Are you missing your regular baby class, children's activity or support group due to the Government restrictions on businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic? Maybe you've recently had a baby and this isn't how you imagined your first weeks with your new baby, or maybe you've exhausted all your energy and ideas and need a new activity to keep the kids busy for a bit? Many small businesses (myself included) remain closed to seeing their customers face to face and are finding new ways to make connections and offer their support.
We all need a bit of routine and normality to stay sane in these challenging times, so I've put together a list of 9 small businesses from the Skipton, Keighley, Ilkley and surrounding areas that are now offering live, online classes and activities for you, your baby and children to enjoy, from the comfort of your own home. And of course, the best bit is that you can access these from anywhere as they're all online! These classes are suitable for a range of ages and can be snapped up either for free or for just a few pounds each and provide some great inspiration, motivation and activities to help you through your week. I'm sure all these small businesses would love for you and your children to join them and to continue to offer your support.
1. Rhythm Time - Wharfedale, Craven and Bradford
Rhythm Time offers multi-sensory music classes, specially created for you to enjoy at home with your little one (suitable from birth to 5), are now available fully online!
Laura who runs Rhythm Time says; "Don’t let the fun stop! You and your little ones can have all the same Rhythm Time fun at home! We’ve adapted our fun, award-winning classes for YOUNG & OLDER BABIES, TODDLERS & PRE-SCHOOLERS for you to enjoy in your own space! We’ll even show you how to make your own musical instruments! Continue to help their development, including their COMMUNICATION, SPEECH, CONFIDENCE, LITERACY, LISTENING SKILLS & PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT - all whilst having fun to music! And it's still as interactive as ever!"
"With every booking, you’ll not only receive a weekly email with a link to an age appropriate YouTube class, but you also get FREE access to our Online Exclusive Members Hub, full of fabulous resources to enjoy at home with your little one! In our Facebook Member's Hub we have more weekly live classes, short developmental videos, games, instrument making projects, activity sheets and regular story time thanks to our partners at Usborne Books.
Enjoy Rhythm Time wherever you are! Music is a great tonic so keep singing!"
Rhythm Time classes are £4.25 per week which include a weekly class, access to the hub and a CD in toddler class or baby book in baby class. Booking for next half term is £29.75. Booking for a 6 week Young Baby Course suitable from birth to 6 months is £25.50
To book or to contact Laura email email@example.com
or call 07577 531359
For more information visit:
2. Sweaty Mama - Craven & Pendle
Sarah who runs Sweaty Mama Craven and Pendle says, "Normally when you’re on maternity leave it’s a time of seeing family, meeting new friends, introducing your gorgeous new family member, getting support far and wide from strangers who give you a smile or tell you they understand how hard these first few weeks/days/months are, to family and friends who will hold your little one and tell you you’re doing amazing whilst you get a shower and an actual hot cup of tea! It’s not a journey anyone can explain to you and how this tiny person who now controls your waking and sleeping life is happy and well, even if you have no idea what you're doing and are exhausted. All new mummies need community and in these strange days that’s not there in the same way, that’s why we have worked so hard to make an online community to help Mummies with our live stream Sweaty Mama classes to stay active, release those happy endorphins, have fun, bond with little one and for social interaction and routine! Classes are suitable for little one from 6 weeks old and Mummy, after your postnatal check, there is no rush, just when you're ready we will be here for you!"
Sweaty Mama @ Home Classes are on:
Monday's @ 10.30am
Tuesday's @ 10am-11am
Wednesday's @ 1pm-2pm
Thursday's @ 9.45am -10.45am
Saturday Bootcamp @ 10am
Whilst classes are delivered online you can attend as many sessions as you would like and Sarah always does a Zoom meet-up afterwards if anyone wants to say 'hi'.
Classes are £35 for a 6 week course or weekly at £6.
There are lots of reviews on Sarah's Facebook page and photos of mamas at home working out.
To book or for more information visit:
3. Story Bees - burley in wharfedale
Maddie says "Story Bees LIVE online classes are much more than a story time! Each week, a different story inspires a range of activities that you can try at home with your little ones and their bigger siblings. Classes run every Monday at 10.30am, live on the Story Bees Facebook page (most can be caught up with at anytime, depending on publisher conditions). The classes are free for everyone to enjoy but pay as you feel donations are welcome if you’re in the position to do so.
Here’s a review of Story Bees from a couple of weeks ago:
“I think your sessions are absolutely brilliant! It's so great to be able to listen to a lovely story and hear your wonderful ideas, but not have to be glued to the screen for ages. I really hope I can come to some of your sessions when real life resumes. I wish I had discovered you sooner!”.
To book or for more information visit:
4. The Creation Station - Skipton, Grassington, Riddlesden & surrounding areas
Mel, who runs The Creation Station says: "Inspiring imaginations is at the heart of what we do. As part of our #ImaginationNation initiative we are offering craft packs and online courses to help folk stay creative during lockdown. Little Explorers is specifically designed for preschoolers aged 18 months to 4/5 years and takes your child on a creative adventure to spark their natural curiosity and develop their own journey of exploration and discovery. This term our theme is Magical Me and each week we focus on a different aspect with hands-on activities and creative fun. This award-winning programme is underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage so you can assured your little one is building a solid learning through fun foundation. Activities include: explore reflection and develop market-making and counting skills, special people in our lives, creating a toy, and much more!"
The Creation Station also run the Create Club for primary school age children, accessing the National Curriculum (years 1 to 6) and their current programme is 'Around the World' where they explore art and crafts from a different country or area each week.
So far they have (virtually of course!) been to Mexico where they designed and created a fantasy animalito creature, Native America for pinch clay pot modelling and basket weaving and Japan, to discover origami and create floral canvas art inspired by the cherry blossom tree. They also have in the pipeline scrape Arctic art pictures, carnival fever in the Caribbean and much more. Along with developing new skills and unleashing creativity, many of The Creation Station's sessions incorporate art with science, technology, engineering and maths. They call this learning ST'E'AM, which encourages and guides enquiry, dialogue and critical thinking through the creative process.
For more information or to book, call Mel on 07776 781290
5. Bumble Kids - Skipton, Silsden, Keighley, Bingley, Baildon and Ilkley
Bumble Kids is a fun filled music, movement and sensory class for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Sarah who runs Bumble Kids says: "We use age appropriate props, instruments, lights, bubbles, original and known music and much much more to engage and develop little ones (and its fun for grown ups too!)."
"Our normal classes run throughout the week in Skipton, Silsden, Keighley, Bingley, Ilkley and Baildon, however due to the current situation, we are now running live sessions to carry on the bumbles fun!"
"Bumble Kids live sessions take place on a Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15am on our Facebook page. I am also in the process of setting up zoom baby classes, details of which will be on our Facebook page. In these difficult times, we need to keep smiling and keep having fun so what better way to escape than to dress up silly and sing!!! For the current live classes, payment is optional (a donation of £2 is suggested). The zoom classes will be charged per class, details of which will be confirmed shortly. "
To book or for more information visit: www.facebook.com/BumbleKidsMusic/
6. Toddle up and sign - Craven
Liz who runs Toddle Up and Sign says "Toddle Up and Sign offers makaton sessions for babies and toddlers in the Craven area. However, during the Covid-19 restrictions the live classes are available for free on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am. Each session covers a different topic such as the farm, food and transport. We use well known stories and lots of silly songs to keep little ones entertained and aid learning. Sessions are lighthearted and interactive if attendees pop their cameras on. Plus they are open to everyone, no prior experience is needed and we love new faces!"
Uptake on Liz's Zoom sessions has been really popular with up to 40 people attending her sessions, including some joining in from abroad!
For more information and a link to these sessions visit:
7. Sophie Pickles - Baby Classes
Sophie Pickles is an online influencer, sharing play inspiration and parenting tips for birth to preschool children and is passionate about Early Years play, early childhood development and all things parenting. Sophie says: "Through sharing daily play ideas for babies, toddlers and preschoolers as well as parenting tips and advice, I have been able to meet so many of you - parents just like me, who are looking for easy, fun and engaging ways to entertain their little ones. My mission is simple - to give you the knowledge and confidence to use what you have around the house to quickly set up activities that will enable you to bond with your baby or child, aid their development and sometimes to just give you the five minutes you need to make a cup of tea!"
Sophie's free classes run every Wednesday at 11am on YouTube and Facebook and are freely accessible and available to catch up with at any time. The classes can include singing, baby signing, bonding and having sensory fun and are all run by an expert in early years play and development.
Some quotes from the families that join Sophie:
"It's a ray of sunshine."
"Thank you for bringing happiness and laughter into our home."
"You are the highlight of our week."
"THANK YOU for the brilliant baby class. You are amazing."
For more information and to join Sophie's classes visit:
8. Baby College - Airedale
Kate who runs Baby College says, "I run baby development classes online with other Baby College teachers. Our classes are a fun engaging class full of singing, dancing, movement, music and learning. For just £5 per week subscription you get access to as many LIVE classes as you like per week, 6 days a week with pre-recorded videos to watch any time day or night!"
Baby College classes are designed for your growing baby and are split in to three ages groups. Infants 0 to 9 months, Toddlers 9 to 18 months and Juniors 18 months to 4 years. Baby College have been named in the Independent Newspaper as one of the best online baby classes you can do during lockdown! They also do a LIVE bedtime story every night.
You can book a Baby College class online at www.babycollege.co.uk
Or book via message to the links below:
9. Magic Garden Play Cafe - Haworth
The owners of the Magic Garden Play Cafe says "we're a 'pop-up' play cafe in the heart of the village of Haworth, based within the village hall for children aged 5 and under. We offer delicious food, cake, tea & coffee and a place for parents, grandparents and carers to relax, whilst the little ones have lots of fun in the magic garden play room. We also have several fun and educational classes running alongside the play cafe to keep your little ones entertained and busy. All Classes include your admission to stay and play before or after a class in our beautiful play room and cafe."
Due to Covid-19 the Magic Garden Play Cafe have moved from their normal business plan to an online community, with activity packs and a small selection of books for sale in their online shop.
To see the Magic Garden Play Cafe's selection of activity packs and books, please visit: https://www.magicgardenplaycafe.co.uk/shop/
About Sarah Walton Photography
I am a professional Newborn & Family Photographer with a studio in Steeton, West Yorkshire. I specialise in newborn baby photography, maternity photography, baby sessions, cake smash & splash shoots and family & children's portraits in my studio, as well as outdoor family & children's portraits in and around the Skipton, Keighley, Ilkley and Bingley areas (plus further afield!). I also provide event photography and sessions for businesses, who are looking to improve their imagery for their websites and social media platforms, as well as updating their professional headshots.
Whilst my studio is currently closed, following Government guidelines, I look forward to welcoming my customers back soon, both old and new. If you'd like to check out my work to see what I do, please visit https://www.sarahwaltonphotography.co.uk/ where you will find lots of information on the sessions I offer.
Thank you to all the businesses that have allowed me to share their great resources for all of you to enjoy!
Disclaimer: Sarah Walton Photography is not responsible for providing any of the services or products that these small businesses offer (other than those services of Sarah Walton Photography itself). If you have any issues in accessing services or receiving goods, please contact the business owners directly.