Typically, as my maternity leave ended, the world started opening up again – which included baby classes and groups. As I was preparing to go back to work, I was on the lookout for a local baby group/class that my Mum would be able to take Rowan to. Although we are fortunate that in Harrogate most places are accessible on foot, ideally, I was looking for something in our local area (Bilton), and as if by magic, an advert for Songbugs came up on my Facebook news feed!
I’d not heard of the classes before, but they sounded perfect for my music-loving thirteen-month-old. For such a young age he does bop and bounce along to beats and will always choose to play with his musical instruments; he must have inherited the musical gene from his Daddy! When I mentioned it to my Mum (a retired nursery nurse), she was so excited to take her first Grandchild to a class; not just to be able to relive some of the activities she did at nursery, but also for her own sanity to get out of the house and socialise! It was also important to me that Rowan continued to be involved in some classes for his own physical, cognitive and emotional development.
Songbugs Singalong describe themselves as “Children’s TV but live in HD” which is absolutely what they offer. Dani is an enthusiastic, energetic leader who engages with the children well and is able to capture their attention naturally – Rowan looks at her with such fascination (or perhaps it’s the puppet!). It’s great to see a leader who is clearly passionate about what she does. Dani’s background is in live performance and production shows and this shapes the whole backbone of the SongBugs product. With a wealth of experience performing live and delivering children’s concepts too; it is clear to see her passion in entertaining and engaging young children and adults alike! Songbugs offer three different groups which are classified by age: Bumble Bops (“3 months to moving”), Bumble Bounce (“toddling to 2 years”) and Bumble Beats (“2 years to pre-school age”). Rowan attends the “Bumble Bounce” class.
The classes provide a good mix of musical and sensory activities. A range of musical instruments and sensory items are provided in an individual bag for your little one’s own personal use throughout the class. Dani uses puppets which provide great engagement for the little ones and good repetition throughout classes so they become familiar.
Dani provides full reassurance at the start of every session that all items have been sanitised in accordance with national covid-19 guidance and ensures that everyone is PPE compliant (wearing a facemask) and sanitises their hands on entry into the building. Face masks are required when moving about the centre but don’t need to be worn when you’re sat in your individual space (which are all socially distanced). I felt very safe and reassured that all the correct guidance was been followed which is so important to keep ourselves and everyone else safe.
Overall we have really enjoyed the Songbugs experience to date, and my Mum has signed up for more classes, which speaks for itself. The classes have now become part of our Wednesday routine, and Rowan’s little face lights up when the building is in sight, as he’s learned to recognise what’s coming and looks forward to his little bop on the floor mats!
I would not hesitate to recommend Songbugs to anyone who is looking to introduce their little one into music, and it’s the perfect class to spend some one-on-one bonding time with them whilst having lots of fun!
What we loved about the class:
· Rowan is gaining confidence – he is engaged and is able to concentrate on songs and listen to beats
· Online booking system via their website – convenient and easy to use
· Flexible booking offered by a week-by-week basis is really useful rather than booking a term if you prefer this option (I found this a really helpful option financially but also the level of commitment is up to you)
· Classes are run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (x2) and Fridays across Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge which offer great options throughout the week
· There are three different classes available depending on age, which is well designed in accordance with developmental need and attention span etc.
The only real negative I found was that the class names confusing and it wasn’t obvious which class I needed to book without having to look it up elsewhere on the site beforehand.
*Disclosure – this review was written by Elfie Astbury with information and thoughts on the class added by her Mum, Elfriede Goulé. The review was entirely voluntary and not endorsed by Songbugs in any way, although permission was sought from the course leader beforehand.*