Are you looking for a new activity class with your little one? Find out more about Toddler Sense classes, fun for your toddler and fun for you.
I'm a mother with a mission: I am always on a look out for interesting activities to do with my little one. I collect brochures and bookmark web links with the words toddler and fun written in the same sentence. While some of my creative attempts to engage my little one get a reluctant nod, others are an instant hit. And if I drew a graph comparing my hits and misses from the past few weeks, our recent visit to the Toddler Sense class at Baby Sensory would be a skyrocketing blockbuster.
Created in the United Kingdom by Dr. Lin Day, Baby Sensory is a series of activity-based classes for parent and child, designed to stimulate a child’s full range of senses. With my toddler in tow, I visited a Toddler Sense class to find out what makes this award-winning concept so distinct and popular. 50 minutes of fun later, I had my answers. Nestled between the corridors of gabled buildings in Zuid, the building opens into a sunroom where you can put away your things and park the buggies. This room is also equipped with a small kitchenette and dining table. The playroom, located right across, is generously proportioned and fresh sunlight streamed through its skylight on the day we visited.
With my toddler in tow, I visited a Toddler Sense class to find out what makes this award-winning concept so distinct and popular. 50 minutes of fun later, I had my answers.
The class begins with free play, where children are encouraged to explore the room and make the most of their energy while hopping, climbing, and running around their choice of toys. There are ball pools, a bouncy castle, cushy tunnels and soft blocks to build with. Compared to the other play areas I have visited, the toys here are noticeably clean, and I didn't wince even once when my toddler was crawling and rolling over the carpet and mattress. Rhythm sticks are handed out to the children and their parent or carers, and the greeting song sets off the pace and readies the children for theme play. Stefanie, our instructor for the day, has a way with kids. My little one, usually hesitant around strangers, was soon humming the rhymes and enjoying the games.
During the structured playtime at Toddler Sense, we (me and the other mamas) made a bus out of the foam blocks and wheeled across our imaginary town, blew bubbles, and hopped across the room like rabbits as the children squealed with delight, which was surely an hour worth of exercise for me!
"The emphasis is on spending the time together with age-appropriate activities. We cover a variety of themes that involve carnival-style activities, creative dance, parachute and pom-poms that give parents and carers a great sense of wellbeing and achievement," Natalie van Gelder, the director at Baby Sensory in The Netherlands, tells us. She introduced Baby Sensory in Amsterdam in 2011, and hosts the Baby Sensory programme and Toddler Sense classes.
The emphasis is on spending the time together with age-appropriate activities.
One of the fellow mamas, who has been regularly visiting the Toddler Sense classes tells me that her chirpy little girl always looks forward to this day in the week. "The rhymes we sing here have catchy tunes and often at home we repeat our activities from the class and sing along all the new tunes that we heard during the class. Once, the theme was dinosaurs and my 2-year-old picked up the word Stegosaurus. It was a delight to watch her say it in her own baby talk!"
The structure was all about play, and the children were eased through the different activities. This helped when the class came to an end for the day. The toddlers were not disappointed that their play time was over. Instead, they were smoothly transitioned through it with goodbye songs, as they enthusiastically pitched in to help Stefanie in clearing up toys.
- Location — Baby Sensory, Hygieastraat 8, Amsterdam
- Contact — To book a free trial session call 06-41811260, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their Facebook page.
- Note: The Baby Sensory workshop received an overwhelming feedback at the Ask the Mamas Fair 2014, and they will be launching more classes for different age groups.
Disclaimer: Baby Sensory has paid to be featured on Amsterdam Mamas because they believe that their services would be of interest and benefit to our readers, and we think so too. To learn more about advertising on Amsterdam Mamas, please see our Advertising and Disclosure policy.
All images used with permission of Baby Sensory