The benefits of sensory play and social interaction for babies are well documented. No wonder there are heaps of baby activity options all around! We’ve made a list of some of our favourites. Go on, Mama, choose one and help your little munchkin grow.
Toptots is a series of mother and child workshops that look at all the aspects of a child’s development, from fine motor to gross motor skills and everything in between. Toptots empowers mothers with the necessary skills and knowledge to establish those important early childhood development building blocks. This play-based programme creates a space for little ones to strengthen their muscles, develop body awareness, improve coordination, enhance emotional well-being, develop focus and stimulate language development.
Toptots offers age appropriate classes classes for babies from eight weeks to four years old. Class timetables are available on the Toptots website.
Details: Toptots Faerie Glen, 66a Olympus Drive, Faerie Glen / 082 906 5548 / https://www.toptots.co.za
Kindermusik is a music and movement programme that does much more than bring babies and children a sense of musical joy – it helps their brain cells make the connections needed for virtually every kind of intelligence. Kindermusik music classes can help your baby develop early literacy, math and social-emotional skills, not to mention music and laughter appreciation!
Kindermusik has three baby-stage programmes: Kindermusik Village is for 0 to 18-month-olds and geared towards lap babies, crawlers and little walkers; Kindermusik Sing and Play is for one- and two-year-olds and brimming with high-energy movement activities; Kindermusik Cuddle and Bounce is the newest Kindermusik curriculum and geared towards babies from birth to 12 months. Classes are held all over the city, so check out their website for a list of certified instructors and class locations.
Details: 083 462 6178 / http://www.kindermusik.co.za/
Baby, or infant, massage is a widespread practice. Babies benefit greatly from massage as it improves blood circulation, digestion, muscle tone and body awareness. Baby massage can also help improve sleep patterns, reduce colic symptoms and instill a sense of calm and acceptance within babies. It is also a wonderful means to strengthen the communication and bond between babies and their caregivers.
A typical baby massage course is presented over five weeks in 60-minute sessions. Sessions are held weekly to allow parents to learn all the strokes but also to allow baby time to get used to the massage and prevent over-stimulation. Infant massage courses are presented as group classes or can be arranged as private home consultations.
During infant massage classes, you can expect the instructor to guide you on the correct pressure, rhythm, rate, respect, length of a massage, eye contact and bonding with your baby during a massage. The instructor will also guide parents on how to tune into their baby’s cues and how to read the baby’s body language to make sure that the massage is an affectionate and relaxing experience.
Details: For a list of internationally certified instructors in the Pretoria area and their contact details go to http://www.iaimsa.co.za/Instructors.aspx
Bub Hub Pretoria
Bub Hub is a unique studio concept revolutionising the world of mom and baby classes and aims to create a space where mom tribes gather. The Bub Hub community is a one-stop-shop for all things pregnancy, baby classes and postnatal fitness.
Classes include Preggy and Postnatal Yoga, Preggy Pilates, Antenatal Workshops, Baby Massage, Baby Rock Milestone, We Can Talk Baby Signing, Baby Gym, Music Box, Saving Little Lives CPR & First Aid and a range of talks and workshops on a regular basis.
Details: The Village Centre, Wekker Street, Moreleta Park / 082 288 0910 / http://www.thebubhub.co.za/
Karyna Le Roux Kinderkinetics
Kinderkinetics is a scientifically researched movement-based programme that aims to optimally development each unique child. Kinderkinetics can be utilised as a therapeutic, preventative or improvement practice.
Karyna Le Roux Kinderkinetics offers a weekly Baby Stimulation class. During these classes moms are equipped with knowledge of types interactive play that promote sensory and motor development in infants. Baby massage forms part of this course. These classes are also a great place to meet and mingle with other like-minded mommies.
Details: 1405 Starkey Avenue, Waverley / 076 733 9349 / https://www.karynakinetika.com/
Aquatic Kids Swim School
Aquatic Kids Swim School offers swimming lessons to babies from the age of six months. Baby swimming classes are a safe and fun way to introduce your child to swimming and water safety, as well as a wonderful bonding activity.
Classes are presented twice a week for 30 minutes with a maximum of eight babies per class. Aquatic Kids has a heated indoor pool and ample changing facilities.
Details: Moreleta Park / 083 952 2905 / https://www.aquatickids.co.za/
By Jana van der Linde
Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or pediatrician for advice before engaging your child in any activities or if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child.