Tag Archives: dancing

The Dance Class: A Parent’s Reality

The realities of taking a 3 year old to Dance Classes…..

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Realities of Dance Classes for Parents

Last year I thought it was a great idea to sign Nancy up to dance lessons. It was one of those thoughts, where you think ‘it’s probably time I left the house and started to initiate her into a social world,’ and in paticular I was looking for something for her to do so that she gets worn out and I didn’t neccessarily need to do much to achieve it. It suddenly dawned on me that athletes, musicians or dancers started this stuff when they were really small. So in order to ensure she has the best chance of turning into the next superstar, I duly signed her up.

She actually attends a lovely dance class where she does Tap and Ballet every Saturday. I didn’t think when I signed her up, though, how much of a commitment it is for me, and how you get sucked into the world of dance classes. This is the reality of The Ballet Class:

1.The Early Start

I have to get up every Saturday morning and get her to Ballet for 9.15am in the morning. On a SATURDAY. What the hell was I thinking?

2. Uniform

Every week she has to wear the dance uniform. Which comprises of a leotard, tights and a caridigan, as well as the right shoes. Not only did it cost me a fortune, I have to remember to wash* it and make her look presentable as well as getting her to the start for 9.15am. On a SATURDAY….

I also am still ramming her into the leotard as I refuse to buy one until at least September. Same goes for the shoes, I ordered them a size larger and it was only when she wore them the first time I realised they could slightly affect her dance skills, but she’s better now she’s grown into them a bit.

*I admit there may be weeks where the uniform may not get washed and she may look slightly dishevlled and smell slightly like a PE kit.

3.  Waiting

When I signed her up for classes, I couldn’t wait to watch her in her cute little pink uniform and watch her gracefully piroet around. Well, I wouldn’t know what she actually does, as I have to wait outside the class in a cold church hall. I can’t go anywhere in case I need to help her get to the loo.  It is 45mins of pure me time though, I guess, as long as I take a jumper and a flask.

4. Other Parents

The waiting room looks like a parent wasteland. I’ve seen some parents in their Pyjamas, although I haven’t done that yet. Some look hungover, some look tired. Some look absolutely pristine and as if they’d just got off the jet from St. Tropez. Not many people talk to each other, and seats in the corners by the dividing door to the class are a premium, as you can spy on your child through a crack. My idea of meeting more Mum friends hasn’t really become a reality as yet….

5. Noise

No-one thought to tell me that  group of 3-5 year olds in a tap class are LOUD. There is half an hour of out of rythmn, tap tap tapping as well as children roaring like lions or singing the Frozen theme tune whilst they stomp about the hall like elephants. Also, the teacher is loud. She has to be, to keep it in order. I sometimes wonder if she needs a drink after the class.

6. Progress

I keep taking her, because she seems to enjoy it. But can she actually dance? I have no idea. mainly because we are always too late so I can’t look through the crack to see if she is actually moving. I ask her to show me what she does at home but all I get is a roaring lion and a shuffle on the kitchen floor. So we keep on, keeping on. Maybe I have the next Darcy Bussell right here….

7. Once you join, you can never leave

Once you’re a fully signed up member of the dance class, attempts to leave are futile. You need to give one term’s notice to leave, and not that we are planning to, but I would never be as organised as to work out when that would be! I can barely remember NOT to turn up when it’s half term….

8. You do as you are told

If the teacher tells you to buy something, you buy it. You label all the clothing as you don’t want to get told off by the teacher. You get your fees paid on time and you sit there every week and smile even though you may be dying inside.

9. The Car Park

The car park is a war zone. The later you are, the more likely you are to abandon your car in the middle of the car park, blocking off 5 cars in the process. Some people wedge themselves sideways just so that they can park in the car park. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a school at pick up time, but parents plus cars equals carnage. I am surprised no-one has been run over as yet. Once the first class ends, the real issues begin as people attempt to leave, and the next class attempt to park.

 

Baby Play 3-6 months: What We Do

As Bubs gets bigger, and stays awake longer, and becomes more inquisitive about the world around her, the need to play is starting to grow.

In my previous post, I talked about how we were playing with her as a newborn baby, and as she began to develop her skills to start playing. Now she is almost 5 months old. She is grabbing things, reaching for things, rolling over to get things (although she does get stuck!). She is interested in everything, including things I’d rather she wasn’t – such as the computer lead!

So, I thought I would update you as to what we are doing together, how we are playing together. It can get monotonous very quickly, and you need to keep inspiration coming to make sure playtime is fun for you, as well as for baby. I am noticing more and more now that Bubs gets bored with the same toys, and will only tolerate her mat for short times, as she’d rather be sitting up!

I have found that reading books about baby development, and looking on websites or Pinterest for ideas is a great way to find new inspiration. I was asked to check out the What to Expect website, and I must say there are some good ideas for playing on there, as well as a bit of information about how and why babies play like they do.

What we Do

Toys

Bubs is really loving all of her toys, especially the soft toys, and toys that make noises. She loves Trevor the horse, from Lamaze, and she is also rather partial to the dinosaur that I got from britmums live! She also likes a ball that someone gave me, that makes musical noises, and you press a button and it makes animal noises. Whilst she doesn’t know how to press the buttons yet, by just hitting the ball, she gets surprised by the noises, and she absolutely loves it. She also is enjoying shakers, and I made her one the other day by using a plastic bottle and some rice. Anything she has, goes in her mouth though, so everything is needing to be sponged down or washed every day!

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Loving her toys

Singing and Dancing

This is a favourite at the moment ,although can get very tiring. I found going to the Making Moves group gave me a lot of ideas about how to play. Songs that can have a physical aspect to them, are great fun at the moment. Bubs loves ‘the grand old duke of york’ as I lift her up when I sing up, and put her down when I sing down. She loves nothing more then being held high in the air, she adores it. I have also tried the hokey-cokey, but like I say, it’s a work out for Mums as well as fun for the babies! She loves ‘row row row the boat’ as well, with the rocking motion. She sits on my lap and we row. It’s good fun!

Feet

Feet have become an obsession lately – that we have to grab them and try and put them in our mouth. Bubs hasn’t quite managed to get them to her mouth, but she will try and grab them at any opportunity. It is also meaning she is moving forwards to try and grab her feet, so good excercise!

Finding her feet

Finding her feet

Fun on the Tum

Getting Bubs used to being on her front, was somewhat difficult, and she would only tolerate it a few minutes at a time. However, since she started to roll over, she is spneidng more and more time on her front. Her play mat is designed for babies to be on teir fronts, so she enjoys looking and touching all the things on her mat. I find she has most fun when I get on the floor too, look her in the eyes, and talk to her whilst she is on her front – she loves it! I also put a toy in front of her, and she enjoys trying to reach it.

Talking

We still enjoy talking to each other! Now she is making more recognisable sounds such as ‘Waa’ and ‘Da’ and ‘A’ so I like to copy these back to her, and she delights in talking back to me. She loves looking at my face, and has started to try and grab my face now. She has also realised I wear glasses, and grabs these too. A good game for her, not so for my glasses, and a scratched face is not a good look!

She is also loving Peekaboo and playing Pat-a-cake, both ideas I got from the What to Expect website.

Sitting Up

Sitting up is another thing she loves doing. She loves it when I hold her or support her from behind, so she can sit on her mat, and grab her toys from a sitting position. She wasn’t very keen on her Bumbo, but in the last few weeks she has got more and more used to it, and now will enjoy 5 minutes in there. She loves the tray, and I put a few things on there for her to grab, and bang on the tray, or throw off the tray – both really fun games apparently!

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Out and About

Bubs loves going out, and now sits up on her buggy, so can see more. She loves the wind, and watching the trees or plants blowing in the wind. She also loves looking at flowers and plants, but recently has tried to grab them so we don’t go too near. She also loves lying on a mat in the garden. I can’t wait until she can sit up a bit better, and a bit older, then we can get exciting things such as a paddling pool and a ball pit!

I am always keen to hear ideas for play, so let me know what you do in the comments below!

I was asked to check out the What to Expect UK Website. All opinions and information in this post are honest and my own!

Making Moves Group: Baby Groups and Making Mum Friends – Group Number Two!

So, me and bubs have gone to our second group! I decided to bite the bullet and go to another group after the success of the baby massage, which we are still going to and really enjoying. I am starting to chat to the people who attend that group a bit more, and I feel more confident than I did at the start. I can’t say I have found anyone I really click with yet though, although everyone has been really lovely.  So I thought why not expand my horizons, and get out of bed and go to Making Moves.

Making Moves is a group about Music, Movement and sensory play. It is a group for under 1 year olds. This seemed perfect for Bubs as she loves singing and music. When I walked into the room, I saw a few mums and babies sat around the mat. One end was crawling, trying to walk babies, at the other, were the babies lying on the mat, trying to wriggle about, or even newer born babies being cuddled by mums. It was clear that a lot of the Mums new each other and to start with I was a little flustered as everyone was talking to everyone else, and I didn’t know how to start. So I just sat there with Bubs, and talked to her instead! The lady who ran the group came over and I wrote my name down on their form. There were a few new members of the group, but a few of them already knew other Mums from other groups. Arrgh! Where do they all find each other, I wonder?! Luckily at this point a lovely lady who had seen me at the health visitor clinic started to talk to me, and before long the session started.

To start with, there was an introduction where everyone goes round the circle, introduces their baby and their self, and says something about their week. Dear me, what had I done! I thought, I couldn’t even remember what day it was, let alone something that had happened that week! Then I remembered Bubs had rolled over on the Monday, and so I said this. All going well so far.

The first part of the group session was singing. They all started singing songs, that I had no idea of. I tried my best to ‘lalala’ and mime where needed, and followed others for cues on when to lift/rock/swing baby to the tune. I am sure the more you attend these groups, the easier it is to remember the songs, but I was assuming nursery rhymes, and they were singing all sorts. I need to get a book of children’s songs, I think, much to my chagrin.

After the singing, there was a time to play with some streamers, although we sat this bit out as Bubs decided she wanted her bottle. They all seemed to love it though.

After the streamers, a bit of Abba was put on, and dancing around the room in a circle commenced, Mums holding baby, and swinging, lunging, lifting, rocking and free styling dancing in time to the music. Again we sat most of this bit out as she was feeding, but we joined in at the end.

After this, we had bubbles! This was great. The babies were lying on the floor, and bubbles were being blown all around them. Bubs absolutely loves this, I hadn’t even thought to try blowing bubbles at home, but  will now. She was absolutely fascinated.

After the bubbles, a big parachute was put over the babies, and we all lifted it up and down, over them, singing twinkle twinkle little star – that I could do. The parachute was dark blue, and had yellow neon stars on, so was lovely to watch their faces as it bobbed up and down over them. Bubs also really liked this.

After this, more singing, this time with shaker/maracas. Bubs loved holding the shaker and the sound it made. Lots of songs I didn’t know were sung next, but as they were quite repetitive I started to get the hang of them. People asked for specific song requests, and soon the old favourites were out, like Old MacDonald, and I was on safe ground again.

Then that was the end of the session! There was juice and biscuits and time for a chat after this, and everyone sort of fell into their little groups and were chatting. I left them to it I am afraid as I just didn’t have the energy to try and get in on a little group. Maybe the more I go, the more I may fit in with one, or start my own, eh?

I am definitely going again, she loved it so much, like I thought she would. A few people from the baby massage group will be going this time, so I may even start my own gang, who knows!? In end I know going to these groups is about trying to make Mum friends, but I can’t force myself to be friends with people who I don’t get that connection with, or who just seem nothing like me.  But I will keep going for Bubs sake as she really enjoyed all the interaction. She even started to take notice of other babies, and started to try and grab their arms!

So that was my second baby group adventure. Watch this space for more!