We adored Baby Sensory classes and still miss them now. The lady who ran our classes was a total legend and just made the whole experience amazing and so full of joy. I made some fantastic friends through the class and spent many a morning catching up with my newly found mummy friends in the Tesco cafe before the class.
When Elliott ‘graduated’ and I went back to work there was a big gap in both of our social lives. Sure, we still had Rattle & Rhyme at the library, but we really, really missed our Baby Sensory classes. We tried Tumble Tots for a while (take a look at our review here), but it wasn’t quite the same.
Toddler Sense is from the same company as Baby Sensory and we were desperate to give it a go, but our local class fell on day when I was at work – boo hiss! Eventually I relented and decided to trial a class a little further away from us. A really popular class it would seem. There was no space in the class for Elliott’s age group (13-20 months), so we joined the 20 months – 3 years class instead. I was a little concerned that Elliott would find the older children intimidating. I needn’t have worried. I think playing in the garden with the older kids at nursery had prepared him and every time a crazy toddler bounded into him he just moved out of the way and gave them a look of ‘what are you doing?’. Bless him – he’s such a chilled out chappy.
The format of Toddler Sense is slightly different to Baby Sensory to take into account the boundless energy of a toddler. Where Baby Sensory opens with the Say Hello song and then goes into structured activity before going to a break, then continuing with the structured activities before finally closing with the goodbye song (oh all the feels remembering the cuddles we enjoyed over that song!). Toddler Sense provides free play to begin with, followed by tidy up time and then structured activity – again with a ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ song.
The free play activities are brilliant – think bouncy castles, ball pits, inflatables, paddling pools full of things to explore, tents. As with Baby Sensory there’s a different theme each week and the free play activities are curated around this. Tidy up time is a great idea and worked well with the older kids, although was slightly lost on Elliott. The structured activities mostly centred around circle time with little cuddly toy ‘Todd’s’ – the logo for Toddler Sense provided at the start. Unlike Baby Sensory at Toddler Sense toddlers are encouraged to go to collect the toys themselves and then put them away at the end of the activity. Something which Elliott did very well at, especially considering he had to navigate around the older and more boisterous toddlers to do so. There were often bubbles, lightshows, parachutes – all the stuff we came to love at Baby Sensory but in a more interactive and faster paced way. Sometimes the activities were pitched a bit too old for Elliott. Trying to get him to bow to the class leader in order to receive a written ‘wish’ from a box for Chinese New Year just left him baffled.
The classes were brilliant and well worth going along. Unfortunately we had to cut our Toddler Sense journey short as it clashed with Elliott’s nap time and, as a result, caused some hairy scary post class meltdowns. Such a shame as they were so much fun. Hopefully we can go again once Elliott establishes a later nap time, or – dare I say it – drops his nap altogether! Eek!