Baby Sensory is a huge craze in the UK at the moment! It is built on the idea that:
A sensory environment rich in sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures promotes brain growth, increases the capacity for intellectual development, and forms the foundation for all future learning. (Dr. Lin Day, founder of Baby Sensory)
Babies learn through play and through experience. The more new sensations your baby is exposed to, the faster they can make the connections in their brains needed to learn. Allowing them to explore freely promotes creativity and curiosity, which in turns results in stronger minds. At least, that’s the theory behind it!
Baby Sensory is often said to be the best class for young babies, due to lovely experience of introducing them to things for the very first time. Unfortunately, I missed the boat with this one, and J was 12 months old before he got to enjoy his first baby sensory class. By this time, we were old pros at the baby class malarky! We’d been to lots of different ones, and thought we’d seen it all before. How wrong we were…
There’s one thing you should know about Baby Sensory. It is a CRAZY class! From the moment we arrived, it was a utopian baby world, full of so many wonders and sensations. This term, we have experienced 5 different themes: bedtime, jungle, baby olympics, pirates, and superheroes! Every week has had a unique and enticing set up, with different toys and props to encourage lots of exploration. Jungle week had inflatable trees and animal-print blankets scattered around the room, with camouflaged tunnels and animal puppets to play with. A whole new world had been created within the four walls of a village hall!
Each class begins with a welcome song, using elements of baby signing to say hello to everyone. Baby signing is a wonderful way to help your baby to communicate, as they are able to associate actions with words long before they can actually speak. Following this, there are lots of themed activities. One week there was a puppet show, where Laura, our class leader, danced animals up and around a screen. She then spread a large sheet between all the parents, filled with holes. She clambered underneath, and danced frog puppets all over, popping them up to surprise the babies – it was hilarious and the kids were hypnotised!
During baby olympics, there was an obstacle course with hills to climb, tunnels to barrel through, space hoppers to bounce on, and a squishy foil mountain to conquer. This was rounded off with the most flamboyant ‘award ceremony’ – Union Jacks were flying, bubbles were covering us, streamers were floating down, and ‘Chariots of Fire’ was blaring from the speakers. A quick glance around the room showed that it wasn’t just the babies that were mesmerised…!
Pirates week had us sailing the seven seas in two GIANT inflatable ships. We sang old sailor songs, and used static electricity to make tissue paper fishes dance through the waters. Every week seems to become more and more imaginative.
As well as the structured class elements, every week includes 15 minutes of free play, allowing the babies to investigate the new toys and objects offered to them. I have been amazed at the sheer volume of varying toys and activity stations available each week. So much effort has been put into planning these classes.
The soundtracks each week are fab as well. Instruments are often used to develop fine motor skills and a sense of pulse for the babies. There are several Baby Sensory specific songs used, but lots of them have simply been selected to fit the theme. As well as creating a lively and energetic atmosphere, they put a smile on the parent’s faces, with their familiarity and humour. Baby olympic week had us travelling back through many of the old football songs from previous world cups. This definitely encouraged the competitive side of mums and dads to come out during the baby football match we all played!
If you are just starting to venture into the vast world of baby classes, look no further than Baby Sensory. These classes provide a wonderful bonding experience for you and your little ones. They provide so much inspiration for imaginative play at home. We attended the Solihull classes, with Laura & Nina, who were brilliant. They engaged so naturally with all of the children, and put so much thought into how to keep the classes flowing easily. However, Baby Sensory is a nationwide franchise, so most areas offer the opportunity to enjoy these classes.