One of our friends Annelieze Freerange Childcare Crus, has been visiting local baby groups. This is what she found-
Monday- Today I went to the one by Emmanuel Church Playgroup and it was really nice. Its on a Monday 9.30 – 11.30. On arrival you sign in and pay £1.50. There are 4 areas your child can explore: Outside when weather permits they have some ride on toys, there is then a craft and playdough activity area where they do a craft activity each week and children can join in as and when they like during the session. Next there is a large area for babies with lots of toys for babies to explore. Then there is in the large hall lots of toys set up for the older children with a small slide, train tracks, cars and various other toys. You can arrive any time from 9.30 and then at 10.50 everyone take part in a big clear up where everything gets tidied away. They then bring a trolley with snacks for the little once (today was some grapes, cheese, rice cake and bread stick. After everyone had their snacks we all then sing some lovely nursery rhymes. All and all lets say Sawyer had a smashing time 😉
Tuesday– I went to the Up Hatherley Baby Bounce and Rhyme. It started at 10.15 and there was no charge to join in. We all sat in a large circle and I would say its ideal from new borne until about 24 months. They do do a toddler one on a xxx at 2.15. The lovely lady who ran the group was very friendly and went round the room introducing all the babies. We sang the hallo song followed by lots of different nursery rhymes whilst she sometimes moved around with puppets for the babies to touch and feel and interact with. The class finished at 10.45 and it was a lovely friendly group that both me and my son enjoyed.
Wednesday-Someone recommended St Phillips and St James Church drop in group. Its important to note that there is one in Leckhampton and in Up Hatherley. My satnav took me to the one in Leckhampton which was the wrong one. I was not the only parent that turned up there either. At the church we were then told about another group which she felt was closer and nice to go to, St Christophers Church in Hatherley. It starts at 9.15 so when we got there it had already started. When you park in the car park its not obvious where you need to enter so I went to the hall door which was locked with 2 door bells which I pressed but no answer. I could hear people so I walked round and saw through the hall window it was set up with toys and an older lady. I knocked on the window and she came round to see me. She was friendly but explained I had to go through the church doors (which I did not see when I arrived). Entering the church everyone was sat in a circle singing. When they were done with the singing they finished of by saying a prayer and giving a donation which runs down a little pipe to make it more fun for the kids. We then went through to the hall where there was a nice amount of toys, some chocolate chip biscuits and tea and coffee for the adults.
If you would like to share your experiences of local groups and places to go, please get in touch- firstname.lastname@example.org