practice comes together and our trainees have the opportunity to deliver a session to a group of specially invited parents and babies.
This is the bit that everyone worries about, but once they get going they always find that it is easier to relax and enjoy the class as a leader when you have people to interact with and babies to coo over, (the dolls are great for our practices, but you don't get many smiles or looks of wonder back from them!) and that before they know it the class is over and they are asking to do it again!
Here they are in action, leading some of the class activities;
And here are a couple of their comments once the class was complete:
"I enjoyed doing the class with the babies I think it was good not only for getting us to run the class but also for us to see how everything translates in real life with distracted babies and how parents react to you."
"I really enjoyed getting to be part of a real session with real babies! I think this has really helped give me context and understanding in the areas I need to focus on when practising before leading classes."
So not so scary after all!
Learning the Business Skills
Now that our trainees are more confident with how to lead our classes (with a bit more practice planned when they get home), the final day of training is all about understanding how to translate that into creating a successful and rewarding business.
It's another busy day as we cover everything from finding venues to finding customers, accounts to social media, brand guidelines to customer service and lots more.
We also talk a little about the emotional journey of being a business owner, which is a crucial but sometimes overlooked element of running a successful business, and offer some tips for getting the most from this new role.
Practical Training Complete!
After a jam packed three days our trainees were presented with a certificate to mark their achievements, and collected their equipment pack and go back to their local areas to put the plans for launching their new businesses into action.
Collecting their certificates.
Equipment kits ready to be taken to their new homes.
Getting Ready to Launch!
Completing this part of the training is, of course, a crucial part of our franchisee's preparations for launching their new business, but it is really just the start of the journey. The key now is to take action on everything that has been learned as they work towards those first classes and beyond.
The aim of these three days is for our franchisees come away from the training knowing what they need to do from here to first of all get their business up and running and then set about reaching the personal goals they have for it.
Here's what a couple of our newly trained franchisees had to say afterwards;
"I found the practical training positive, welcoming, informative and organised. It covered the important parts of the Tots play programme and importantly signposted other areas where support/information may be needed in the future. I think it was very supportive to have a group training together. It is an environment that encourages and believes, this is very different to previous environments I have been a part."
Lizzie, franchisee for Urmston and Eccles
"I really enjoyed the practical training it helped to put everything together in my head and made everything feel much more logical.
I definitely feel more equipped and prepared now to do what I need to do."
Hayley, franchisee for Ellesmere Port and Chester North
Beyond the Initial Training
Of course, the practical training is not the end of the story and our new franchisees are not left to figure out the next steps alone. They continue to receive support and guidance in various ways throughout their time with us, but in particular during those weeks leading up to launching their business, which is a busy but exciting time.
Here's what some of our franchisees from previous training courses shared with us following the launch of their first classes;
"So I'm all launched! It was fantastic, I had so much fun and I think the mums all did too. Lots of good feed back! This morning totally didn't feel like work. I can't wait to do it all again next week!"
Jodie, franchisee for Walsall
"Hey everyone! I'm done! It was great! I was nervous, especially when only one person had turned up for Discovery Tots with 5 mins to go!!! But they all flooded in at the last minute! It all worked out fine and I had lots of good feedback. It was great to finally put all the training in to practice, I really enjoyed it and looking forward to seeing some of the Mums again next week."
Shelley, franchisee for Portsmouth North
Join Us at our Next Training
As you can hopefully see from this small snapshot, the training you receive when joining us as a franchisee is both thorough, interactive and fun, and designed to take you step by step through everything you need to know and do in order to feel confident to launch and run your new business.
You don't need to have any particular prior experience or qualifications to join us, we are much more interested in the personal qualities you would bring to the role and whether or not you have a willingness to learn, to take action and to face new challenges head on.
If that sounds like you and you would like to join our friendly, supportive team and take part in our next franchisee training course, then you take the first step by leaning more about our franchise programme HERE.
At Tots Play, playing is serious business, but we also don't like take ourselves too seriously! Here are one of our previous groups of trainees "relaxing" after a busy day of learning...
Come and join in the fun soon. We can't wait to welcome you!
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10 years! Starting a business is not unlike having a baby. It needs lots of your time, lots of patience and lots of nurturing. You try your best but constantly wonder if you are doing the 'right things'. It brings equal measures of joy and frustrations, but one 'smile' or bit of progress and it's all worthwhile. It also starts off as this tiny thing, then you blink and suddenly your 'baby' has got all grown up while you weren't looking!
Top picture from one of my early classes. Bottom picture from our most recent franchise conference.
All of those things could describe the journey I have had with Tots Play so far, and while I can't say it's all been plain sailing (where would the fun be in that!)
it has given me some amazing experiences and allowed me to meet many, many wonderful people.
There have been lots and lots of highlights along the way, far too many to mention here, but none of it would have been possible without people like you being willing to take a chance on trying out a new activity for your little one, or our fabulous franchisees taking the plunge into business ownership. So, as one of those people (as the saying goes) without whom none of this would have been possible, I thought you might enjoy a snapshot of some of the key points on the journey up to now.
How Tots Play Came About
Although 2009 is when Tots Play launched, it's not the start of the story. I first ventured into the pre-school classes industry 5 years earlier when my daughter was a baby. I bought a music class franchise to allow me the flexibility to work but still be there for her, and started up a few sessions in my local area. That was great and the business did well, but I was interested in doing so much more than music with my baby. I wanted to know how to massage her, what baby yoga was all about, how sign language could help me to communicate with her better, and what other activities there were that we could enjoy together. In short, I wanted to be the best parent I could be, as I'm sure you do too.
At the time, there wasn't anything like the range of classes and organised activities for little ones that there are now, and certainly nothing that combined all the things I was interested in, so I had to learn and do much of it for myself, and was constantly seeking out books, people and courses to help me.
Selling my first business due to a house move gave me the chance to use all the experience I had gained running classes for babies and toddlers and combine it with everything I had learned on my parenting journey to create the kind of class I had wanted for myself but that didn't exist when my daughter was a baby - and so Tots Play was born.
2009 - Tots Play Launches
The very first classes were in early March. There were just two age groups, Discovery Tots for babies and Action Tots for toddlers. Though the basis of today's programme was there, classes have evolved and developed a huge amount over the years and in these early days I was still very much trying out different things to see what worked the best. Here are a few pictures of those early classes - as you can see I didn't even have a Tots Play top!
(I was lucky enough to have amazing photographer Maria Farelly bringing her son to classes at that time and she agreed to take these fantastic pictures for me; that's her son in the bottom picture - still super grateful, thanks Maria)
2010 - Baby Development Course and Social Tots Introduced
Classes started to expand quite quickly after the first few months, which was fantastic, but it soon became clear that there was a bit of gap between the activities we were doing in Discovery Tots and those in Action Tots, and that we needed something for those babies who were mobile but not yet ready for the more advanced physical activities we were doing with our toddlers and pre-schoolers, and so Social Tots was introduced to fill that gap. I later changed the format a little and combined Social Tots with some of Action Tots, and Action Tots stopped for a while.
Some of our Social Tots enjoying some musical fun.
Another issue we found was that some of our parents had just a short period of maternity leave and were only able to attend classes for a limited time. What seemed to be needed was something of a toolbox of techniques and activities that these parents could learn and then carry on at home with their baby so they didn't feel they were missing out. I also wanted to be able to enable people to learn some simple massage techniques without having to do this as a separate course, and thus came up with the idea of a short course which would be focused on meeting those needs.
I called this Baby Development and the first courses I advertised sold out within days. This was a turning point for the business and I could see the positive impact it was having on the families who attended the courses too. It remains one of the most popular aspects of Tots Play, and has become much more than a course for those short on time, but a valuable introduction to everything that Tots Play is about and a place where many long-term friendships have begun.
Some of our Baby Development babies and mummies from a course in those early years.
2011 - The First Pilot Franchise Launched
By 2011, it was becoming clear that what Tots Play offered was something that people wanted and it was time to grow the business beyond just me. I didn't really want to simply take on teachers to run more classes, instead I was looking to share my experience of developing a business that worked around my family and offer the opportunity to run Tots Play as their own business to others looking for a similar solution. I started to consider franchising.
At this point I didn't even know if the business would work for someone else, so I needed someone to test the model, and our very first franchisee, Emma, agreed to give it a try! I didn't take the traditional route of having everything set up and in place beforehand; we worked out together what was needed for someone else to be able to run the programme, and the business, step-by-step, and if it hadn't been for Emma's patience and enthusiasm through that process, it might never have happened at all, so thank you, Emma.
In case you are wondering, Emma moved on from the business a few years later for personal reasons, but we are very much still in touch and her original area is still up and running today.
Emma and I at a Tots Play event.
2012 - Franchise Programme is Officially Launched
In 2012, I was still running classes four days a week but ready to offer the franchise more widely. We started slowly, but took on three more franchisees that year and started to expand outside of Wales. I was also a finalist in the What's On 4 Kids awards, which was also in its early days then.
Visiting one of our franchisees as she sets up for classes.
2013 -Tots Play Starts to Expand Across the Country
I remember this year as being a juggling act as I continued to run my own classes alongside developing the franchise side of the business, but by the end of that year, we had nine franchisees and Tots Play had expanded to the Midlands, the North West and the South East.
Franchisees Lynn and Jo at their training course in 2013.
Some of our Tots enjoying porridge play.
2014 - Our 5th Anniversary, My Last Regular Classes and Our First Conference!
By the Spring of this year, we were celebrating Tots Play's 5th birthday, but I knew that something was going to have to give. I couldn't continue to grow the franchising side of the business and run classes as I had been doing if I wanted to be able to do either of those things well. I made what was a really tough decision to give up running regular classes, which I still loved doing, to focus on the growth of the wider business. I was lucky enough to find two amazing women to take over the areas in which I had been running sessions, and both are still with us and providing a fantastic service today.
Our 5th Birthday Party!
November of that year also saw our very first franchisee conference. I was so nervous as I had never put together or led a conference of any kind before (very different to being in a room full of babies and toddlers!), but everyone was gentle with me and we had a great day discussing all things Tots Play.
Our first conference - Totsy and his brothers were a little naughty!
2015 - The Franchise Continues to Grow and the Programme Develops
Word was starting to get out and we continued to attract new customers and new franchisees throughout 2015. I was also keen to keep the programme itself fresh and up to date and after completing some further training, introduced the popular story massage element to our classes. By our second conference towards the end of the year, we had over 20 franchisees join us for the day.
Class time fun with franchisee, Kate.
Some of our Midlands franchisees, spreading the word at a baby event.
2016 Biggest Expansion Yet and Extra Support for our Franchisees
This was another incredibly busy year which saw our biggest expansion to date, taking on 16 new franchisees over the 12 months.
I needed more help to make sure that everyone was able to get the best out of their business and our programme and Amy, our franchise support manager, joined us after bringing her own children to classes. She is now the first port of call for all the support our franchisees need, big or small, and has been instrumental in helping many of them develop a business that's right for them (which is what our franchise programme is all about).
Amy delivering training at our conference.
2017 - First Classes Launched in Scotland and New Programmes Introduced
Being married to a Scotsman, it was lovely to be able to expand Tots Play into Scotland this year with not one but two fabulous ladies launching classes north of the border.
Clare launched our first classes in Scotland.
Our franchisees had also started asking both for a programme that they could take into nursery settings and also something for the children who were outgrowing Social Tots classes, but were not yet off to school.
Around the same time, I was approached by Karen from Strider Bikes UK, suggesting incorporating their fantastic balance bikes into our classes. Going back to some of the activities our older Tots used to love at our original Action Tots classes (which we had moved away from over the years), and combining these with the skills needed for learning to ride a bike that I was introduced to by Strider, I developed brand new classes for the pre-school age group, bringing back the name Action Tots to the Tots Play programme. These classes are designed to offer a new challenge for older toddlers and pre-schoolers and provide an extra element for our franchisees to add to their businesses. The first all-new Action Tots classes launched during that year, and are now offered at many of our locations across the UK.
One of the first of our 'new' Action Tots.
Some of our franchisees training to deliver Action Tots classes.
2018 - A New Website, A New Office and a National Award
Technology doesn't stand still does it, and by the start of 2018, it was time to give our website an update and a brand new look. We also had new videos produced showing more of what goes on at our classes to help those thinking about joining us to choose a class that's just right for them.
Filming for our promotional videos.
With expansion not slowing down, we really needed some more help. My home office (which was once upon a time a dining room!) was no longer enough and we took on our first outside office and a new member of staff to help with operations and marketing. We were lucky enough to find office space with access to a fantastic conference room, which we now use for training and open days for new franchisees.
The other highlight of this year was Tots Play winning our first national award. The What's On 4 Kids Award for Best Franchised Baby and Toddler Activity. Having been a finalist or runner up for several awards we have entered over the years, it was nice to finally win one - and I must credit our franchisees with working as a team to achieve this, and, of course, thank everyone who supported us.
Collecting our award.
2019 - New Social Tots Programme Launched and Our 10th Anniversary!
Never wanting to stand still, and passionate about always providing the best service I can for both our franchisees and the families who attend classes with us, we responded to feedback and made some changes to our Social Tots classes this year. New songs and activities have been added while keeping many favourites, and a new structure introduced to help our Tots get even more out of their sessions. Feedback so far has been hugely positive, which hopefully means that even more fun is being had by all!
Some of our Social Tots enjoying the exploratory play section of the class.
And that brings us to our 10th Anniversary, a chance to both look back to see how things started and how they have evolved over those years, (it's been a busy few years - I might need a lie down!), celebrate everything that has been achieved by all those involved, in whatever way, and look forward to what the future might hold.
What's Next for Tots Play?
We have come a long way in ten years, but have only just scratched the surface of what I would like to achieve with and through the business. My passion is not growth for growth's sake (although I would love to see Tots Play expand to many more areas), but for making a difference, however small, to the lives of the people in communities we serve around the country and, maybe one day, around the world.
Whether it's the warm welcome received at one of our classes that brightens the day of an overwhelmed, sleep-deprived new mum, or the chance to achieve a work/life balance in a role that still allows full use of their skills for someone joining our franchise programme, sometimes those small things can make a big difference - and to feel I may have had a part in that is what keeps, and will continue to keep me striving to bring my best every day.
Is Tots Play still my baby? Absolutely. As our children grow, the challenges of parenthood don't stop, they just change, and a business is no different. Both parenthood and entrepreneurship are also journeys that teach you a lot about yourself and I am grateful for everything I have learned along the way to get me to this point.
My business baby now needs me in different ways than it did ten years ago, just like my daughter does, and there are also many more people involved in raising both than there were at the start. That can only be a good thing, as each of those people bring something extra to the party, and they do say it takes a village! Hopefully our village will continue to grow and be a great place to be for many more years to come!
Be Part of the Story
Would you like to be part of the story of the next 10 years of Tots Play and beyond? We have made a great start, but would love to bring the fun and benefits of the Tots Play programme to many more families and to do that, we need many more great leaders for our classes. If you think you have what it takes and would like to run your own family-friendly business delivering Tots Play in your area, then why not find out more about our franchise programme and help us spread the message even further. Simply like to join us at a class? We would love to welcome you. Find a class near you HERE.
Tots, Then and Now
It just remains for me to say another huge thank you to everyone who has been involved with Tots Play over the last 10 years. Whether you have been to one class or many, helped us spread the word or supported us in any way, or have simply taken the time to read this blog, it is so, so appreciated. A special word of thanks to our fabulous franchisees who took a chance both on me and on themselves and who I know make you smile every day with their commitment to providing a fantastic experience for you at classes.
Let me leave you with some pictures of a few of our former Tots - from their time at classes with us, and how they look now! I absolutely love these. Thanks to everyone who sent them in.
Here's to many more years of play time fun!
Helen xxx
(founder of Tots Play)
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As we have mentioned in other blog posts and of course talk about during Tots Play classes, massaging your baby can have benefits for many of the systems of the body, and is an activity suitable to enjoy with your baby right from birth.
For babies who are premature or where there are special needs or circumstances following the birth these benefits can be even more crucial to baby’s wellbeing and development.
Michelle, who runs Tots Play classes in the Basingstoke area tells us about her experience of using massage with her sons.
“Within 24 hours of my second son, Charlie, being born we were told that he may have Hirschsprungs disease, and a week later a biopsy confirmed this diagnosis. Hirschsprungs is a rare condition that affects the bowel. It meant that the end section of his bowel did not have any nerve endings in it, which resulted in stools being stuck in that section of the bowel and a blockage being formed.
Charlie at less than an hour old.
In order for us to be discharged from the hospital my husband and I had to learn how to do washouts on my son, since he could not pass stools himself, and so we were sent home with lots of equipment for us to do a washout on him every evening. It was not known how much of the bowel was affected, but once he was operated on at 12 weeks old we found that luckily it had only been 10% and he had the last 20cm of his bowel removed in what is known as a “pull-through” operation.
After his operation, I naively assumed everything would be working perfectly and he would be able to empty his bowels himself – however this was not the case. He still seemed to have stomach aches and only had a sporadic soiled nappy. I had done a baby massage course with my first son, and remembered using tummy massage to help him when he was constipated, and at the time of Charlie’s operation I had just joined Tots Play as a franchisee, and so was learning all about massage again.
I decided to give it a go, and introduced it into our daily routine - focusing on stomach massage as this was where he needed the relief. I performed the colic routine on him and lo and behold it really worked!
Nothing happened straight away with regards to passing stools, although I could tell that he was getting some relief from the strokes and he even passed wind a few times when I pushed his knees in towards his tummy. I left it and got him dressed and within the hour he had opened his bowels! I never thought I would be so happy to see a dirty nappy, but as my child hadn’t been able to produce one for the first 3 months of his life, this was a huge relief for me! I knew there was still a long way to go but this gave me hope.
The Water Wheel massage stroke - Using the flat of your hand stroke downwards from beneath the rib cage to the top of the legs. One hand and then the other in a rhythmic motion.
Massage became a regular part of our routine and I would perform the strokes at least twice a day, sometimes more if I felt he was in pain or needed it. I felt that as well as helping with his constipation it also acted as a bonding experience between the two of us, and it became more relaxed as Charlie got used to the idea that mummy was massaging his tummy to help relieve his pain. However, it soon got to the point where he would only pass stools whilst I was pushing his knees in towards his tummy, after I had performed the water wheel or the clockwise circle and square massage strokes. I remember going to see his surgeon during this time and he couldn’t believe the effect that massage was having on Charlie’s bowels, he described it as “interesting”! (I however thought it was interesting that he didn’t recommend more patients to try it, since it had obviously worked so well for us!)
When Charlie was 8 months old he was put on medication which helped to stimulate his bowels and pass stools. After a few weeks he tended to not need the massage as regularly to help him with his constipation, as the medication would help with his bowel movements. However, to this day, I still continue to use massage on his stomach when I feel he needs it, for instance if he seems to have a stomach ache, or some trapped wind, and I find that the majority of times massage can help to alleviate these problems.
Although Charlie’s journey is very different to the majority of babies, as I mentioned earlier, I also have an older son - who doesn’t have Charlie’s condition - who I also used baby massage on.
I didn’t use it as often as I did on Charlie, and now that he’s nearly 3 he hardly sits still for long enough to have a massage! But, I used it effectively on him when he was smaller to relieve colicky symptoms, trapped wind and help when he had constipation. In fact, only the other day, I found that I was performing a stomach massage on him because he was constipated and hadn’t had a soiled nappy for 2 days. Lo and behold, within an hour of performing the routine he had done his business!!
My two boys today
I believe that baby massage, specifically stomach massage, can have great effects on the digestive system. I’m so glad that I have learned these techniques and that I am now able to teach other parents - on the Tots Play Baby Development Courses that I run - how to perform them so that they too can benefit from the great results I have experienced with both of my children.” Michelle xx
To learn more about the benefits of massage and a simple routine to use with your little one, come and join us at classes, or you can learn at home with our Online Baby Play and Development course HERE. The course also introduces you to baby yoga, calming techniques, tummy time play, sign language and sensory play, with video tutorials and music to download so you can follow along easily with all of the activities.
Please do share your experience of sharing massage with your children with us on our Facebook Page too.
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A warm welcome to our latest blog updating you on all things Tots Play! We love the start of a new year as it brings along new beginnings and many more of you to welcome to our classes. Something that always makes us smile, even through the freezing weather we've had recently!!
Weather and class updatesOn the topic of this freezing weather, a quick reminder that any changes to classes because of the weather will be posted on the individual Tots Play page for your area; keep an eye on them for regular updates and if unsure, please contact the class leader. We always want to deliver classes to you, but will always put the safety of you and your little ones first. Don’t forget, if you are lucky enough to have some snow, why not build a Totsy snowman and post the pictures for us to see on your local page!
New Classes
As always, our franchisees don’t like to sit still - they love to bring you more classes and variety. This month we have: a new Wednesday Discovery Tots class with Sarah in Ashby and South Derbyshire; a third venue launched in Hatfield, Doncaster with Clare Wimble; a new Monday afternoon venue at Hilton hotel in Cumbernauld; an additional Thursday afternoon Social Tots class in Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth ( Clare Kerr has certainly been busy!); and new venues for Lisa in the Empress Studio and The Ark Methodist Church, both in Colchester. Tamsin will be joining Tracey in delivering her own classes for Tots Play Chesterfield from this month. Have a look on our website for classes in your area so you can join in all of the fun too!
Action Tots
Action Tots is one of the newer parts of our programme for children aged 2-4 years old. If your pre-schooler loves being active, having fun and learning new skills, and would like to work towards the exciting milestone of riding a bike, then Action Tots is the place to be! Each 45 minute class includes a number of activities based around 4 skill stations:
Body - working on co-ordination, strength and gross motor skillsBrain - helping to develop focus, concentration and fine motor skillsBalance - the key skill for all types of movement, especially learning to ride a bikeBikes - exploring, handling and gaining the skills and confidence to start to ride our balance bikes
All that, with songs, games, stretches, parachute play and bubbles to ensure lots of fun - as well as learning!
We have Action Tots available in locations across the country with new locations this term in Torquay with Jenny, Bexleyheath and Dartford with Nicola, Colchester with Lisa and Wolverhampton with Cathryn.
I did warn you that our Franchisees like to be busy! That’s a lot of new classes!!
New and Improved Social Tots Classes
If you have been coming along to our Social Tots classes, you will have noticed a few changes to the programme. We love to listen to the input both from you and our franchisees, and in response to these suggestions, we have made a few tweaks. All your favourite activities are still there but we have added in some new elements, along with new songs, yoga poses, sign language games and sensory play topics for your little one and you to enjoy. The feedback has been great! You seem to be loving the new changes and have been fabulous with all of our franchisees, embracing the new programme and joining right in. What else would we expect from you, we have the best Tots and grown-ups at our classes! Look out for more on what you can expect from a Social Tots class in a future blog post, coming soon.
Featured blog of the monthLet's face it, being a parent can be a hard and lonely job at times. It is so important to build your own tribe of people that you can chat to, have some fun play dates with or with whom you can go to a class so it isn’t as scary as when you walk in on your own! I don’t think we trust ourselves enough with our instincts and realise how well we are doing raising our little humans.
So... 'high five' to all of you parents out there getting through each day! Have a read of our recent blog all about how to enjoy being a parent, and check out a class near you, it might be the place you meet your tribe. Click here for the blog.
This month our Tots have been loving ….. Colours!We could all do with a bit more colour surrounding us at this time of year so I am on board with the little ones this month. Colour is so powerful in uplifting our mood but is also great for developing and stimulating our senses, our emotional well-being, productivity, learning and behaviour.
Colour is one of the most noticeable attributes of the world around us. For babies and small children, understanding colour is an essential building block they will use for learning in all areas of their life. Colour recognition can provide children with essential learning tools in life. For example, in mathematics, colour recognition is used to categorise, sort, compare and organise. Additionally, as children learn to identify colours and use colour as a language tool to describe things, it develops and strengthens their ability to communicate effectively. On top of that, children will learn to use colour as a visual cue to identify danger (red), and distinguish hot from cold.
What you tell us
We always love to hear your feedback about Tots Play and our classes, it makes us all warm and fuzzy when we can make a difference, see you smile and help you in your journey as a parent.
This month, we would like to say a thank you to Ashleigh Mathieson who gave Clare up in Kilsyth, Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld a 5* review:
"I cannot recommend Tots Play enough!! Absolutely amazing class! My daughter and I have been attending since she was a few months old at the Baby Development course through to Discovery Tots and she’s now moving on to Social Tots! Tots Play has definitely helped her immensely with all aspects of development! Clare is really amazing and gives 110% at every class!"
Capturing the Fun!
We love to share our favourite pictures of our Tots, but it's always a tough job narrowing them down from all of the gorgeous tots that attend our classes.
We couldn't resist this one from Joanne in Oldham and Saddleworthas the pure joy on his little face is simply perfection.
There is still time to sign up to a Tots Play class in your area, so why not beat those winter blues with a place in one of our Tots Play classes.
Click HERE to find your nearest classes and get your booking in now to join in with all of the fun.
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