Active baby classes are generally suitable from around 6 months, though you may find some providers offer programmes for babies as young as 4 months. The target age of the class usually coincides with certain physical milestones observed in most babies at this age, such as the ability to bear weight on their legs and rolling over from tummy to back.
What your child will do
Active baby classes are fun-filled and energetic and although your baby will be busy and on the go, the emphasis is on enjoyment rather than learning formal skills. Classes are grouped according to age – allowing for the huge range of different physical abilities between a 6 month old and say an 18 month old.
Your baby will be involved in a variety of activities including song and rhyme and movement. The class might also feature apparatus such as balls, or soft blocks. It’s likley that there will be group activities as well as times when it’s just you and your baby.
All play equipment is provided and a steadily challenging circuit route may be laid out for your child to negotiate with your help. Classes are typically kept to small numbers to allow babies to experience the different play elements at a relaxed pace.
Active baby classes may also incorporate sensory elements into sessions, where various props and tools are introduced to your baby, including treasure baskets, bubbles, scarves, instruments and textured balls.
Sessions are are always different which can help to keep your baby – and you – engaged.
How will your baby benefit
Active baby classes will help to develop your child’s range of physical skills. These include balance, co-ordination and agility.
Being able to complete a task, or learn a new skill can also be a great way to boost confidence and self-esteem. If your baby has struggles with co-ordination, you may find that a course of active baby classes will help. Classes are very social and your baby will enjoy observing and interacting with other babies both during the session and during any free play time slots at the end of the class.
UK-wide companies offering active baby classes include Tumble Tots and Gymboree and there are many other classes to be found locally. Some active baby classes may be advertised as baby play classes.
Around £7-10 per class, depending on location. Some companies also require you to be a member to attend the classes