It’s been a while since we attended any baby groups. The first six months post-Scrip was awash with invites and free trials to baby swimming, music classes, Children’s Centres, Gymboree (never really took to that one) and baby yoga. And nowadays I have less time with her and more to fit into it, so I haven’t thought about joining any new ones recently.
My very first baby class was actually before Scrip had made her appearance – I went to the brilliant Maternally Fit when I was pregnant, which was actually where I met Tasha Ross for the first time. Only I didn’t remember until we got chatting when I turned up at a brand new class she was hosting that a mutual friend told me about – Talk with Tasha on Monday.
Tasha’s an Early Years Speech and Language Therapist with over seven years’ practical experience. She also has a toddler and is step-mother to a 10-year old, so is amply qualified to run a children’s communication class. We turned up at Kew Retail Park Mothercare on a rainy morning for the 10am session, and made our way to the back via rainbow-coloured mini-kitchens and oversized Hello Kittys. Luckily, Tasha had laid out lots of toys herself on some colourful mats so it wasn’t hard to round up the children for the start of the class.
There were a range of simple games and songs during the 40-minute session, which were all fun, easy to join in with and engaging for the group – which ranged from new sitters (around 6 months) to a 19-month old. You can actually bring babies from birth but I’d say those that are a bit older and more alert would get much more out of it. Scrip loved the animals in the bag game, in particular – joining in with the baa-ing and quacking as well as the names. By the end she was ready for a wander around, so I think the 40 minute sessions are the right length.
Tasha also uses simple signs throughout which can be useful for mums or carers of the younger ones and that the older ones can join in with as well. She was great at including the whole group and the pace was good, to ensure there was always something going on. There was also an opportunity to ask a few general speech questions at the end – which I took advantage of. Always helpful to check you’re doing the right things with a fledgling talker.
I’ll definitely be coming again – there’s a good offer on if you buy a course of 6 (£40) but as I probably won’t be able to commit to that I’ll probably take advantage of the drop-in sessions (£8 a time, so still very reasonable). And to round it all off, there was money off a Costa coffee for everyone who went along. What’s not to like?
What: Talk with Tasha, a communications group for babies and children
When: Mondays at 10am
How much: £8 a time or £40 for a course of 6