Archive for February 2014

Lynx Gymnastics Centre - Review

Friday, 21 February 2014

Met up with some of my Mummy friends today to try Lynx Gymnastics Centre in Aylesbury. They offer a playgym for the under 5s most days of the week.

Little did I know that there was this little gem just a couple of minutes around the corner from where we live! Brilliant! As I was running a bit late due to a last-minute nappy change incident, I did drive to the Gym on this occasion, but there really isn't any excuse for not walking (and therefore saving money on petrol) as it's so close.

The gym is fitted with lots of soft play equipment as well as a swing, trampolines, an inflatable slide and more. Great for little ones to burn off some energy.

Even for Baby A and her friends that are all bar one classed as crawlers, there was enough for them to try out. Baby A certainly kept me busy as she wanted me to support her hands as she walked around the large hall!

Normally she loves being bounced around but she really wasn't very sure of the trampoline at first. It was definitely a different sensation for her. It took us going back to it a couple of times and then she gained her confidence on the springy surface and started crawling around on it.

Her favourite was definitely the swing which is suspended quite high up in the room. I made sure she had a few goes on this!

There were even a few action songs played in the middle of the session which I wasn't expecting, but provided a nice chance to sit down with Baby A for a few minutes before we were off again for another circuit of the Gym!

Lots of places are very 'Mum' orientated but this environment really suits both Mums and Dads, so I think this will be a great place for my partner to take Baby A on the days he's going to look after her when I start working. It's also good that you don't need to book in advance, they're just drop-in sessions so it can be a last-minute decision to take Baby A there, no pre-planning needed!

It's location means we'll definitely be visiting the Gym again soon and definitely before Baby A starts walking independently as it's £2 cheaper whilst she's still a crawler!!

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Taster class - Jo Jingles

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Today Baby A and I took advantage of a free taster session of Jo Jingles taking place at Aylesbury Library. It really is worth keeping an eye out for free events at the library. From a previous blog, you'll know we sometimes go to the Bounce & Rhyme sessions and as Baby A gets older, I'm sure we'll be going to some of the story and craft sessions that they regularly have. We also always get a few books out whilst we are there! Most of the events can be found on the Aylesbury Libraries Facebook page.

Anyway, I've digressed a bit. The reason we were there today was for this taster of Jo Jingles which combines music, singing and movement. There was a real mixture of ages for this taster so the class had to be geared somewhere in the middle. Their actual classes are specifically tailored to different age groups. However, the session leader did really well to engage all the children from the youngest to the oldest.

It started with an introduction to 'Jo Jingles' with a special song. The theme of today's session was transport so all the songs were related to forms of transport. Some were familiar such as 'The Wheels on the Bus' whereas there were lots of new ones too. The train song we sang involved us moving around in a circle and Baby A enjoyed the actions to this one as I swung her about!

The session was a really good mix of songs, either with actions or with instruments. Today we had bells and maracas.

Really enjoyed this taster. Baby A definitely likes being jigged around to music and it was great to see her clapping along a bit. She's getting pretty good at clapping now!

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Valentine's Day Themed Play

Saturday, 15 February 2014

We had a busy day yesterday (Valentine's Day) with a visit from Baby A's Nana and Pop, so we didn't get around to the Valentine's themed play that I'd planned. So instead, we did it today.

Whilst Baby A was taking her nap, I went round the house and collected all the red things that I could find. This is how her play area looked when she got up from her nap.

A list of the red things that I managed to gather together (it's amazing what you can find!):
  • A balloon
  • 2 stacking cups
  • A plastic ball
  • A plastic lid
  • Heart from a shape sorter toy
  • Discovery bottle (see below for contents)
  • Felt tablemat
  • Measuring spoon
  • Red & white drinking straws
  • Soft cube from a set Baby A has in her cotbed
  • Tin with a few different textures in - netting from fruit, sweet wrappers, favour bag, red ribbon left over from Christmas
  • Sensory bowl with plastic hearts, foam letters and bottle lids 

I did actually give Baby A her 'Love' discovery bottle yesterday on Valentine's Day. This contained plastic hearts, cut up straws, parcel bows, buttons and foam letters that spell 'LOVE'.

By just using things that we already had in the house, this activity didn't cost anything to set-up. Bonus!

I really wasn't sure whether Baby A would actually be interested in any of it. She wasn't in the best of moods when she first woke up but I began to move things around in the sensory bowl and make towers out of some of the objects, which started to pique her interest. Then I gave her the balloon and she liked this!

It was actually really interesting that in-between her usual crawling around the room and practicing her walking with her walker, Baby A kept going back to the red pile. She didn't touch any of her other toys all day!!

Here she is getting stuck into the sensory bowl.

Obviously I made sure that I supervised her at all times as there were small objects.

I'm really pleased that I put this together for her. It was great to see her how she interacted with the different things. I'm really surprised by just how engaged it kept her throughout the day.

I'm now trying to think of lots of other themed play ideas and will definitely be trying out some other sensory play with Baby A, so watch this space...


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Lighthouse Toddler Group - Review

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Baby A and I ventured out in the cold and wet today to try the Lighthouse Toddler Group at Walton Hall, next to Holy Trinity Church.

We received such a warm, friendly welcome from the organisers. As it was our first time, they talked through the format of the session and let me know that I'd chosen a good week to visit as there were free cakes today for Mums (usually once a month).

The session is held in a big hall with lots of soft play mats and chairs for the adults. It was a really busy session with children and babies of all ages, from the very tiny upwards. Mostly Mums but good to see a few Dads too!

It all starts with some songs, many with actions. They use a projector to put the words up on the screen so you can join in. Then there is a short story which is based on a different theme each week. This week was 'hands'.

The theme is continued on the craft tables. So this week the kids could make textured pictures with different materials to feel with their hands. Baby A isn't quite up to crafting yet, but a really nice activity for the older ones.

Instead, I enjoyed my free cake whilst Baby A got stuck into the toys that were put out. There were loads of different toys and books. A great selection with something for all ages. Got chatting to one or two other Mums which was nice, so at least they'll be some friendly faces on our next visit. The organisers also made sure to come over and check Baby A and I were ok and chat as it was our first time there.

There is a religious slant to the songs and story, but it's all made really fun for the children.

The group is actually FREE! Amazing considering that you're there for over an hour with activities, toys galore, all the craft materials included plus there are snacks for the children. You can't ask for more!

Overall, a really well run and enjoyable playgroup and we'll definitely be visiting again.

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