When I first became a found out I was going to be a mum I had visions of spending the first few years at lots of classes and baby groups. I thought I would overcome my social anxiety and get myself out there more, because I would have the motivation of a baby to help me.
Unfortunately for me, and for Piglet, I haven’t managed to get out as much as I would have liked. I tried a few baby groups, but I found the lack of structure didn’t suit me and walking into the room could be intimidating. When the opportunity arose to review Rhythm Time classes I knew I had to do it. It was time to get out of my comfort zone and do something I know Piglet would enjoy!
Rhythm Time is a franchise that is passionate about music. The run classes for young babies, babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, each one with targeted activities that are suitable for children of that age group. It is all about making music fun for children and helping them learn through singing and playing instruments.
We headed along to our local class for toddlers. It is in the morning, which for us is perfect as it still leaves the rest of the day free – and I can get Piglet home for a good nap after lunch! I was so nervous going in, but Piglet ran in bold as brass and shouted hello to everyone he could see. He was dancing to the music from the minute he got in the door and was happy to grab an instrument to play with while we waited for the music to start.
We really enjoyed that first class – and every class we’ve been to since. The classes follow a pattern each week. It is familiar enough that the children know what is coming, but still different each week so that they don’t get bored.
The mums are very welcoming. My Piglet has no interest in sitting with me throughout the class, instead choosing to wander around and dance in the middle. When he gets tired he slowly backs up to one of the mums and sits on their knee instead. Initially I was mortified, but thankfully they all think it’s hilarious and welcome him.
When you arrive to the class your child is given a sticker with their name on it. This helps when you’re singing the welcome song, as it means every child can be mentioned by their name. For me, I appreciated the name stickers as it meant I could get to know each of the children without having to ask their mum/grandparent what their name was every week.
Each class has the same features and characters to structure the activities. Arabella is a doll who is hidden somewhere in the room for the children to find, and Rat-a-tat is a little rat who lives in a hat. The presence of each of them indicates a change in activity and the children start to recognise the signs and get excited in anticipation of what is to come.
Piglet’s favourite part of the class is “What’s in the music box?”. This is where the children tap or knock on the top of a box while singing a song, waiting to see what there is to play with that day. Sometimes it is an instrument to play, other times it is a sensory toy which we will use to prompt a song. Piglet loves tapping on the box and gets really excited when the music starts for it.
My favourite part of the class is teaching the children rhythm patterns. The teacher takes a microphone out and encourages the children to repeat a simple pattern, such as “bah bah bah bah”. Some children run up to the microphone but when it’s crunch time they don’t utter a sound. Everyone is treated to the same round of applause and a big well done for trying and I think it is just adorable seeing them all giving it a try.
As I’m sure you can tell, we have really enjoyed our time at Rhythm Time. If I had to find one fault with the class, it is that it does require an element of concentration and cooperation from the children. Piglet is quite an active child who likes to run and climb and sometimes that means he doesn’t want to sit listen. I do believe that this is a skill that is important to learn though, and so there is real benefit in putting him in a situation where he has to do that.
At around £5 a class, Rhythm Time is an affordable way to spend some time each week. You can read more about it or find your local class on their website.
We have been attending Rhythm Time classes as a guest in order to provide an honest review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
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