Maggie and Rose – Childhood Magic
With my first child, I joined as much for myself as for her. As a new mother in a foreign city, I was grateful to have found a nice place to meet other mothers – in fact I’m still close friends with the mothers I met in the very first class I signed up for – but above all, my daughter loved it. When she was 6 months old we joined a baby music class, which was then followed by another, and another… there is baby music, as well as classes for toddler and big kids, so it’s possible to do these classes until your child starts school. These classes follow a structure, with singing, playing and moving about, and each weeks sees the introduction of a new type of musical instrument. Groups are never too big, so each child gets plenty of attention.
Cooking – Little Cheflets and Messy Masters
From the tender age of 10 months, kids are welcome in the kitchen to learn all about baking, cooking and even eating: each week, the children prepare two recipes. Get ready to be impressed with your child: they’ll literally cook their way around the world, trying new and interesting flavours you may not have expected your child to enjoy, but it’s something about teacher Belles that makes kids want to try just about anything. That, and the fact that they are surrounded by other kids who give it a go, seems to convince even the fussiest of eaters to try an olive or two.
Children learn to be patient: this structured class has the even the youngest kids naming the ingredients, counting them, and patiently waiting their turn as utensils and ingredients are passed around the communal table where the cooking takes place. Where appropriate, kids are allowed to help themselves to some extra ingredients, such as potatoes, raisins or even capers, to sample during the preparation process, encouraging them to be adventurous. Manners are gently encouraged, as children learn to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’. This class also contains a little arts and crafts, where the children get to colour in their recipe cards.
This class is a busy mum’s saviour: you get to take home what your child cooks, so that’s lunch sorted! You’ll also leave each term with an impressive recipe collection.
Not interested in making a mess in your own house? Try the art classes: your little one will enjoy getting creative with the wonderful teachers. Each term has a theme: the colours of the rainbow, different artists, or the entire world. Your child will paint, sculpt, paste, and draw the most wonderful things in this class. When my daughters were very little (you can start from 10 months), us mothers would joke that the classes were actually for us, as we would find ourselves in front of the easel finishing the art projects as our kids wandered or crawled off to explore the sink or something equally interesting, but as the term progressed our children’s attention spans would improve. This, as much as the creative activity, is one of the key points for me: look at it as a first gentle introduction of what awaits in nursery, and later on, school, as listening skills and patience are practised along with pencil control.
A point to remember: both you and your little one should leave your favourite clothes as home as this can get messy despite aprons being provided for the both of you.
My youngest daughter loved the ‘dress up and dance’ class. There are new costumes nearly every week: bumble bee, pirate, hula skirts, fairies, princesses and of course ballerinas. As with all Maggie and Rose classes, children learn more than just dancing, as you have to work together in the group, listen to your teacher, and wait for the props and toys to be handed out. This class is so much fun for the little ones, who learn how to move and control their body.
For more information and to book classes, visit www.maggieandrose.com
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