Our children really need to feel a sense of stability and routine again, after the strange 'lockdown' period of 2020. Regularly attending a weekly club is one way of establishing this rhythm into family life. The new term is a great time to take up a new hobby or learn new skills. You can find information on local clubs here. First, here are 7 good reasons why you or your child could benefit from joining a club, class or group this winter:
1. Better together. As human beings, we are social animals, and feel the need to belong to a group - be it a workplace, gym, church, social club or gang. Having been deprived of social contact for so long this year, children need to mix (safely) with peers again.
2. Your child will become more confident, happy and fulfilled. For children it's important for them to spend time with other children, particularly if they share the same interests, as it can inspire and excite them to see other like-minded children trying things out.
For toddlers, clubs and classes teach them all sorts of disciplines, like learning to make new friends, to share and listen - all good preparation for school.
Baby groups and classes not only help stimulate your little one's development, it also provides a much needed chance for you to socialise with other new parents.
3. Children can never have too many friends. Making friends with children from outside their school allows children to broaden their experiences as well as their pool of friends. Then, when they start High School, there's the chance they will bump into them again.
4. Sports and dance clubs encourage a healthy lifestyle. There are so many classes now to choose from, and many offer free taster sessions. Sport is also a nice activity to do as a family and a great way to get us all back in shape. Many local clubs have adult sessions too e.g. you could treat it as a family challenge to all learn martial arts or take up tennis. It goes without saying, the benefits of doing regular exercise include encouraging your child to lead a healthy, active lifestyle, thus avoiding poor health and obesity in later life. Exercise also helps to relieve the stress built up by homework and exams.
5. Children learn to become a team player. By participating in team sports, children learn to support each other, listen to instructions, become disciplined and work towards a common goal. All good lessons for the future workplace.
6. Clubs can help develop a child's co-ordination too. Sport and craft activities are particularly important for developing the fine motor skills that a child needs for improving their handwriting.
7. Finally - clubs can give children much needed time away from computer screens, iPads, phones and televisions! By trying out different clubs, children get the chance to discover a hobby they may have a natural aptitude for. You never know - they could be a future striker for WBA or professional on Strictly Come Dancing!
Many clubs offer a free taster class, so your child can see if they like it before you commit.
Here are a just a few ideas for local children's clubs. Give them a call!
Fusion Dance Factory is a fun, informal dance school, based in Norton, Stourbridge. Established since 2009, Fusion now offers classes for all ages from 3 up to adults, including Street Dance, Modern, Ballet, Tap, and Freestyle. During the summer holidays, dance instructor Miss Becky, hosts a variety of fun filled dance workshops, usually with a popular theme, like Frozen or High School Musical. Every two years, the club puts together a showcase of pupils work at Stourbridge Town Hall.
Whyley Dance Club in Kidderminster offers something for all ages: Michelle Whyley's community dance workshops are full of fun and laughter. It's an exciting way to learn dance and stay fit and healthy. Michelle offers classes in Dance, Ballet, Street and Zumba - for all ages from 18 months to children to adults. Classes held at Baxter Collage and Areley Kings Hall.
The 'Performance Hub' is a dance school with a difference! Held at Oldswinford Primary School in conjunction with Rubix Dance. Classes are all non exam based with emphasis on participation, confidence building through movement and expression along with creativity and performance. Each term working on new skills and finishing with a mini sharing of the children work.
Football in the Community is a group encouraging boys and girls to play the sport. In association with Kidderminter Harriers, they run coaching sessions during the school holidays and in term time at both Kidderminster and also Kinver. All abilities are welcome and the emphasis is on fun!
Futsal is a bit like football, using a smaller low bounce ball. It's based indoors and is aimed at teaching children ball skills. Stourbridge Futsal Club has just set up a girls-only class at Thorns College on Mondays.
Forest School Fun
The World Outside is an outdoor activity, bushcraft and forest school provider based in Kidderminster. Each school holiday they run fun Wilderness Explorer sessions based at Bodenham Arboretum in Wolverley. Children can enjoy making dens, mud painting, cooking on a camp fire, storytelling etc all in a structured environment. As well as holiday sessions, The World Outside offers a special Under 5s session each Friday, and regular sessions for Home Educators.
Fruits of the Forest
Run by Ruth Hill, Fruits of the Forest aims to help children grow in health and happiness. By providing forest school fun and Forest Birthday Parties in the woodlands at Pedmore CE Primary School.
Pauline Quirke Academy Stourbridge operate on Saturdays AM (9.45am-1pm ), at Redhill School, Stourbridge, where we welcome students aged 4 to 18. Each week students have sessions in Comedy & Drama, Musical Theatre and Film & Television, led by our fantastic team of Teachers and Teaching Assistants. PQA are always working on exciting projects which feature our students performing in a variety of different roles, in musicals, plays and films. One of their main aims is to build a child's confidence , through fun and entertaining classes while incorporating the skills and techniques necessary to improve their performing ability.
Stagecoach: with local centres in Stourbridge and Kidderminster, Stagecoach provide quality part-time training in the performing arts for children aged 4-18yrs. Their aim is to nurture and develop young potential through singing, acting and dance classes, stretching young imaginations and building confidence. For information about their two week trail, please call Zoe Priestley on 01562 66194 (Kidderminster) or Catherine on 01527 837550 (Stourbridge). Stourbridge Stagecoach have just introduced a new Friday evening class in Hagley!
Playmakers West Midlands is a local theatre group that meets each Saturday at the Ruskin Centre and also at the Scout Hut in Amblecote. Join for for expert tuition in singing, acting and dancing. Classes are delivered by professionals working in the performing arts industry with a wealth of experience working with and engaging young people. Your child will build self esteem and confidence and it will be our mission to ensure that every individual shines on stage. All children get a part in the end of term play!
The Earls Gymnastics team are hardworking professionals that are trained to the highest of standards and deliver fun safe gymnastics activities throughout the week. The Club is affiliated to British Gymnastics and has been GymMark accredited. They offer several different classes for varying abilities and age groups. Classes are held at Furnace Lane in Halesowen and in Oldbury.
Neptune Learn to Swim hold classes for all ages and all abilities, at King Charles School in Kidderminster. As well as term time lessons, children can also take part in intensive crash courses during the school holidays, which really help to accelerate children's progress and to boost their confidence.
Wyre Forest Tae Kwon Do have classes in your local area, including at Bewdley, Chaddesley Corbett, Stourport, Kidderminster, and Hagley. Tae Kwon Do is for all ages and abilities and can improve your health and fitness, strengthen your body and improve motor skills, discipline, determination and confidence. It is also proven to be an effective way to lose weight and stay trim and toned while learning a practical skill. Adults and juniors can train alongside each other so families are very welcome. Mention Raring2go! for a free month's trial!
If you child needs a confidence boost at school, preparation for SATS or just some extra practice, it's worth contacting a local tutor. In Stourbridge we have Kumon based at Pedmore Technology College, run by Lisa Sheldon, or Kumon Kingswinford at Crestwood School, run by Emma Wilkinson. Kumon are offering a free two week trial in September 2020.
Since 2001 the award-winning maths and English tuition has supported over 200,000 children aged four to 14 excel academically, reach their potential and achieve the best possible results. Their unique learning approach is based on developing a deep understanding of your child’s specific needs and learning style. Explore Learning use this to build an individualised programme to suit each child. Your nearest EL centre is in the Crown Centre in Stourbridge.
Water Babies: To teach your child to swim, check out your local class. The core points of difference between Water Babies classes and mainstream baby swimming lessons are that the course is highly structured, with clear progression, aims and objectives built into the 40-week programme. They teach babies from birth and without the use of flotation devices in order to prevent children developing a false sense of security and because the water naturally supports their body weight. Free taster sessions are available, subject to availability, at a number of our venues each term for babies up to a year old. Taster sessions are available for over 1's on request. Local classes are held at Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Telford, Bridgnorth, Brierley Hill, Wolverhampton and Cannock and a range of class days and times to suit everyone. For more information, please phone Heidi and her friendly team on 01694 731401, email Wibblewobble@waterbabies.co.uk or visit
Tumble Tots is a structured programme that is designed to build self-confidence as well as developing physical skills such as balance, agility, co-ordination and climbing. It's aimed at children aged 6 months to school age. Children are assisted by trained staff in a fun and caring environment. Sessions are 45 minutes long and are specifically designed for the development goals for that age group. Local lessons are held in term time at Wollaston, Blakedown, Kingswinford and Halesowen.
Babyballet is for little boys and girls who love to dance. The award-winning preschool concept is for children from age 6 months to 6 years can take part and classes are held all across our area, including Kidderminster, Bakedown, Halesowen and Stourbridge.
These are just a few suggestions. You'll find information on even more local clubs, in the Clubs and Classes section of our website. Click here.
Editor of Raring2go! Kidderminster & Stourbridge since 2008. Local font of knowledge. Mother of two and wife of one.