Last week I was thrilled to be invited along to Lancaster Baby Sensory. They were hosting a fund raising event for their charity Tommy’s and I set up a mobile photo studio for them. While I was there I had chance to chat with Heather. I found out a bit more about baby sensory and what goes on there.
We met at Kings Community Church for her Lancaster class. It was a very vibrant atmosphere. Heather was all dressed up in a fabulous red ringmaster’s outfit. She had invited all her parents and babies to get dressed up too. They were all collecting sponsorship to take part in the event. This was to be a day packed with little ones trying out different challenges. Having loads of fun doing as many different sensory activities as they could squeeze in.
So what is Baby Sensory?
Baby sensory is a learning and development programme. It has been written and devised for babies from birth to 13 months. Heather runs weekly classes in Lancaster and the surrounding area. Parents come along with their babies to do a wide range of activities. As the name suggests, the classes are all about stimulating your baby’s senses through using different tools, toys and props.
The classes have been designed by Dr Lin Day. She is a specialist baby development. Dr Lin Day founded and wrote the Baby Sensory program in response to her research. The activities have all been devised to nurture a baby’s development in on way or another.
When Should you come to Baby Sensory?
I asked Heather if there is a perfect age for coming to baby sensory. She said the program is written for babies to come from birth. Some parents may find this too much to manage or may simply want to enjoy their baby-moon before venturing into the world though. So babies are welcome to join at any age. The youngest baby Heather has had start her classes was just eight days old. She continued her classes until she was about 13 months old and then she went on to enjoy toddler sense.
Baby sensory offers a wonderland of delight for your little ones. The sensory room is divided into two colourful sections. Heather leads the activities in the first area with different songs and pieces of music. Both parents and babies can get involved with an array of shakers, puppets and hand actions. Later in the class Heather dims the lights and patterns are projected on the ceiling and walls. At another time, masses of bubbles float out over the group’s heads. Something is happening all the time.
Heather leads the session at the beginning and end. During the middle period parents get to take their babies to the section of the room for set up for self lead exploration. Here there is a mini soft play set up, more bubbles and other sensory delights. The constant atmosphere of joy and wonder encourages parents to get to know each other and make new friends.
How will my baby benefit from going to Baby Sensory?
Babies learn about the world around them through their different senses. Heather says that feeling different textures helps our babies develop their fine motor skills. Playing with the instruments help with baby’s auditory skills. Through the session’s activities they learn about cause and effect and to improve their hand-eye coordination as well as lots more. Plus all the classes are bundles of fun as well.
Talking to the Mums, they were all saying how much their babies had come on, and how wonderful it was to see their development from one week to the next as they built up their skills. Developing from only being able to watch the instruments one week. To being able to grab them a few weeks later. And then being play with them and thoroughly enjoy themselves in just a matter of weeks. Heather gets a great satisfaction from seeing this progression.
How did Heather get started?
When Heather had her children, a friend told her she must go and do Baby Sensory with them because it was so good. But when Heather looked into it, her nearest classes where Manchester or Scotland! There was a gap in the market so when Heather was ready to go back to work she bought the franchise and brought this fantastic service to our area. She hasn’t looked back!
Home Made Sensory
Among the props used at Baby Sensory are also some gorgeous handmade ones, made from items we all have at home; A shaker made from a plastic bottle filled with coloured liquid and glitter, a pat mat which started life as a laminating sheet and some paint. Heather has some great ideas and she shows parents how to make these low cost props on her Facebook page.
Today marks the start of the Children's Activities Week. Throughout the week we'll be giving you top tips and developmental facts to help you give your little one a flying start to life. Here's our first tip 'How to make homemade shakers'.
Posted by Baby Sensory UK on Monday, 30 April 2018
Want to Try Baby Sensory?
If you would like to try Lancaster Baby Sensory, Heather takes bookings a term at a time. To book, go online to Heathers Facebook page and press the book now button.
She has classes available Monday to Saturday. In a range of venues in Lancaster and it’s surrounding area so I’m sure you’ll find one that suits you.
Heather’s Number one bit of Advice
“Give yourself permission to not have a good day, and also give yourself permission to have a great day.”
Remember every day is completely different when you are a parent, Heather sees so many parents that come to her classes after having a tough night. The beauty of mingling with the other parents is that they find out that they are not alone. The first year of parenting is hard work and everyone is having the same struggles. She says “Surround yourself with people who understand what you are going through and foster those relationships, consequently you could make friends for life!”
Baby Sensory in a NutShell
To summarise Baby Sensory a great opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their babies and nurture their development. And it is also a great environment to meet other new parents with babies of similar ages. We had a great day visiting Baby Sensory and we can’t wait to hear how well they did in their fundraising. And we’ve agreed that PhotoBaby will be doing lots more with Baby Sensory in the future.