Best Music Classes For Babies – A Comparison Of All The Big Ones!

I’m very excited to be able to bring you this – a round-up of all the best music classes for babies! There are so many to choose from, it can feel quite daunting. Sometimes people end of going with the one they found first, or the one that replies first, but this will help you make a choice that is most suitable for your little one. They are all very different, and have so many things to offer! I have only included franchised classes, so they are available nationwide. Please let me know if you have any questions – J and I have personally tried all of this classes.  Continue reading “Best Music Classes For Babies – A Comparison Of All The Big Ones!”

July 2017: 4 Best Children’s Books (With A Musical Theme)

July 2017

This month we discovered Bookstart! If you’ve not heard of this initiative, you must explore further because they really are fab. They are a service that aims to get children reading, and to encourage a love of books from a young age. Every child is entitled to free packs of books. The first should be given by your health visitor around your child’s first birthday, and the second will be given at nursery at around age 3-4. If you miss out on either of these packs, you can also get them from your local library. Bookstart also offer free storytime and rhymetime sessions at the library, to make reading fun and exciting. Their website is absolutely packed with activities and helpful suggestions about suitable books as well! Here are some of the musical books we have been enjoying in July 2017 (including our free Bookstart gifts):

1. Baby Faces – Dawn Sirett

Suitable for: 0 – 18 months

This is a Bookstart freebie! It is a cool board book, which is a good introduction to books for babies. It is all about the different expressions you can make with your face. There are lots of vibrant pictures of different babies (little ones love looking at faces), and a fun rhyme that runs through the book. It encourages the expression of different emotions, and finishes with a cheeky ‘peekaboo’. Babies will enjoy copying these different faces, and you can have great fun exaggerating the expressions.

2. Peace At Last – Jill Murphy

Suitable for: 4 – 7 years

So much nostalgia with this book – it took me right back to my childhood! This is a classic, and with good reason. It’s all about Mr Bear and the difficulties he has getting to sleep. First Mrs Bear is snoring too loud, then Baby Bear is playing too loudly. Wherever he goes, there is too much noise! Your children will love his frustrations, and will enjoy making lots of noisy sounds as you read this lovely story together. A great bedtime story.

3. The Blue Train

Suitable for : 1 -3 years

J loves this book. Luke actually discovered it when in the barbers with J, and it was the perfect distraction. He liked it so much that his Grandma found it and bought him a copy! It tells the story of The Blue Train, and his journey through the country. There are lots of choo-choo sound effects, and the button makes a great train noise. The pictures are bright and colourful – this is a great book for little ones with an early love of trains.

4. Where’s Bear? – Emily Gravett

Suitable for: Age 1 – 3 years

Another Bookstart freebie! This is a cute board book about a game of hide-and-seek between Bear and Hare. It has very few words, and focuses on the rhyming of ‘bear’, ‘hare’ and ‘there’. It’s a very good introduction to language, and the way that the meaning of words changes depending on how we say them. It will require lots of animated story-telling from you! The pictures are very amusing.

Disclaimer: This article contains some affiliate links. I have not been paid to write this post, and all opinions are my own.

In The Night Garden Live

In The Night Garden is one of the most popular TV shows for little ones at the moment. Designed to help children wind-down before bedtime, it focuses on colourful characters who live in a magical forest. The characters all have strange names. There’s Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka, Upsy Daisy, the Tombliboos, the Pontipines, the Haahoos, the Ninky Nonk, and the Pinky Ponk. They speak in babbling tongues, and each have their own music associated with them. They are really quite hypnotic and relaxing! This random collection of characters have gained a real following amongst children aged 1 – 5, including J. We were therefore delighted to be invited to watch In The Night Garden Live – a touring theatre performance of the TV show! Continue reading “In The Night Garden Live”

Lessons in Life and Love from Ms Gladys Knight

Have you ever experienced the feeling of being totally in the moment? Totally and completely present? Where your mind is living, just for a short time, right in the now? With no worries about the past, or fears of the future? This is the feeling that I had last night. I had bought tickets to go with my Mum to Birmingham’s Symphony Hall to watch Ms Gladys Knight, Empress of Soul. Wow! Just wow! She was INCREDIBLE. It was one of those life-affirming concerts, which leave you feeling so inspired, so warm, and so lucky.  Continue reading “Lessons in Life and Love from Ms Gladys Knight”