Baby & toddler classes are great fun. But they have some surprising benefits too. It’s all about learning through play.
At baby & toddler classes your little one will love the songs, play and movement as well as being around other children the same age. But your child will not just be having great fun. They’ll be busy learning all sorts of important early skills too.
Here’s just a few ways that all the play and fun they have at classes are an important part of early learning:
1. Story time – an early introduction to reading and phonics
We all know how much little ones love stories. But, did you know that when you read to your baby or toddler you are also introducing them to lots of early literacy skills?
A study has shown that babies who had lots of books read to them have a greater. vocabulary and better early reading skills by age 4.
Lots of classes have story times and libraries and bookshops often have reading sessions for little ones too.
2. Moving and grooving is more than just fun!
According to the NHS, once your child is walking, they should be staying active for at least 180 minutes (3 hours) of the day! A toddler class is a great way to get your toddler run off some steam.
All the moving and grooving is helping them with gross motor skills, which will continue to develop as they grow.
The NHS have also encouraged being active together. And if any of our baby and toddler classes are to go by, then you need to be ready and willing to get a sweat on too! (Check out some of our baby classes today!)
3. Mini mark making helps with writing later on
What might look like play time at your toddler group or baby class is actually far more developmental than it might appear.
Simply letting your child squish a ball of Play-Doh helps them to develop fine motor skills in their hands and fingers. Getting creative with chunky crayons or paints is helping them develop these skills too.
Developing fine motor skills from an early age will benefit your child when they come to learn more complex skills at nursery and school. Like holding a pencil and beginning to write.
So next time your toddler gifts you their latest Jackson Pollock imitation painting, remember that they’ve developed more than just their artistic talents!
4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – classes can bring numbers alive!
Lots of play activities at classes introduce your child to counting and numbers. They might hear lots of counting in songs and rhymes. Or count out toys as they play. Or count the number of hops and jumps they make at a movement class.
Lots of exposure to counting and numbers will help them develop early numeracy skills in a fun way.
5. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – here we go around again – Routines
Classes are a great way to introduce your baby or toddler to routines, which are a big part of a nursery or school day. Gradually your child will get used to the different routines in class. That might be sitting in a circle to start, tidying away at the end and stopping for snack time.
Introducing this concept at a young age will make it less of an alien concept when it comes to that daunting first day of nursery or school.
6. Learning to fit into a group
When your child grows up and starts nursery or school they have to learn how to fit into a group. They will have to learn how to take turns, to sit quietly and listen. Baby and toddler classes are a great opportunity to teach all the basics. Greetings, turn-taking, sitting in an allocated spot and pleases/thank yous all start to happen all around your child. This encourages them to copy and do the same.
7. Tidy up time teaches key life skills
Little ones can learn to help from a young age. Starting with helping tidy up their toys. Once they start nursery or school they will be expected to pitch in and keep their room or space tidy so that other children can enjoy it later.
Attending a toddler group might be just the thing to helping your child learn all the correct social skills that influence tidying up your own belongings and leaving a room as neat as possible.
8. Introduction to other cultures
Little ones are the least likely to judge another based on their background. Baby classes are a great way to begin to introduce your little ones to different families from a wide variety of backgrounds.
This might be race, religion, or perhaps different family dynamics such as single parents & LGBTQ+ parents.
9. Making friends – important social building blocks
This next point might feel like an obvious (but important!) one. Being surrounded by other parents and children may be one of the main reasons that you would book a class in the first place.
Being in a group teaches crucial social skills will really help your toddler in the future. It’s important for your child to understand social cues and learn how to make friends. They might start by learning how to share toys or equipment. Or to take turns in class. By attending classes you may also be introducing your child to new concepts like empathy. If another child is upset, your toddler might start to question why that is and try to help make them feel better.
These are all important social skills when it comes to making friends later.
You can find all sorts of baby & toddler classes on Happity. Everything from baby massage and baby yoga to music and movement. Story times, signing, sensory play…the list goes on.
We’ve also been busy adding lots of classes and baby and toddler that are free or cost only a couple of pounds. So there’s something for everyone.
Classes and groups are great fun for your little one and they’ll be learning all sorts of early skills through play too. But they’re fab for parents to. Here’s why!