I spent hours Googling baby classes when I was pregnant only to discover the best ones by word of mouth months later. The good news is there’s lots out there, but it can be tricky to find classes which tick the right boxes; weekend things for working mums, flexible booking options etc.
I look for activities which will be able to engage Freya, who’s now 2, as well as being both good fun and great value for money. It’s especially helpful to find classes where dads and even grandparents feel welcome too- my husband loves coming along when he can.
I’ve hopefully taken some of the hard work out of it for you- here’s the best baby & toddler classes we’ve come across so far, many of which were also suggested by our readers, for you to share with anyone who has little ones or even one on the way!
Perthshire’s exciting rugby programme for girls and boys, run by the brilliant James Knight. You can read our full story on it here>.
These classes teach young children the very first skills of rugby in a fun, safe environment. They use the fundamental s of physical activity (Agility, Balance and Coordination) whilst developing social skills such as listening, teamwork, and following instructions. Each class is designed to help your child learn to work as a team, make new friends and develop new skills throughout the course. There’s three levels; Teeny Nippers (aged 2), Mini Nippers (aged 3) and Junior Nippers (aged 4 + 5)
PRICE: £39 for a block of six weeks
I’ve been hearing about these classes non-stop! Blending gardening and nature inspired activities around a different theme each week means that there’s always something different to look forward to. Kids learn through songs, stories, sensory play and planting (even taking home what they make and plant!).
The classes are relaxed and informal, a great chance to make friends and encourage little ones to play outside while learning to respect nature and wildlife. I’ve spoken to several other parents who go and they all say it’s one of the best classes they’ve ever been to. Parents, babies and younger siblings are also very welcome at the classes.
PRICE: 3-week block - £16.50 Siblings half price
Little ones cook a seasonal recipe using delicious ingredients from local Carse farms (think honey from Scarlett's in Meigle and cauliflower grown by Grewars) . While they wait for their creations to cook, there’s a bit of foodie story time and crafts. The toddlers put Tayside's larder through its paces, learning how exciting local food can be. We’ve been going along to these classes for the last few weeks (article to follow soon!) and it’s been great for giving me new ideas of things to make for and with Freya.
COST: £6 per child and you can book for a block of 4.
This parent and child dance class from Inspire Studio is LOADS of fun! Freya’s childminder takes her along, and it’s been great for her confidence (she’s already got some outstanding moves). There’s lots of silly dancing and singing to music which helps with their balance, coordination and speech.
COST: £4 per class
Sometimes the best things in life really are free! When Freya was tiny one of the highlights of our week was spending half an hour on a Thursday afternoon sitting in a circle singing nursery rhymes and doing the actions at the library in Auchterarder.
These classes are also popular with grandparents who are always pleased to sing-along. When it comes to nursery rhymes, some things never change! They all know the words, even if it’s been years since they last heard them.
This is a drop in session (although you have to book a place at some libraries) and is a great mix of babies & toddlers of all ages. When we started Freya was one of the youngest and it’s so lovely to see her growing up, more able and aware every week.
A brilliantly simple concept which never gets old, and a great way of introducing them to the library. Download times and venues here>
I know what you’re thinking- sign language for babies? Really? Yes- and it’s brilliant!
There’s lots of research which shows babies can learn to ‘sign’ or make gestures to indicate their needs from an early age, and parents can help teach them what gestures represent simple concepts.
This isn’t a classroom environment though; the learning is done through fun & exciting activities and games that inspire your baby’s interest and illustrate the signs to them. Each week is different and it’s great fun to practice at home, where you can really see their progress. Also, things at home become much less frustrating when baby can tell you what they want!
There’s three age ranges; Babes (6 weeks to 7 months), Stage 1 (6-15 months), Stage 2 (14-30 months)
COST: 12 week Autumn Term (including a special Christmas class and gift for every baby). Stage 1 & 2 = £80, Babes £75 (with illustrated songbook and two music CDs). Discounts for twins or triplets.
*Sing and Sign Summer Specials*
Each Friday morning for five weeks over the summer break special classes will running for babies 5 months – 2.5 years at Oakbank Community Centre Each week we will have a different theme, the first week is "When we go to the Zoo"! £5 per class, booking essential.
Unique class inspired by traditional Scottish dancing, led by Gillian Urquhart, a former Champion Highland Dancer herself!
Classes are welcoming and friendly, a bit like a mini ceilidh and with brilliant music to get kids (and you!) moving and bouncing along. Children can join in at their own ability level, and Gillian uses years of PE teaching experience to create an experience that is great fun. The class content is cleverly designed to support children’s overall development, drawing on recent research. Kids are guaranteed to burn off any excess energy while there, and it’s a lovely way for them to spend time with parents, grandparents or childminders.
COST: Classes are £4.25 per week in a block booking. There’s also a limited number of flexible booking passes per term.
It costs £135 for a block of 10 lessons.
We’ve been attending these baby swimming classes since Freya was tiny and it’s hands down the best thing we’ve done. Just last week we were in Spain for a few days and seeing her jumping in, swimming like a fish and practising her safety drills brought a smile to everyone around the pool.Just last week we were in Spain for a few days and seeing her jumping in, swimming like a fish and practising her safety drills brought a smile to everyone round the pool.
She loves her teacher Lucy, and has come on massively since we graduated to the ‘Toddler’ classes. I could sing the praises of this amazing class all day long - which is why it was my very first #RhonaRecommends spotlight article. Click over and read all about it here>>>
COST: £135 for a block of 10 lessons
One hour class structured with fun filled nursery rhymes and songs using props and parachutes. These classes are an early introduction to music and can do more than just entertain your child; helping with developing co-ordination and motor skills. Music can contribute to kick starting learning and can even help with your child's social skills.
In class children will use props and toys such as monkeys clocks , dolls, hands, flags, bunny hats (and many more!). The props are used in reference to song (e.g. 5 monkeys jumping on the bed) and help to reinforce not only the story but the words.
Musical instruments are also an important part for each song, and your little one can expect to use shakers, drums, tambourines, xylophones & hand bells until their heart's content!
COST: £4 per class
*Summer Holiday Special*
Every week day there will be sessions 9am-12pm, or 1-4pm. Book in for one session, no need to go to them all. No age restrictions, £8 per child, includes water and fresh fruit. There will be a different theme each week, everything from nature to mini Olympics!
There’s a lot I could say about Fitdankbaby (which translates as ‘Fit thanks to baby’), so much in fact that after one class I decided to do a spotlight on it (read it here>)
This class is utterly unique, and we’re lucky enough to have one of the best Pilates instructors in the UK, Joakim Valsinger, bringing it to Scotland for the first time right here in Perth. If you’re anything like me you may have underestimated quite what Pilates is - I was all ready for a bit of breathing and stretching.
Turns out it’s a proper workout- 75 minutes of controlled movements many of which you do with your baby attached to you using a special ‘fitdankbaby’ patented belt so they act as a weight.
It made me feel great afterwards (although I did find myself wishing I'd taken a slightly less puffed-out pic at the beginning of class!) so we’ve signed up to a block. Taster sessions are available.
COST: £54 for a 6 week block, or £9 per class.
Fi Munro started these children’s yoga classes a few months ago. I know what you’re thinking, how can this poor woman ‘teach’ a class of rowdy 4 year olds to meditate. Scoff you may, but this teacher has a few tricks up her sleeve…
Prior to training as a yoga instructor she completed a PhD in children’s outdoor play and learning, for which her award winning work in this area is internationally recognised (go on, Google her, it’s pretty impressive!).
The classes start with moves to burn off any excess energy before building to calming ones with story-led ‘postures’. The vast majority of postures in yoga are named after animals so it makes perfect sense to weave these into tales to capture the imagination. The result is a fun class where kids are engaged, and hanging on Fi’s every word. Classes are split into two age groups (3-5yrs/5-8yrs), meaning that the content is always an age appropriate introduction to yoga, breathing and meditation. Read our full story here>
COST: 8 week blocks cost £38 for 3-5 year olds, and £42 for 5-8 year olds.
As visitors sadly are unable to visit Pitlochry Festival Theatre right now, their team are offering instructions on How to Build Your Own Theatre!
May 27th Wednesday 2020
Horsecross Arts is launching Virtual Voices, an online version combining the popular regular singing group Horsecross Voices with Little Stars.
May 21st Thursday 2020
A group of creative families in Scone have discovered the perfect way to prevent social isolation and encourage each other to enjoy their exercise!
May 18th Monday 2020