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advice please? play centres Rss

Hi all im looking for a little help.
i rememeber when my son was born i felt like i was trapt in the house. (as im sure some of you may feel) one of the reasons for me, was there wasnt anywhere i could go, mother's group was once a week but 1 out of seven... all my friends worked as did my partner. i remember staying up searching the web for something to do with a newborn and i could really find many places to go. now im TTC #2 and im inspired to open a play centre for newborn through to 5 yr olds. (as most are not sutitable for children under 1-2 years old)
i would really love to know is what age your beautiful baby is? their fave game/toys and what you as a parent would want out of a brand new play centre?

any help would be so useful.
thank you

That is a fantastic idea !!!

The one thing I did get into was baby gym, its only an hour a week - but we have so much fun. It is amazing what you can do with a baby, admittedly, it gets even better when they can crawl. Here are a few fun things we do at gym, most I have adopted at home too. I'm not sure if its what you were after, but thought I'd reply any-way as its great fun for me and DD:

1. Bubble time - 'Mooses Bubbles Smel'ems' brand is great as comes in yummy flavours. Its great for co-ordination as DD tracks the bubbles with her eyes and reaches out to touch them. It is amazing how they are totally fascinated by it - great fun. If DD is ever upset or cranky, I get the bubble mixture out and instantly she stops.

2. Story time - any simple kids book with lots of colours, not too many words per page. I never thought DD could sit and listen to a story, yet all the babies do. The facilitator is very animated though, having eye contact with each baby in turn and making actions and sounds. I find myself totally engrossed in the story too.

3. Music time - we do a variety of songs with actions. Some that come to mind is Humpty Dumpty where you sit the baby on your knee bouncing gently, they put them on the floor when Humpty falls. Scarecrow, where you hold or stand bubs up when 'up jumps the scarecrow' - then wiggle arms and legs. Oh, another one I just remembered is each baby having a different noisy toy (like a toy instrument), for example, you bang the drum to the music - then stop the music, hand the instrument around, start it again. That one is good for teaching them to share and let go of toys. There is so many more, we do about 4 different ones each week.

4. Gym time - depends on the babies abilities. There is things you can do when they are just laying down and obviously more things when they can crawl. There is a variety of equipment, soft mini-trampolines they can lay on and gently be bounced, exercize balls to sit them on and gently bounce, little slippery dips to roll them down.

5. Ball time - a variety of balls (size, colour, textures etc) that we roll around, let the babies push them, hold them etc.

6. Parachute time - this is amazing. Its a big colourful soft circle - like a small parachute, with handles around the edge for mums to hold. We sit in a circle with the babies in the middle or just in front of us, laying or sitting (what ever they can do). We have some soft classical music and swish the parachute up and down. We kind of play peekaboo as you will see your baby as the parachute is up, then when you swish it down (slowly) they are under it for a couple of seconds. They seem to love to watch the movement and colours as well as giggling at the peekaboo.

I think that will do for now, there is other things, just can't seem to remember them. I think you are onto some-thing big here. It could be more than just activities, as a place for mums to go for a chat too. I think it would be great to have two parts, like a newborn bit and a toddler bit - a separate thing or area for older kiddies.

Good on you !!!

DD is 3yr 8 months - DS is 6 months

Hi there,
I think that is a fantastic idea, good luck with it.
I'm not sure I can help but I will give it a go.

Allira is now nine months and I have just started taking her along to playgroup. There are three in our area and so far we have checked out kindy gym and one playgroup. I wasn't very impressed with these as they are for more older kids as you said.
Allira does enjoy going to the toy library though. I put her down and she crawls around and climbs up on things and has a bawl.
I think the best things for smaller bubs to play with would be things like tunnels to crawl through, activity centres where they climb up and stand up and play, balls are good too to chase around the floor. Allira also enjoys toys that she can hit and bang that make noises.
For the even smaller bubs that aren't crawling yet you could perhaps set up an area where you have mobiles and things dangling down where they can lie and have a bit of a play.
If I was to start up a playgroup I would pop along to the local toy library and see if you could perhaps hire a few of their toys for the day you will be running playgroup each week, even have a chat to them to see what toys they recommend and for what ages.
Anyway best of luck with it, sounds like a good plan.

Jo, Tassie. First Daughter Allira 20/6/05

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