One of the many groups and classes I take LB to is Baby Sensory. It's a nationwide franchise which aims to help babies learn about the world through their senses. I've been taking LB for 4 or 5 weeks now and it's such a laugh.
Each week is very different and focuses on different skills like eye tracking, gross motor skills or cause and effect and uses lots of equipment and toys to help develop that particular skill. Last week, for example, we were working on facial recognition and eye tracking. We used fibre optic wands which we waved over the babies while singing to them to encourage them to watch the progression of the wand above them. We did some tummy time and held mirrors in front of the babies while the teacher encouraged us to point out their facial features. My favourite bit of baby sensory is watching the eager mums (and one dad) chirping, 'look Edward! There's your nose! There's your mouth!' while Edward gnaws on his fist and drools. We do quite a bit of baby sign during the classes and everyone pretty much signs to whichever baby happens to catch their eye as they stare at the light, or the wall, oblivious to their besotted parent repeatedly saying 'milk. Milk. MILK,' with increasing volume as they clench and unclench their first in front of their face (that's the sign for milk, obviously. We don't tend to threaten the babies with a knuckle sandwich for not paying attention).
A big part of the class is about bonding, so the slightly hippyish teacher spends a lot of time crooning 'lots of lovely eye contact, mummy!' (incidentally, how shit is it when randoms call you mummy?) LB is the worst at eye contact. She's so interested in everything going on around her that she pants manically and flaps her arms up and down and looks at everyone but me. So I spend the whole time serenely waving wind chimes above her head like a boss and making 'lots of lovely eye contact' with the back of her head. Win.
All my photos from Sensory this week have LB's face in them, so have an artsy shot of a fibre optic wand instead!
I have to say though, that sensory is so different from all the other stuff I do with LB and the one where the teacher puts in the most effort to stimulate the babies. She also takes the time to describe ways to continue to improve their skills at home with equipment you're likely to have in the house (she also sells Baby Sensory branded equipment - gotta make a living I guess). Despite LB's refusal to learn baby sign language while we're there, I can tell she does really enjoy it and I would definitely recommend it as a way to keep your baby busy and help them to learn new things.
What activities do you do with your babies? Are they any good?