Taking your young child to a class will not only support their development but also improves their social skills which is much needed when interaction with others has been limited during lockdown.
Music with Mummy is a programme of fun classes designed to encourage the idea of music as a pleasurable social activity with lots of songs, movement and percussion instruments to play. In addition, children develop a sense of rhythm and improve their listening skills as well as making new friends.
Helen Tate runs several classes in Poole at the Alderney West Community Centre and St George’s Church in Oakdale.
Helen is an instrumental music teacher teaching piano and oboe as well as running her Music with Mummy/Jolly Babies classes. She even sings in a musical theatre society! Helen has been running her classes for 6 years now and loves seeing the babies grow up and develop into their characters as they pass through the classes until they leave. Helen says “It started as a job which I could fit in around my other teaching because I believe that exposing babies and toddlers to music gives them a head start in all parts of life and is enjoyable and fun also. Singing with young babies is also a very good way of creating a strong bond between parent and child and has been proven to help with postnatal depression as well.”
The ‘Jolly Babies’ classes are suitable for little ones from birth to around 15 months and then ‘Music with Mummy’ is suitable for those from around 15 months to 3 years.
Random Acts of Kindness Day is on the 17th February and since we are still in lockdown I’ve been thinking of ways we can spread a little extra kindness without breaking any government rules. It’s been nearly a year since we’ve all gone through this pandemic and I think the more people that can share a little love the better.
Pre pandemic, our Random Acts of Kindness have been a little different and to date we’ve given out small bunches of flowers to strangers in the street, bought chocolates for family/friends and one year my son made biscuits for his teachers to say thank you for everything they do. The children sometimes groan and get a little embarrassed when we’ve given out flowers but the beauty of getting a child to do it is that the recipient can’t say no and they don’t think we want something in return.
This year we can’t give hugs or travel far but we hope you will still get involved and enjoy reading some of our ideas below.
Get the children involved in making little treats like rocky road or biscuits and bag them up with ribbons for family/friends/neighbours nearby. We may not be allowed inside their home this year but they can be dropped off on the doorstep or posted through the letterbox (if they are not breakable).
Contact your local food bank and ask what they are low on. They may have received lots of canned goods recently but they have very little tea/coffee/biscuits ect and they will really appreciate you donating something which is needed.
Get the children to paint stones with kind messages and bright colourful pictures and then leave them on your walks for other people to find.
If you sadly have a homeless person in your Town you could put together a bag of snacks, drinks, toiletries and new underwear/socks. Even asking if they would like a hot coffee in this terrible weather will bring comfort.
Contact your local care home or home care provider and ask if they have a resident/client who would deserves a treat. This could be someone who has no family or even that they have family who live really far away and are unable to visit due to the current restrictions. If the person you speak to knows the older person well then they might suggest something like their favourite sweets, chocolates, smelly or magazine. You could even get the children to do a nice picture and drop it off so they can pass it on.
Offer to cook a meal or provide a food parcel to a local household who may be struggling. The Free My Meal Bournemouth and surrounding areas Facebook page looks to connect those who need a meal with those who are able to provide one.
The women’s refuge in Poole and Bournemouth are currently unable to accept general donations due to Covid regulations however they will welcome new toiletries. How about buying a small toiletry bag and filling it with items like shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, shower gel and sanitary wear. If you live near Poole or Bournemouth then you can drop a donation off which can be taken to the refuge. More details can be found in the Dorsetmums Womens Refuge Donations group on Facebook.
Buy a gift from a small local business. Many shops, salons, restaurants and independant crafters are suffering at the moment and most will happily post an item out to you or offer a voucher which you can use when they re-open.
Do you have a talent for knitting or painting ect? Maybe you could gift something special to a person who deserves it.
Make a donation to your favourite charity.
Make a meal or bake a cake for a friend who has just had a baby or maybe even for someone you know nearby that has lost their job because of the pandemic.
If you have a single person in your street or even someone elderly who has no family to look after them then give them a knock on the door (don’t forget to then stand a few steps back) and ask if there is anything they need. We are facing really tough times at the moment and lots of people don’t like to ask for help but if they are not feeling well then they might just thank you for the pint of milk or loaf of bread they desperately need.
Get the children to make a card for the postie or refuse collector to say thank you for working so hard.
Get some seeds, soil and a plant pot to make a gift for someone to enjoy when Spring comes.
Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and ask how they are.
If you have an empty piggy bank at home then ask they children what charity you could support and then fill with your small change over the coming weeks and donate the money when it’s full.
Send a caring or motivational text to someone you know who needs a smile.
Post an IOU lunch date voucher or offer of babysitting to a friend for when things get back to normal.
Call or text someone you know who has lost a loved one recently and ask if they are ok or if there is anything you can do to help. The likeliness is that they may not need any help or be ready to talk about their bereavement but they will be comforted by the thought that you care.
Organise a fundraiser and do something silly which the children can get involved in. Could they not speak for an hour (I know mine can’t) or could they climb up and down the stairs 100 times? Ask friends and family to sponsor them and the children get to choose which cause it should go to.
Get the children to make a card or something crafty to send to post to a member of family who lives far away.
Pay it forward and buy a cup of tea/coffee at a takeaway which can be given to a person who is unable to buy one.
Make your partner or children their favourite meal or organise a tea party at home.
Go on a litter pick whilst out for your daily exercise.
Leave a £1 coin in your supermarket trolley and selotape a little note to the coin holder to say that the recipient must buy themselves a choccie or treat when they go in the store.
Buy a bunch of daffodils for a loved one or stranger. Obviously we can’t approach people in the street due to social distancing however you can knock on a door and leave it on the doorstep or if you have a local express store and you know the staff well then you can pay for a bunch and ask them nicely to give it to a shopper who needs cheering up.
So, what will you do for Random Acts of Kindness Day? We will put a post on the Dorsetmums Facebook page on Wednesday and we’d love to hear if you have got involved in spreading a little kindness this year.