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.
2. Joining a local baby or children's club or class will help your child 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 young children and 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. Sport is also a nice activity to do as a family. Many local clubs have adult sessions too e.g. you could treat it as a family challenge for the New Year 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 or working towards dance and drama productions, 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 and classes can help develop a child's co-ordination too. Sport, dance and craft activities are particularly important for developing the finer motor skills that a child needs for improving their handwriting.
7. Finally - clubs can give children much need 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 Wolves or professional on Strictly Come Dancing!
Here’s a list of clubs & classes local to the Wolverhampton, South Staffordshire and Shropshire area:
Codsall Hive, Codsall. Weekly afterschool art club and holiday workshops. Codsall Hive also runs weekly pre-school classes – Baby Bees for babies and Busy Little Bees for toddlers from 2 years upwards, during term times. For details call 01902 842771 or visit www.codsallhive.co.uk
Crafty Happenings, Penn. Join the After School Art Club at Crafty Happenings every Tuesday. Make things from air drying clay, weaving and other crafts, Suitable for children 6+. Children’s holiday workshops also available. For details call 07802 899354 www.craftyhappenings.co.uk
The New Art Gallery Walsall. The gallery runs a range of regular activities, workshops and activities during term times and summer holidays. They include Tuesday Tots, Wednesdays For All, Thursday Skills for families with children 4+, Saturday Playdates, Baby & Me Wednesdays and Art Start on Tuesdays for pre-schoolers. www.thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk
Juniors at Museums. Sticky Saturdays at Dudley Museum at the Archives and The Redhouse Glass Cone, Wordsley. Free art sessions. Come along with your family and have a go at being messy and getting sticky ... and we tidy up! https://www.dudley.gov.uk/things-to-do/museums/learning/juniors-at-dudley-museum/
Lucy Evans Academy of Dance. Classes in Ballet, Modern, Tap, Melody Bear Movement, Musical Theatre, Contemporary, Jazz, Limbering and Pilates. Children’s classes in Brewood and Wolverhampton. Book a trial class and pay half price - trial spaces are limited so ring Lucy Harper on 07896 770084 for details. www.lucyevansacademyofdance.co.uk
Zig Zag Dance Factory is owned by All England Champions Warren & Jane Bullock who are also the stars of Netflix and Channel 5 TV series Baby Ballroom. They specialise in teaching children (as well as adult classes too) in Ballroom, Latin American, Freestyle, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical and Streetdance and have been awarded the Top Teacher of the Year award 13 times! Globally acclaimed as one of the leading dance academies in the world, their fun and exciting classes cost just £5. Come along for a free taster. Classes across Wolverhampton & Wombourne. www.zigzagdance.co.uk 01902 897900.
Stagecoach Wolverhampton & Dudley offers quality part-time training in the performing arts for children aged 2-18 yrs. Classes are held in singing, acting and dancing at Newhampton Arts Centre, Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton and Dormston School, Sedgley. Open every weekend during term time with workshops during the school holidays. Stagecoach is Ofsted registered and accepts childcare vouchers. Ask about our two week trial. Call 07920 407046 or visit www.stagecoach.co.uk/wolverhampton
JAM Youth Theatre, Wolverhampton - Acting, singing, dance, musical theatre, comedy, devising and performance skills. Weekly theatre class, top class teachers, exciting performance opportunities, school holiday workshops and shows. Classes for ages 5-16 at Perton Civic Centre. Apply now for a FREE trial session. Call Stacey on 07530 055556 email email@example.com or visit www.jamyouththeatre.co.uk
Stacey Smith Singing Tuition offers professional singing training for all ages and abilities. Whether you want to sing for fun, or you want to pursue a career in singing this is the place to learn all the necessary skills and develop your voice. We offer a range of exams including ABRSM Singing exams and ALCM Musical Theatre performance exams; with a 100% pass rate with all current students. Based in Perton, South Staffordshire, the one to one lessons are taught from a purpose built music room. Holiday workshops are based in various local locations. Trial lesson half price. Call Stacey on 07530 055556. www.staceysmithsinging.co.uk
WV Active Swim Academy. Lessons available for children and adults at WV Active Central, Wolverhampton and Bert Williams Leisure Centre, Bilston. Lessons cover all abilities – from total beginners to more advanced swimmers. www.wvactive.com
Staffordshire Swimming Academy. Classes from 18 months old to adults. You get free public swimming if you pay by direct debit. Call your local South Staffordshire Leisure Centre for details or visit www.sstaffs.gov.uk
Water Babies – Baby and Toddler Swimming Classes. Water Babies Water Babies teach babies to swim from birth to 12 months without the use of flotation devices because the water naturally supports their body weight. Enjoyment is key to our courses, because the more relaxed and happy both you and your baby are, the better the results. There’s also options for children 1-5 years. Classes across Wolverhampton. 01694 731407 or email Wibblewobble@waterbabies.co.uk or visit www.waterbabies.co.uk
Lee Matthews British Military Martial Arts. Little Ninja Classes (4-7 years), Kids Karate (8-11 years) and Adult Kickboxing – triple fat burning cardio workout, special beginner’s classes available. Mondays & Thursdays at Christchurch Junior School, Tettenhall. Freephone 0800 389 3987. Or to book your free trial visit britishmilitarymartialarts.co.uk
BABIES AND PRE-SCHOOL:
Bilston Art Gallery Baby and Toddler Sessions. Little Grown-ups at Bilston Gallery (Thursdays during term time beginning 9 January 1pm – 2pm) provides families with babies and toddlers the freedom and space to enjoy playing from dressing-up, going to work and running a busy home. Bilston Boddlers (Fridays during term time beginning 10 January 1pm – 2pm) are fun sessions for families with babies and young children which provide all kinds of imaginative materials and toys. £3 or £4 for two children. Tickets via Eventbrite or pay on arrival.www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk
Codsall Hive Regular Busy Little Bee classes for pre-schoolers are Mondays 10am, Tuesdays 11am, Thursdays 2pm and Fridays 9.30. Baby Bees classes for babies are run as 6-week blocks, contact the The Hive for details of the next course dates. All classes term time only.01902 842 771 www.codsallhive.co.uk
Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Baby Bears Creative Play at Wolverhampton Art Gallery Every Tuesday during term time from 14 January 11am-12 noon. Our creative, sensory play sessions for families with babies and toddlers are led by artists and early years educators. Take time to relax, imagine and find inspiration in the Gallery’s exhibitions. £3 or £4 for two children. Tickets via Eventbrite or pay on arrival. www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk
Tots Play Wolverhampton. A complete programme of award winning classes, resources and more, giving you the confidence and inspiration needed to play, connect and enjoy special time with your baby or toddler in ways which will enhance their development. Our classes are suitable for children from birth to around 4 years, with a range of sessions aimed at different age groups. 07484 779565.For class locations and times visit www.totsplay.co.uk/wolverhampton
Water Babies – Baby Swimming Classes. See above.
Walsall Art Gallery Baby and Pre-School Sessions. Join in Tuesday Tots, Wednesdays For All, Thursday Skills for families with children 4+, Saturday Playdates, Baby & Me Wednesdays and Art Start on Tuesdays for pre-schoolers. www.thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk
Little Kickers Little Kickers Football Training for children aged 18 months - 7 years. Little Kickers are taken on a new adventure each week immersing themselves into a world of imagination from kicking “cannon-balls” to transporting our team to prehistoric times as dinosaurs. Classes across Wolverhampton, Bridgnorth, Telford and Shrewsbury. 07736 074596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.littlekickers.co.uk
Stagecoach Wolverhampton Mini Stages for 2-4 year olds. These 45 minute classes are a fun and exciting way for you and your child to actively experience the performing arts in a comfortable, relaxed and safe environment. Classes at Newhampton Arts Centre on Saturdays 9-9.45am. Call Hannah James 07920 407046. email@example.com or visit www.stagecoach.co.uk/wolverhampton. co.uk
NOTE: The information in this article was correct at January 1 2020 but please do check with the provider for the latest information and prices as this is just a guide.
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