We found a brand new Toddler Sense class the other week that’s just up and running in Kelvinside. We found it entirely by accident – we’d gone along to the outdoor playgroup in the Children’s Wood that nobody else turned up to, and whilst having a wee wander round Kelvinside Meadow a lovely lady called Gail came and handed us a flyer. As it turned out the class was just about to start, so we joined in!

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The Class

It’s a brand new class; so new that it was the very first day of it when we went along. There were only a couple of us there, but I expect that the next time we manage along it’ll be far busier as Toddler Sense classes tend to be pretty popular.

As always, there was a play area for the kids to clamber about in before the class (and in the case of my little lady also during, when she managed to eventually escape my clutches). There were blocks to climb about on, a bouncy castle & slide, a ball pool, bikes plus a bunch of other stuff I’ve since forgotten.

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Each week has a different theme – last week was sparkle week. There were flashy balls, sparkly sticks, songs about stars, a snowy mountain that the littles climbed and quite spectacular sparkles projected from the ceiling (our cat would’ve loved all those lights flashing on the floor).

The lady who took the class (whose name has unfortunately now been lost from my terrible mummy brain) was great with the kids. She was super enthusiastic and they seemed to really enjoy playing with her in the play area at the beginning of the class.

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The Cost

It’s £15 for your first 3 classes. After that you can pay as you go at £6.50 per class, or you can buy blocks of classes which work out a bit cheaper.

The Details

The class is on in the Scout Hall on Kelbourne St, just across from Kelvinside Meadow. It’s on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 am and 11.30 am. Classes last about an hour.

The Verdict

My little lady absolutely loved it. She always loves Toddler Sense. The play area is physical enough to keep her entertained and the singing part of the class has enough going on to keep her engaged. It’s really excellent. And it knackers her. Bonus!

Toddler Sense Kelvinside takes place in the Scout Hall, Kelbourne St North, Kelvinside, Glasgow, G20 8PR.

Toddler Sense Kelvinside: A Chance Happening!

We were at our lovely little music class this morning – First Steps to Music. We’ve been going for over a year now & my little lady loves it.

The Class

First Steps to Music is a music class created and run by Katie, an early years musician. It has lots of singing, lots of rhyming, shakers, puppets, drums, marching, teddies & violin playing.

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The class is great fun for the little ones. It is relaxed & the kids love all the props that are used.

But it’s also very structured. I think that’s probably partly why my little lady has picked so much up from the class. She constantly sings, tunefully, (with just ‘la la la’s’ instead of words, mostly) the songs from the class at home. Her favourites are ‘Knock, knock, knock, Who’s in the box…’ (the ‘who’ is usually a finger puppet in the class, but she sings it to whomever has the audacity to lock the bathroom door at home), and ‘Lets go a-walking…’ (excellent for getting her to walk properly along a pavement!) The kids learn to tap along with a beat too, amongst other things. They learn pretty quickly what they’re supposed to do and at what point. It’s quite amazing to see actually!

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The Cost

The class runs in terms & you need to book a term in advance. It works out at £5 per class.

The Verdict

Katie is great with the kids. The class is really fun for them, but at the same time you can almost see them learning!

Classes are quite small and as far as I can tell the people who start the class (including ourselves) tend to keep going for a long time. I think that pretty much says everything!

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The Details

It’s on in St Mary’s Cathedral on Monday mornings, and in Wellington Church on Saturday mornings. (Both in the West End around Woodlands). There are baby, toddler & pre-school classes available.

All info can be found on the First Steps To Music website

First Steps To Music

It was certificate day at our Turtle Tots swimming class today. That’s us completed the level 2 toddler course, and we’ve been going to Turtle Tots for over a year, so I figured it was probably about time I did a review.

The Class

It was almost 16 months ago we started going, but I remember our first Turtle Tots class like it was yesterday. The Little Lady was about 12 weeks old and I wasn’t allowed to go in the pool yet (section took a while longer than it should’ve to heal) so her daddy took her instead whilst I sat and watched. There was lots of singing, with Hickory Dickory Dock where the baby goes up the clock being a definite favourite.

She was slightly nonplussed with being in the pool, but our teacher, Kim, was great. I enjoyed watching it, and my husband enjoyed the one-to-one time with her in the class, even if the Little Lady wasn’t overly enthused herself!

Her first submersion, about 4 classes in, was quite traumatic (for me) but again, she wasn’t that bothered. By the end of the term (and into the second term) I think she was the only kid who still cried after been dunked, but she was still happy to be in the pool.

As the classes and levels progressed you do a lot more with the babies, and use lots more equipment. Her favourite was always chasing the squirty fish around the pool, and in the earlier classes chewing on the foam mirror! She also always loved the singing.

In our most recent block she was jumping into the pool, holding onto the edge and monkey-monkeying (shuffling along the pool using her hands), kicking her legs, and we were doing submersions with her on my back holding on round my neck. She was also happy to be on her front in the water, kicking her legs with me just holding her hands.

The Venues

We’ve been to 4 of the venues over the past year and a bit. Some are better than others: some are in state of the art leisure centres and some are in schools – the facilities are obviously going to differ.

The Cost

It recently went up to £120 per term of 10 classes. That is pretty costly, but since the little lady and I (or the little lady and her daddy) have enjoyed the classes so much, and she has learned so much from them (and gotten lots of confidence in the water) I really think it’s been worthwhile.

The Verdict

It’s truly amazing seeing the progress of these tiny tots: jumping in, kicking their legs, using floats, holding onto the edge, going under water for a brief swim (and being happy about it) and really enjoying being in the pool! Not only has it given my Little Lady lots of confidence in the water, but it’s given me lots of confidence in taking her into the water too.

Her nursery recently took her swimming and they reported back that out of the 4 or 5 kids who were there that day, the Little Lady was the only one who was happy to jump in, who was kicking her legs and who was happy to be on her front in the water. Obviously I don’t know what she would’ve been like if she hadn’t gone to Turtle Tots classes, but I certainly wouldn’t have taken her swimming anywhere near as much.

As I said above, the classes are pretty costly – they’re the most expensive classes we’ve ever done, by quite a margin. But she and I, or she and her daddy have enjoyed them so much, and learned so much from them that I honestly think it’s been worthwhile.

Highly recommended.

The Details

Turtle Tots classes take place all over Glasgow and the surrounding areas. There’s bound to be a class near you. You can find more info on their facebook page & website.

Turtle Tots Baby Swimming