Moms and Tots – what we do :)

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?

9 thoughts on “Moms and Tots – what we do :)

  1. I wish that I had made more effort to take my kids to classes like this. I now spend srious money on an OT to work on proprioception and spatial awareness and sensory issues. One never knows if I could have avoided enriching the OT’s like I do now!
    I think I never took them because of money (I didn’t earn a salary on maternity leave) and because they didn’t cater to working Moms. The one that I could have gone to didn’t have a Saturday class at the time. I have learned that one must never take it for granted that your kids are fine if they are healthy and happy and reaching milestones. As I said, I would NEVER have known that weak core muscles in kids will most certainly cause handwriting and a host of other issues later in life. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for writing about it.

    • That’s exactly it Julia! When we were still in the babes class she did a lesson on the grip they need for writing and how the stuff we do now affects that! The things is maybe your kids would still need OT but maybe not as much. Another mom also picked up issues – her child is Grade 0 now and has just finished with his OT so he starts school with his peers in every way!

  2. I didn’t take Little OL to any classes – for the life of my I can’t remember why. I think while I was on maternity leave I was just so overwhelmed at getting through the day with new little one that I did not think about much else. When I went back to work I did not have the time, and as far as I am aware of there were no Saturday classes then.
    I do think that the classes are great though. Luckily I had a good group of moms I was in antenatal with and we met regularly so I at least got out and socialised with other new moms.

  3. I think I was too overwhelmed (completely THROWN) by the reality of twins and when I emerged and had our lives more or less in a routine, I was so happy that that was it.

    On the other hand, I’m kind of a rebel with organised groups and especially parenting things because i just hate the comparison talk and judgement couched as fake concern (oh REALLY, they’re not sleeping through the night yet????!!! (you are obviously a cr@p mother!)

    And then at about 18 months, I kind of came into my own as a mother and decided most of these things are for the birds :) (it is just not me and if I battled or worried about something, I pay for a paed and go get the help)

    I know you love it so I’m happy for you!

  4. Ash and I also took Moms and Babes classes and I loved every minute of it. We stopped two months after I started working again (she was 8 months at the time) as I struggled with our routine and the fact that it’s a Saturday class.

    Last Saturday we started Clamber Club and I am so happy we decided to do so. She had an absolute ball and I feel assured that we’re in good hands, especially since I took her out of crèche (the full 3 days she lasted). We even get “homework”, which helps us practice what we did in class and to ensure that the lesson continues during the week.

    Funny thing is that the group we’re part of now is mixed (culture, level of income, etc.) I specifically love the fact that some of the dads are there with their kidlets.

    It’s really great and worth every minute/rand we spend on it.

  5. Reese and I have just started Mom’s and tots and we both love it! I love it because I get to interact with other Mom’s and Reese loves it because she gets to play with other kids. So far I have not had any problems or felt out because of our financial status, there is one mom who seems to be a bit annoying but I’ve noticed we all just stay away from her:-) so it definitely gets the thumbs up from me!

  6. It sounds amazing and you are blessed to be able to be with Jack and take him to these classes. I love the idea of messy play. I always allow my babies to paint and mess at my home and they love it.

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