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We are Talking Tots!

07/09/2010

Fun, fun, fun has been had in our household today as we joined in our first ever Talking Tots session over in Istead Rise.

Seeing as the girls are getting more and more curious the time has come to start occupying their time with tasks that help them learn about the world around them. With twins that is difficult and I can’t keep picking up pieces of puzzle from the lounge floor forever so on receiving an email sent via Bounty, my attention was sparked.

An interactive class to boost children’s communication and social skills including concentration techniques – definitely need some of that! Social skills, pre literacy skills, communication AND more importantly sharing and taking turns – oh we soooo haven’t got that yet!

So off we set arriving early for our 9.45am class and three boxes of toys laid out on the floor greeted us, the girls made a beeline for them whilst I, more politely, introduced myself and them to the other mums. Thank goodness Claire gave all the children sticky labels with their names on as I am terrible remembering other people’s names first off.

We sat on colourful carpet circles, Alice and Bessie kept changing their minds as to which one to sit on and class started. Various activities were involved, each one using a colourful prop – the first a large yellow ball where the girls had to listen to the order ‘Bessie, roll the ball to Pippa’, and with a little encouragement from mummy we managed and by the third time both girls were getting it, only then they got bored and got up to run around everyone in a circle squealing in glee.

Claire very professionally stepped in and introduced the next game which kept their attention again for as long as they needed to understand (sometimes not) and then whizz, they were off again running around the circle of mums and children much to their delight and my distress. They even cottoned on to run around me at more than arms length so as not to get caught.

We sang songs and todays story was ‘Where’s Spot?’ one of the girls favourites but they kept leaving their ‘seats’ to go and open the flaps to see where Spot was interrupting yet again the flow of the story and overall class.

I didn’t know if maybe my girls were a little too unruly for this class as it was evident their concentration span was about the same as a gnats but Claire assured me that no child is expected to follow the entire class first off.

She also explained that Talking Tots is structured over 3 levels, Sprites for 12 months +, Sprinters 2 years + (my two!) and Sparklers for 3 years +. She said what an amazing difference parents could see after 5 or 6 lessons! Have a look at this video for an idea of what to expect.

If I think back to bringing my Tommy up, he was an intelligent, curious child but lacked the self restraint to sit, look and listen. He was so easily distracted and this did lead to problems in class later on as he struggled to concentrate on the lessons. So I would like to prevent this with the girls and make sure they have as good as opportunity at school.

The best thing of all here is siblings go free, so twin mums like myself who falter over choosing activities can now take both twins to a weekly session for £5!

If you think you could be interested in a class, have a look at Talking Tots website and find out where your closest is. If you need a little more reading to convince you read their blog which is full of information too. You’ll see they’ve been nominated for the mumpreneur award so they must be doing something right.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/09/2010 5:12 pm

    This looks like a fabulous program. I wonder if they have something similar for us in the states? I’ll have to look into it! Enjoy the program with the twins.

    • 08/09/2010 12:58 pm

      Thanks, we’re (I’m) really looking forward to the next lesson, maybe try contacting the website and speak to the director, she may know of a Stateside version?

  2. 08/09/2010 9:11 am

    I think if your child is expected to do this level of concentrating at 12months+ they are doing pretty well. At 2years they are also gaining vital life skills but hopefully learning to play also. I am looking for something to help me with Amy as, eventhough she is autistic and 10 yrs old, her social skills are very poor. Good luck with the program but don’t push them too hard, they’re so young!

    CJ xx

    • 08/09/2010 1:01 pm

      Hi CJ,
      Hope it doesn’t look like pushing as that’s not what I intend. It’s just obvious from our daily routine they need something new to keep their minds occupied and from yesterday I noticed how poor their concentration is and their listening skills. If I can improve those through songs, game and laughter with no force then for me that’s a good job done.
      I would hate to become one of those pushy mums as I detest them.
      Thanks for coming by 🙂 xx

  3. 13/09/2010 1:59 pm

    Hi

    Thanks for your blog, Marianne, and thanks for your comments about Talking Tots. Any learning that our tots do is through fun, games and very carefully designed activities, no pressure!

    if you would like to discuss any aspect of speech and language development, our Talking Tots founders are currently answering questions via this forum:

    http://shoutoutforasurestart.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=19

    Claire x

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