One of the best things about having a baby is planning all the exciting classes that you (er.. I mean your baby!) get to take part in! Here’s a run down of what’s available to you in Cheltenham and Gloucester. (This blog is updated periodically!)
Tatty Bumpkin, Cheltenham
Based out of The Hive Community Space, Tatty Bumpkin is hugely popular with new mums in Gloucestershire. The classes combine storytelling, music and simple baby yoga movements to give babies a great physical foundation to development. I took Oliver to Tatty when he was a small baby and although we definitely enjoyed it (see my end note below), I actually found it more fun when he was old enough to listen to instructions and started to really get involved in the Explorer classes.
Suitable from six weeks to seven years old.
Nurturing Beginnings Baby Yoga, Cheltenham
Baby yoga classes with Nurturing Beginnings are baby-centred, gentle and fun social experiences for you and your baby, created with your baby’s physical and cognitive development in mind. During the six week course, you’ll learn a wide range of stretches and moves as well as massage techniques that you can use at home. Groups are small and are a great way to make new mum friends, plus there’s the added bonus of home-made cake and a hot drink at the end of every class!
Suitable from eight weeks to crawling.
Mum and Baby Fitness
Studio 13, Cheltenham
Unlike Tatty Bumpkin which focuses on the children, this is all about yoga for mummies! Bring baby along and let them relax on the mat while you get a workout focused on your postnatal recovery. The good news is that you don’t have to stop doing yoga once your baby is on the move; the crawler and toddler classes still focus on postnatal yoga but introduce games and nursery rhymes to keep the little ones interested.
Suitable from six weeks to preschool age.
OneFitMama, Cheltenham and Gloucester
OneFitMama offers a variety of fitness classes in the form of circuit training for mums and babies with dedicated play areas to keep the little ones entertained. School age siblings are welcome at the classes during school holidays so no need to have a break from your fitness regime just because they’re off school.
Suitable from birth upwards.
BuggyFit is an outdoor fitness class centred around mums and babies in their prams. No running buggies needed here, just wrap the kids up warm and join a group of other like-minded women for some fresh air and exercise in Pitville Park.
Suitable from six weeks (after your GP postnatal check-up).
MummyFIT sessions run from the Nuffield Health gym in Gloucester and have both specific postnatal and regular fitnesses classes that allow you to bring your baby along.
Suitable from six weeks (after your GP postnatal check-up) up to 12 months.
Baby Sensory, Cheltenham and Gloucester
Baby sensory is another hugely popular class from a well-established franchise offering sensory classes throughout the UK and beyond. There’s a huge variety of sessions meaning you shouldn’t do the same one twice, so expect lots of fun themes, singing and bubbbleess! All of the classes cover a spot of baby signing too – although beware the signs are not British Sign Language (BSL) as taught in other baby sign classes (see below).
Suitable from birth to 13 months.
Toddler Sense, Gloucester
Toddler Sense offers the perfect opportunity to continue the sensory fun once babies have graduated from Baby Sensory. The programme is designed for toddlers right up until they start school and is designed to help aid different aspects of their development in a fun and engaging way!
Suitable from 13 months to five years.
Nurturing Beginnings Storytime, Stretch and Sing, Cheltenham
Storytime, Stretch and Sing is a full sensory experience that combines interactive stories, songs and rhymes, baby yoga and heuristic play. Hot drinks and homemade cake are provided for parents. Unlike many other classes, you don’t have to commit to classes every week as Storytime, Stretch and Sing is run on a drop-in basis.
Suitable from three to 13 months.
143 Sensory, Cheltenham
143 Sensory offers a variety of welcoming, fun and creative classes for babies, toddlers and older children. The baby -focused classes follow a different theme with sensory activities designed to educate, stimulate and relax little minds. Once your little ones are a little older, they can get involved in musical and messy play, or even go on an outdoor sensory adventure trail!
Suitable from six weeks.
Little Hatchlings, Cheltenham
Little Hatchlings is not technically a class but as a heuristic and sensory baby group which offers an opportunity for your baby to explore all things sensory while you get to sit back and relax with a hot drink, it certainly deserves a mention!
Suitable from birth to crawling.
Little Hatchlings, Cheltenham
Little Learners are educational messy play and mark making classes. Using unique mark making characters, the classes encourage early writing skills through play and exploration. Little Learners explore messy play, sensory play, painting, drawing and small motor skills, as well as singing dancing and making marks using ribbons and streamers. Explore, get messy and have lots of fun!
Suitable for 5 months to 5 years.
This is one category that’s absolutely flooded with options (ha, see what I did there?) and could be a blog post in itself. Here’s a few of the main players in the area:
Aquatots, Cheltenham, Gloucester and more
Aquatots are a local company offering classes in pools across Gloucestershire. This is a class I can certainly vouch for; Oliver started swimming with Aquatots when he was just eight weeks old and he absolutely loves it. Of all the classes we tried, swimming was the one that we stuck with as I am really passionate about swimming being a life skill. They have a great progressive teaching method and you’ll be amazed at what your little one can achieve after just a few terms.
Suitable from eight weeks.
Turtle Tots, Cheltenham, Gloucester and more
Turtle Tots is another popular swimming company offering a variety of baby swimming lessons across Cheltenham and Gloucester. They use a baby-led approach and all of their teachers are trained in the latest research on infant brain development. Everything’s very gentle with no pressure to do anything you feel uncomfortable with.
Suitable from eight weeks.
Puddle Ducks, Cheltenham, Gloucester and more
Puddle Ducks is a national organisation, offering baby swimming lessons up and down the UK. They run a wide variety of classes across Cheltenham and Gloucester.
Suitable from birth.
Little Hatchlings, Cheltenham
Little Hatchlings are featuring on the list again, this time offering baby massage classes at the Wheatsheaf in Cheltenham. The classes are pay as you go and the cost includes a hot drink and a treat for mum!
Suitable from birth to crawling.
Nurturing Beginnings Baby Massage, Cheltenham
Nurturing Beginnings’ baby massage classes introduce a variety of soothing holds and rhythmic strokes alongside songs and rhymes for your baby. Classes are baby-led and follow their cues to ensure an enjoyable class for you both. You’ll also get time to enjoy a hot drink, homemade cake and get to know others on the course.
Suitable from four weeks to pre-crawling.
Elin Tots Baby Massage, Cheltenham
Fun, friendly group baby massage courses with an Early Years professional. The focus of the class is on the all-important interaction and bonding with your baby with lots of rhymes and songs to help you remember the strokes. You are taught a variety of massage strokes for a different body part each week with weekly handouts, oil and refreshments provided.
Suitable from birth to toddling.
TinyTalk, Cheltenham and Gloucester
TinyTalk is a nationwide franchise offering classes for both babies and toddlers to teach them BSL. Baby signing classes focus on a different theme each week with signs that relate to their daily routine and the world around them. Expect lots of music and hands-on activities. At the time of writing, local toddler classes were only available in Quedgeley.
Suitable from birth to 24 months.
Sing and Sign, Gloucester
Sing and Sign features as one of Mother and Baby‘s recommendations for the best baby and toddler groups in the UK, thanks to its approach to teaching sign language. Classes teach babies how to communicate useful words before they can speak and involve lots of singing and games.
Suitable from six months.
Although we never took part in any baby signing classes, we use sign language every day in our house, having taught myself using flashcards and YouTube! Read more about our baby signing journey here.
Babel Babies, Cheltenham
Babel Babies incorporates multisensory experiences and your favourite songs and stories to introduce foreign languages whilst babies are at their most receptive. It’s also a great way of starting or getting back into learning another language yourself. Booking includes a beautiful watercolour illustrated Babel Journal for each child, where parents and children can record their language journeys together and collect stickers at each session to celebrate all the stages of learning and having fun with languages.
Suitable from birth to school age.
Kidslingo, Cheltenham and Gloucester
Kidslingo offers a fun, intuitive and interactive way for children to learn French or Spanish. With weekly classes, babies and children can learn a new language by combining songs, Makaton, dancing, music and story-telling.
Suitable from 18 months to four years.
Jo Jingles, Cheltenham
Jo Jingles is another fun, interactive class which Mother and Baby feature as one of the best baby and toddler groups in the UK. Each week, you’ll explore a different theme through song, movement and dance. Each session concludes with a relaxation section with bubbles and classical music. Classes are available for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers as well as mixed age groups.
Suitable from twelve weeks to seven years.
Moo Music, Cheltenham and Gloucester
Moo Music is a fun and interactive music session for children. It’s particularly great for parents of two or more children as the classes can cater for wide age ranges.
Suitable from birth to five years old.
Monkey Music, Cheltenham and Gloucester
Monkey Music classes introduce the world of music through song, dance and play. Classes are grouped by age and cater for children up to pre-school age.
Suitable from twelve weeks to four years old.
Baby Bounce and Rhyme, Cheltenham and Gloucester
Baby Bounce and Rhyme classes involve songs, rhymes and musical instruments for babies and toddlers. Classes take part in libraries across Gloucestershire, so no matter where you live, it’s likely there’s one near you.
Suitable from birth up to two years old.
Boogie Beat, Cheltenham
Boogie Beat classes explore traditional and modern stories and bring them to life through singing, music and dance. Activities are short and snappy to try and keep roaming minds entertained but they’re also free to move around and explore too. Expect nursery rhymes, singing, dancing and lots of laughter! As the classes are suitable for babies and children up to the age of five, they’re perfect for young siblings.
Suitable from birth up to five years old.
Miniature Music, Cheltenham and Gloucester
Miniature Music teaches learning music in fun way that helps babies and children develop their musical, physical, emotional and intellectual skills through movement, acappella singing, drumming, action songs, rhymes, parachute play, listening and moving to live music and by playing along on percussion instruments, ukuleles and more.
Suitable from birth up to four years old.
Tumble Tots, Cheltenham and Gloucester
Tumble Tots is for babies over six months so you might be able to squeeze it in to your maternity leave. Classes are designed to improve your child’s agility, balance and coordination and develop a positive attitude towards physical activity. Having attended a taster session when Oliver was six months old, I would personally recommend waiting until your child is at least walking before trying this class so they can get maximum benefit out of it.
Suitable from six months to seven years.
Babyballet, Cheltenham and Gloucester
OK this one was definitely new to me – apparently baby ballet is a thing! Babyballet classes introduce the world of dance to babies from the age of six months old and help them to boost both confidence and co-ordination.
Suitable from six months to six years.
Tappy Toes, Gloucester
Tappy Toes provides dance classes for your baby as soon as they learn to walk (they’re still babies then, right??). The classes are all about dance and movement to improve your child’s motor and social skills, confidence and coordination as well as challenging their imagination and creativity through imaginative journeys on a ‘magic carpet’ ride to discover new places such as the moon, the beach, under the sea and even mouse-land!
Suitable from walking age to five years.
The Motherhood Society, Cheltenham
The Motherhood Society is not a class and is rather a community of women, however it runs regular events in Cheltenham which focus on self-care and crafty workshops for mums and babies.
Suitable from birth and all children are welcome.
In closing, a word of advice..
As soon as Oliver was born, I was signing up to every class under the sun. As soon as he hit eight weeks old we were out three days a week taking part in baby yoga, swimming and sensory classes. I have to be honest, it was all a bit too much. He’d end up napping at the wrong time so he was grouchy in the classes or – even worse – he’d sleep through them! Most. Expensive. Naps. Ever.
I definitely recommend going out and trying the classes that interest you but don’t get all excited like I did and overload yourself in those first few months – you don’t want to end up not enjoying them. Lots of the classes offer taster sessions, so shop around, find a few that you love and stick with them!
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