I’m really proud of the range of experiences we have available on MyBestGift.com.au and I want you to know as much about them as possible. Every month, we’ll have a featured experience, starting with our cutest category: Parents + Bubs.
Each of our experiences offers something special, so naturally I’m excited to try as many of them as I can. I was especially keen to road test some Parents + Bubs activities. They’re pretty cool because it gives us the opportunity to share new experiences with our little ones, who crave stimulation, education, and most of all, precious time with Mum and Dad. What better way to bond?
Outdoor mum, happy bub
Somehow, I didn’t discover the wonder of mum and bubs fitness classes until baby number two. I guess it makes sense: when I had Mila, now 4.5 years, I was in that first-time mum ‘baby bubble’ that for me meant minimal sleep, maximum worrying and a complete lack of awareness of the outside world! We don’t have any family living locally either to call on for babysitting, so for me, exercise went out the window for a while.
The beauty of this class is that no baby sitters are needed, because mums bring their babies and toddlers (newborn to four) in prams to do the class with them. It ticks all the boxes: getting outdoors, exercising, baby bonding, socialising with other mums and guilt-free fun!
Our class kicked off with our thoughtful instructor Sarah checking in with one knowing question: “Anyone had a rough night?” One lovely mum had barely managed a few hours sleep (we’ve all been there). But she dragged herself along, sunglasses on, for some fresh air. As the other women offered words of encouragement, Sarah delved a little deeper. “Out of 10, how are your energy levels?” she asked. “Four,” from our sleepy mum. Not the best, but she was there with baby and that’s all that mattered.
Sarah took note before leading a warm-up lap of the park. Off we went, with newborns and toddlers in single or double prams, walking, running, squatting, lunging and side-stepping ourselves into a sweat. It was a great workout that was scaled for different levels of ability and a great way to meet a really friendly group of women. After class we had coffee (and a little cake, because it’s all about balance right?), while the babies played on picnic rugs. Bliss.
Music to little (and larger) ears
Next up was a music class for parents and little ones. Our teacher was the lovely Julie – a formally trained music teacher who was warm, welcoming, energetic and obviously passionate about what she does.
Julie began by grabbing her guitar and gathering the kids for a sing-a-long (she covered all the favourites). Some of the kids started off a little shy, with others jumping straight in. Once they started dancing, they didn't stop! There were egg shakers, drums, parachute games, singing with puppets – you name it. It was non-stop fun and the kids were engaged and entertained from beginning to end. And I’m sure everyone slept well that night.
Julie told me that the repetition of songs and activities were ideal for early childhood and the class was designed to encourage confidence. For Julie, it’s especially thrilling to see a shyer child transform. “That for me is the highlight, when you have that little person who's just a little bit shy and you see their real personality come out,” she said. “We’ve also had some of the babies take their first steps … that’s the power of our classes! It’s so rewarding.”
Making a splash
I really believe that swimming is a gift for life. We live on a big island, so it makes sense that our kids should start swimming lessons as early as possible. My littlest, Sophie, is 1.5 years and has already taken swimming lessons for nearly 12 months and she absolutely loves them. These early classes are focused on water confidence and conditioning: we sing silly songs, splash, ‘monkey grip’ along the side of the pool, blow bubbles and Sophie tries some (albeit brief!) underwater swimming.
I love the fact that I see a lot of dads at these classes, because it's a great way for them to get really hands on and bond with their little ones. And when the littlies start swimming at a very young age, it’s so fulfilling to see their progress.
For more ideas on ways to have fun with your littlest adventurers, check out our Parents + Bubs section and start creating wonderful childhood memories!
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