Baby Sensory was something I hadn't heard of until Tollyjoy's Baby Day. Since there is a branch near my place, I decided to give it a shot, and I've been going back ever since.
As the name suggests, they provide a group-based play session whereby all the senses are activated to help babies discover themselves. The use of colour, music, tactile sensations, etc. is definitely something that will stimulate your baby. If nothing else, it's an hour of someone else entertaining your baby while you participate.
The waiting area is decked out in colours and activities as well so that you can occupy your baby as you wait. The space is shared with Toddler Sense and Mini Professors (science-based learning for 2-5 year olds), so there is an array of toys for different age ranges available.
[The Father Hoarding His Child]
You will have to take your own socks as shoes aren't allowed on the premises for hygiene purposes. There is also a changing area as well as nursing rooms to facilitate any requirements you may have during your visit.
Each session begins with a welcome song, and it engages the fact that babies learn signs prior to language. Along with each primary word in the song, there is a corresponding flash card, as well as a sign you use your hands for.
[Flashcards to go with the signs]
As mentioned, the classes are structured in such a way that they stimulate the senses on all fronts. There is music playing in the background which changes with the activity being conducted, and there is plenty of colour to keep babies curious and fascinated.
[Swathes of fabric for a colourful seabed]
Along with this, there is a tactile element as well, in that babies are encouraged to touch and feel items associated with the activity. Everything is sterilised (before and after the class) of course, and if it isn't safe for them to put in their mouths, you will be informed as much.
[A Whale of a Time]
For some activities, the lights are dimmed to provide a more focused effect, and the constant disco lighting in the background helps to further stimulate your baby. I don't know about you, but Megatron adores lights!
[An Array of Sea Creatures and Corals]
There is certainly a concerted attempt at involving each and every child, and the movement of these lanterns wielded by the coordinators strengthen your baby's eyes as it forces them to follow the ebb and flow of activity.
To add a bit of fun, there was the addition of bubbles as well. Which child doesn't love bubbles? It was really amazing how our little circle was transported to the sea during this particular activity.
As it's a form of play-based learning, there's an element of freedom to it that allows babies to just sit and watch if they're not comfortable participating. It's wonderful that there are also a number of opportunities in each class for them to practice their motor skills as well.
[Drumming with Household Items]
[See the Ladle?]
In the 4-5 sessions that I've gone in, there's also been an alternate session of a puppet show or story time. Megatron thoroughly loves these sessions, and I've noticed that through experiencing them in her classes she has been more receptive to them at home.
[Puppet Show Time]
[Introducing all the Different Animals]
[Loving the Puppet Show]
As there is so much activity, it's essential that there's a break in between. Parents are given 10 minutes or so in the middle of the class to change or feed the babies, or just give them a break in general. While half the area is dedicated to the circle of parents and activities, the other half is a free play area and the toys and activities placed there are rotated everytime to ensure that there's always something new to discover.
[Free Play/Break Time]
["Learn to Read! You're Already 6 Months Old!"]
[Channelling Tenzing Norgay]
[When your child thinks she is Cleopatra]
What's lovely is that classes tend to be grouped by age ranges and most of the babies in the group tend to be within 3-6 months in age of each other. This ensures that each child is getting something out of the class that corresponds with their development.
After the break, there are 2-3 more activities for your child to enjoy.
For Megatron's first session, there was a combination of balloons, a big balls and bubbles to entice her attention.
[Balloons to Delight the Senses]
At 4 and a half months (she was born 6 weeks early, so we waited til she was 3 months adjusted to take her in) at this point, this was her first experience with all three of those things and she was utterly fascinated.
[Huge Bouncing Ball so Parents Get Involved]
The final activity of the day was an introduction to a frog's ecosystem.
[A Pond with Lilypads and Frogs]
Between the moving coloured lights, and the butterflies and swirls, Megatron simply couldn't look away.
[Transfixed by the Movement]
As mentioned, the activities change with each class, and a couple of weeks ago, there was even a tea party with teddy bears.
[Baby's Very Own Tea Party]
At the end of each class, there's a goodbye song as well.
This is good in its own way because babies are creatures that are assaulted by novelty and it's nice for them to understand that there is a routine to things.
In going for these classes, I've found that Megatron has become more engaged with each one because she's beginning to enjoy all the controlled novelty in her environment there. It's a safe space in which she experiences all these new things and she can zone out if it's too much for her, which does happen towards the end of the class.
Don't doubt that these classes will overstimulate your baby, because it's a given that she will pass out for a minimum of 4 hours after each class. It exhausts her, but I'd rather have an overstimulated than understimulated baby.
When I went for the first class, I immediately signed up for their trial package which is 3 classes for RM120.
Last week Pinata took her in as I had something on and we've just signed up properly. It's really good that they encourage you not to attend classes if your child is under the weather. That truly is the sign of being responsible, and it's much appreciated.
Overall, Pinata and I are both really happy with these classes. If gives Megatron a chance to be socialised with babies her age as well, which is essential to her upbringing.