A few people have mentioned Moms and Tots on both my twitter feed and in a few of the blogs I read. From what I can make it it is perceived as something rich moms do to socialise with other rich moms :-p

Jack and I have been going since he was 8 weeks old (Moms and Babes) and we love it. I have learnt so much about child development and I know I will never know for sure but if I had been exposed to something like this with Kiara I may have picked up her issues sooner.

Julia asked me to share a little more about what we do – I can obviously only share how it works in our classes.

The classes are 2 hours long once a week.

We are inside the “classroom” for an hour, then outside for messy play for 30 minutes and then tea and cake and free play for another 30 minutes.

When do age appropriate activities that focus on fine and gross motor skills, proproception (I knew nothing about this), spatial integration and sensory integration.

Our current class has a mixture of ages from 19 months to 3 years old.

We start off by playing for 15 minutes until everyone is there and then we all have to pack away, the older kids recognise the song and pack away on their own. Then we say hello and then EVERY week so far this year Rheta counts to 3 a few times asking them all the time to show her three fingers (it’s all about repetition) and then we either do a 3-piece puzzle/game/activity with 3 colours on or we do an activity with shapes. Then we do an obstacle course in the classroom or use the big balls – the obstacles are climbing, walking on different things, balancing etc.

Messy play includes tables of water, paint, dough, leaves, cutting, poking holes – anything. When they were babies we had to sit them in the shells filled with feathers or pieces of paper or sticks etc. This also forms part of the sensory integration.

Free play is in the little playground where they climb, jump, slide, swing etc while we chat.

There is no focus each class on milestones. Once a term she reads the milestone cards for us but she makes it clear that it is a guide line. Not once have I felt that any of us are competing!

The thing with something like this is that you pick up stuff you don’t normally. One of the babies in our Babes class didn’t walk for ages – all the other babies, even Jack who was 3 months younger was walking. He did eventually start walking BUT he has low muscle tone and this was picked up in this class because he battled with a few of the exercises so his mom focused on a few things and he is now fine!! Jack was a little behind with his fine motor skills which as we all know can cause major issues later in life. With the older two I can’t remember if they had similar issues or not but because they were reaching milestones, healthy and happy you assume it is all ok.

Jack walks around playing with the toys for most of the class – every now and then he joins in the song or will complete the activity but for the most part he does his own thing and this is FINE. The kids are forced to do every single activity because as I mentioned a few posts ago each child learns differently – audio, visual and movement.

Yesterday for example we each got a board with 3 shapes cut out and then 2 circles and they had to place the big circle in first and then the smaller one on top, then put the circle on their head. Jack wasn’t interested. As he walked past me I grabbed him and said come put the circle in – he put the big one in, put the small one on top, put it on his head and walked off again. So he is taking it all in.

Both groups I have had have been lovely. Most are a lot richer than we are but I have never felt “out”. Having said that it does take effort though to join in discussions and not just expect that someone will come and talk to you.

It has been a great experience for us and I look forward to our classes once a week!!!

Did you take your tots to a group like this? How did you find it? If you didn’t why did you decide not to?