Bloom classes are already super popular in Stockport and other parts of the North West, so when we heard they were coming to East Cheshire we couldn’t wait to see what they were all about!
Bloom offers 2 types of class – Caterpillar Club which is for babies from six weeks to six months, and Busy Bees for babies from six months to mobile (approx 15 months).
Caterpillar Club classes are said to be ‘gentle multi sensory, baby development and massage classes featuring a calming baby massage at the end of the class to ensure a long nap for your little one’. Sounds perfect (especially the long nap part)!
Busy Bees classes are billed as ‘highly interactive musical classes which focus on baby’s growing confidence with the big wide world. Encouraging both fine and gross motor skills, teaching body awareness and stimulating your baby’s perception of sounds with our fun range of songs and activities. At theme time your baby gets to explore our fun range of bright props and exciting heuristic treasure baskets whilst developing their social skills with fellow Bloom babies!’
Mini-est Mumbler is 13 months, just falling within the Busy Bees age group. So, without further ado, I sorted a babysitter for Toddler Mumbler and signed me and the Mini one up for the Prestbury taster class.
The Prestbury class is held at the Village Hall – a lovely venue with great parking (a must for me and my questionable driving skills). When we arrived the other mums and babies were already sitting in a circle and we were greeted like old friends by Charlotte and Sarah who were running the class. There’s a different theme each week – ours was Valentines and the room was laid out beautifully – in the centre of the circle was a heart shape covered in a soft blanket and full of petals, roses and pink light strings. We took up position in the circle whereupon the Mini one obviously ran off to have a waddle round. He soon came back when the massive sensory caterpillar was brought out – Charlotte weaved it around the room and the babies had a ball stroking it, throwing themselves on it and generally mauling it.
During its 45 minutes, the class really took the little ones on a sensory journey and there was never a dull moment – it was full of music, bubbles, lights, puppets and loads more. At one point. Charlotte brought round what I can only describe as a pink ferret which delighted the little ones who found it hilarious when it tickled their noses; treasure baskets full of colourful props were handed out (Mini Mumbler’s favourite was obviously the sponge scourer) and the little ones were given various instruments to turn their hands to. Halfway through the class the lights were dimmed and the light strings came into their own whilst handmade parachutes were dangled over the babies’ heads as they tried to grab the hanging stars. The session was full of lovely songs – from well known ones like ‘All you Need is Love’ to Bloom specific ones I hadn’t heard before but which I’m in no doubt would become an ear worm after a few weeks. Mini Mumbler got well and truly stuck in – clapping his hands, playing the drumsticks and standing up to do his patented wiggle as the leaders sang and did Maketon signing. He got so carried away, he even sat on one of the leader’s laps for a few minutes before remembering that anyone who isn’t mum, dad or grandparent is the enemy and launching himself back onto my knee. I was really impressed by the educational element of the class – most of the Bloom songs featured an educational element including teaching the littles ones the different body parts and the leaders explaining the Makaton signs they were using.
Before we knew it, the class was coming to an end. I think the fact that the lovely mum sitting next to me commented how quickly the 45 minutes had gone, is testament to its success. Time really does fly when you’re having fun!!
Bloom Cheshire East currently runs classes in Knutsford, Lymm and Prestbury and new venues are being added. For more information and to book check out their Facebook page, website or contact Charlotte on 07568 340934 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.