9 baby and toddler groups for St Albans and Harpenden

Tick Tock Music.

Tick Tock Music. - Credit: Tick Tock Music.

Those babies born during or just before lockdown have missed out on months of social interaction with other youngsters, with their mums and dads not being able to form the friendships they might have built up during those crucial first few months of parenthood.

Now restrictions have finally been lifted, we wanted to highlight some of the different baby and toddler groups available in the surrounding area, and steer parents towards the sort of group they think will be best for their little one.

Thanks to Karen Snook, founder of Facebook group St Albans Mums, and now the driving force behind her own blog - stalbansmums.com - for her support in compiling this feature.

These are some of the classes and groups for parents and carers who will finally get the chance to take their babies and toddlers out and about and socialising! Lots already have waiting lists so you can get your names down ready to start as the groups move around. All will be enforcing social distancing measures.

1. Baby College Mid Herts classes take parents, carers and children through a unique range of activities that enhance every aspect of a child's development including attention and learning, balance and movement, language acquisition, cognition, multi-sensory integration, body awareness, motor skills, social skills and independence.
St Albans Park Street venue - Wednesday 1.30pm ages 0-12 month & 2.30pm ages 1-3 years
St Albans Scout Hall, Waverley Road - Friday 9.30am ages 1-3 years & 10.30am ages 0-12 months

2. Little Shoots Montessori is a brand new class set up by local mum and qualified Montessori teacher Alisa. The parent and carer's role is to observe and follow the child’s lead with carefully prepared activities to enable them to fulfil their current developmental needs - in the toddler class preparing their own snack and drink is a real highlight! 
Fleetville venue - Tuesday 9.30am ages 14 months - 3 years

Little Shoots Montessori.

Little Shoots Montessori. - Credit: Little Shoots Montessori.

3. Buggy Fit St Albans offers something outside and different! Perfect for postnatal mums, it's a way of getting outside, getting fresh air, exercising and meeting others. Children can watch on in their pushchair, have a nap or join in. All ages welcome.
Clarence Park - Monday 9.15am and 10.15am
Clarence Park - Thursday 9.15am, 10.15am, 11.15am

4. Baby Sensory St Albans and Harpenden - Karen says: "This was my absolute favourite class when my daughter was young - the songs they sung have stuck with us years later! There are waiting lists for all face to face classes but it is worth the wait. Suitable from birth to 13 months the soft mats are there for the little ones to enjoy music, props, puppet shows, lights and bubbles.

Baby Sensory St Albans and Harpenden.

Baby Sensory St Albans and Harpenden. - Credit: Baby Sensory St Albans and Harpenden.

5. Gymboree Play & Music St Albans - Set in it’s own beautiful building right in the city centre, Gymboree is celebrating running for 40 years! The classes running are award-winning and fun-filled for babies and children from 0-5 years. The extensive timetable offers sessions seven days a week as well as cool open gym sessions.

Gymboree St Albans

Gymboree St Albans - Credit: Gymboree St Albans

6. Rosie Orchids & Dandelions is a new concept for those lockdown babies, offering mini retreat-style sessions to bring parents, carers and babies together, including an introduction to baby massage and themed play. Rosie also offers parent coaching sessions. Lockdown has been so hard on new mums and new babies, especially now the world is opening up. She can support you to feel more confident, connected and calm and in turn, help your children to thrive.
Greenwood Park Community Centre - Tuesdays 10am

7.  Tick Tock Music is one of the country's longest established pre-school music groups. They meet every Thursday at 10.15am at St Michael's church hall, St Michael's Street. Every week they present a different performance and encourage young audiences to participate in singing, actions, role-playing and song identification. With live keyboard and ukulele accompaniment all songs are linked by amusing "play acting" scenes full of colourful costumes, props and puppets. Tick Tock facilitates the development of musicality, imagination, vocabulary, confidence, number, letter and theme recognition while providing you and your child with a warm and lively social environment. To book a place please email abiticktock@yahoo.co.uk or call 07933 153054. You can also visit the website http://www.ticktockmusic.co.uk or find them on Facebook Tick Tock Music St Albans and Twitter AbiTickTock

8. Best Beans are classes from Best Theatre Arts for babies and toddlers offering a new way to begin their voyage through childhood with growing self-esteem, easy sociability and a good sense of fun. It is a complete creative experience, nurturing co-ordination, confidence and communication skills using a mix of classic and original stories, songs, music and movement. BestBeans is at Trestle Arts Base in St Albans on Tuesday mornings, 10am or 11am. Contact Lisa on 07974 231622 (lisa.schulberg@besttheatrearts.org.uk) for more information.

9. Rhythm Time - Do you want the best start for your little one, no matter what their own individual needs are? Do you want to watch them grow and develop fantastic new skills whilst having the most amazing musical fun? Don’t you deserve to make some fabulous new friends, relax, sing, dance and spend some quality time with your little one every week? Classes for babies help to stimulate their vision and hearing, promote deeper sleep, improve muscle tone, flexibility and circulation, and introduce them to tummy time; toddler sessions focus on building confidence, creativity and co-ordination through dance, singing, rhymes and percussion. Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans, Tuesdays 10am and 11am, High Street Methodist Church, Harpenden, Fridays 10am and 11am Call 07824 998072 or email rhythmtimeherts@gmail.com