There are so many benefits for both you and your child and you can start from when they are babies
and continue up to school age and beyond.
Different classes offer many different benefits but every class will give your child many long-term advantages including:
Health Well-being Socialising Development Education/skills/learning PLUS a massive dose of FUN!
There is so much choice of different activities, clubs and classes. How do you know what is right for you and your children? It's often a case of a balance between what you want to gain from the activity and what fits with the time you have available. Try out a few different activities and see how it goes, if it isn't right for you there are so many more activities waiting to be discovered.
With all activities and classes we advise doing your research beforehand to check all the important things are in place including:
COVID-safe measures are in place
the right level of insurance is held
health & safety policies are in place and regularly updated
risk assessments have been conducted
a suitably qualified person has designed the programme
training has been received and is ongoing
If the activity is a member of the Children's Activities Association and has been awarded the CAA accreditation then all of this and more will have been checked for you.
Take advantage of a free or discount trial period to try a few activities.
We sometimes hear in the press about over-scheduling of children's classes but you know your child better than anyone. Start with one or two classes a week and see how that goes for you and your child. As they grow, start school and develop their own preferences the classes they do and when they do them will change too.
And now you can even put the gift of a choice of children's classes on your child's wish list with beecard. A beecard can be used to instantly book local children's classes across the UK!
To get you started we have pulled out more info on some of our favourite types of activities on this page. Have an explore and see what catches your eye.
And of course you can use What's On 4 Kids to find your local classes - become a member and we'll instantly match your child to classes so you don't even have to search!
Usually from pre-school age up, these classes introduce early academic
subjects like science, maths and reading in a fun way to keep little ones
interested. School learning can be enhanced with extra academic and educational themed classes and one-to-one tutors can support specific educational needs too. Find out more about the benefits of Academic and Education Activities.
to nurture your child's interest in computer science? Do you have a
computer genius in your family that wants to be a game designer, coder
or even tech entrepreneur? Holiday Clubs and After School Computing
Clubs give you a chance to let them explore, play and learn with other
children that share the same interests.
are many varieties of activities from robotics, video game design and
even app development. All for a wide variety of age groups. Coding
skills they learn in one area of expertise are readily transferable to
other areas. The more they practice the better they get at solving
problems, thinking logically and making cool projects with code. Courses
teach everything students need to know to make a 3D video games, such
as: 3D Modelling, Texturing, Animation, Level Design, Scripting. During
a course, there's rotation between these techniques in order to teach
all aspects of games design to students.
Science on a kid's level is all about bringing facts and laboratory
tests to life! Classes are now available around the UK which make
learning about science a fun - and interactive - experience, whilst
being highly educational too.
are the first science program that has been designed specifically for
preschool children. Our 40 minute themed sessions make science fun and
enjoyable for pre-school children. With 72 different topics spanning 2
years, your child will learn something new each week ranging from
microscopic creatures to chromatography or making clouds. Mini
Professors get to wear their own mini lab coats and learn about the
basic principles of scientific experimentation, whilst having loads of
fun and generally getting stuck in.
Before your baby even arrives there are a huge choice of classes and
courses to help your physical and emotional well-being during pregnancy.
To keep active you could try aquanatal classes or pregnancy yoga. And
to help understand the changes to your body during pregnancy and get all
the facts about labour and breastfeeding you can contact your health
visitor or the NCT.
It's important to take time for you after your baby is born and one of
the ways to do this is by attending postnatal exercise. You do need to
ensure that your Doctor has agreed you are physically ready to start
exercising again but the postnatal exercises will help ensure you don't
over do it! Some classes are available that you can do with your baby
The benefits of sharing creative play with your child are well
documented, it builds many of the essential core skills, including
problem, understanding their world and social skills which all help to
build a strong foundation for each developmental step. Find out more about the benefits of Art and Creative Activities.
it can be tricky providing your baby or toddler with hands-on arts and
crafts activities at home. As busy parents we can all struggle with
ideas, time or energy. That’s precisely why art, craft and messy play
groups have been established - to give you quality, fun, creative experiences
with your child in a safe, nurturing and friendly environment.
perfect solution for all your child's creativity needs, with no stress
or mess for you! Not only do you share some great creative fun with
your child, the classes are very social and full of laughter and giggles
Messy and Creative play is fantastic for babies and children as it encourages language and communication, aids sensory and physical development, helps to inspire little imaginations and is great for developing social skills and learning about the world around us! Many parents are put off doing messy and creative play activities at home because of the mess so attending a regular class is perfect!
Baby Health, Development and Play
There is much for you to enjoy with your baby to support development and health plus these are wonderful bonding experiences that create memories you will treasure. Find our more about the benefits of those magical first activities with your baby.
Suitable from birth, baby massage has been proven to help with a host of
infant issues such as colic and sleep, as well as helping your baby's
developing body systems to thrive. Infant massage is also wonderful for
parents to bond and communicate with their babies even from the early
days. Baby massage can be taught individually or in groups, which means
it is also a lovely way to meet other parents with their babies and make
Imagine if instead of screaming your baby was able to tell you exactly
what was wrong or what they wanted. Using simple sign language with your
baby could open up a window into your child’s mind. Moreover you will
learn a beneficial skill and entertain your baby! The most frequently
asked question about this growing phenomenon is “will signing with my
baby inhibit their speech?” Research shows, that in fact the opposite is
true - baby signing provides a platform for your baby to develop
language and it also reduces frustration. Meet like-minded parents and
experience for yourself the benefits and joys of signing with your baby.
A great all round activity that helps you also meet parents in the local
area. Often run by volunteers and held in church halls and other
community buildings. They are also very good value and are sometimes
are usually provided. They usually provide a good assortment of toys
and have other activities such as painting or craft available. Expect to
finish with some songs!
Baby Yoga teaches gentle soft stretches and yoga inspired movements that
can assist your baby's neural development and build his or her
sensory-motor skills. Practising baby yoga from the early days can also
help with a host of issues such as digestion, colic, immunity and sleep.
Attending a baby yoga course is also great for mothers to get back into
shape safely as it will include gentle post-natal stretches for mums.
Baby yoga classes will also give mothers and babies the opportunity to
genuinely relax - perhaps the most precious gift in the early days of
Sensory play is crucial to baby learning and development from birth.
Sensory play fuels healthy brain development and is an essential
component for normal intellectual and physical development.
At Baby Sensory, multi-award winning classes will introduce you and your baby to a world of sensory
delights, where the two of you can relax, spend quality time with each
other and enjoy meeting other new parents. Specifically designed from
birth, the programme is packed with an incredible variety of sounds,
smells, sights, textures, music, dance, signing and massage – and you’ll
never experience the same class twice.
Baby Sensory is a magical world, full of glowing balls, light shows,
puppets, bubbles, petals, rainbows, even an underwater experience of
breathtaking imagination. Everything we do is backed by scientific
research, carefully designed with your baby’s development in mind, and
we’re passionate about sharing our knowledge.
Entertainment, Days Out and Family Events
Alongside regular activities, classes and groups, you will want to get out and about together to visit the many wonderful events and places across the UK. Whatever the age of your children - or the weather - there are attractions and events that will delight the whole family. Often a less structured experience and equally important to relax and have lots of fun together.
Many wonderful days out can be enjoyed for free in the UK coast, countryside and cities. Equally things can get very expensive. It's a good idea to plan your day, bring all or some of your own refreshments and prepare for all weathers.
Holiday Clubs and Childcare
We all need childcare, whether it's regularly or just occasionally, and there are a lot of different options such as nurseries, pre-school and after school clubs (sometimes called wrap-around), holiday clubs and community pre-schools. All have their merits and it will be an important task to find the right one for you and your children. Often these settings include regular activities as well. Most will be OFSTED regulated but please be aware that not all holiday clubs are required to OFSTED regulated meaning anyone can set one up. It is very important to check that holiday clubs are either OFSTED regulated or a member of the Children's Activities Association
It is now commonly understood that teaching children languages from
an early age really helps them to excel through their school years as it
also helps their development in other subjects, enhancing their speech
and understanding of their own language as well as increasing their
confidence and overall cognitive development.
Languages are now taught to baby using songs and puppets making the learning natural and fun. More structured language classes for young children build on this whilst keeping it fun and complementing language learning at school. Find out more about Language based Activities.
Music, Dance and Performing Arts
Music, drama, dance and singing are proven to help build confidence and social
skills in all children as well as being lots of fun so don't think these
classes are just for little starlets. Babies and young children can benefit from many aspects of music and performing arts and there are lively and colourful sessions for
babies and toddlers that can help developments such as crawling, walking
and talking. More formal performing arts involving stage productions tend to be for slightly older
children (usually 4+). Find out more about the benefits of Musical Activities.
Ballet dance classes allow babies, toddlers and young children to enjoy the physical and social benefits of ballet,
song and dance in a safe, caring, positive and informal environment.
Using a combination of music, movement and props, the class is a musical
sensory experience for grown-ups and their babies to enjoy together
with a real focus on learning through play.
Young children love to run, jump, hop and
skip, gallop, swirl, sway and spin. As curious, impulsive explorers,
learning all the time, the dancing class is an ideal environment for
pre-school children to flourish, discovering where and how their bodies
move. Dancing to music develops sensitivity to sounds, melody and
rhythm and an understanding of the relationship between body movements
Drama, dance and singing are proven to help build confidence and social
skills in all children as well as being lots of fun so don't think these
classes are just for little starlets. Traditionally for slightly older
children (usually 4+), there are also lively and colourful sessions for
babies and toddlers that can help developments such as crawling, walking
and talking. Some offer a free trial session to try out the class.
Music classes are an excellent way to keep your child
focused, building vital skills for the future. Classes are highly
educational, great fun and everyone makes new friends! You will know how much babies enjoy music meaning music classes can be a fabulous first class to enjoy together and why music and simple instruments are used in many baby & toddler class programmes. As your child gets older music classes can explore more technical aspects such as rhythm and notes, with more complex instruments too.
Sport and Physical Activity
This is probably the biggest category of activities with a huge range available for children of all ages. We know how important physical activity is for our physical and mental well being though out our lives and encouraging an early interest help develops muscles and coordination too.
Try a few different activities and see what works for you and your children. You may inspire a life-long hobby and healthy lifestyle quickly or it may take a visit to several different classes before you find the right one. Find out more about the benefits of Sport and Physical Activities.
Cricket is the one sport that reaches across boundaries of gender,
race and class and enables children to mix with other children from
every different community. Cricket also teaches children the importance
of self-reliance and practice. Although eleven cricketers make a cricket
team, when the time comes to bowl your first delivery, walk out to bat
or take a catch, your team mates can't do it for you and it's up to you
as an individual to perform.
Cycling is an important life skill for every child to learn. Traditionally it's parents and carers who had this job but did you know that there are now classes to help your child to master this skill. Group and individual lessons are available from toddlers upwards. Learning from experts will ensure your child is cycling quickly with confidence and safely - and you a spared some of the back ache!
An early opportunity to learn football-inspired skills as well as
developing fitness and co-ordination. Equally as relevant to boys and
girls! There are several football programmes that run nationally alongside many local teams run by volunteers.
Gymnastics and movement classes for little ones often feature soft play
equipment, climbing apparatus and structured games and activities. There
are even classes for tiny babies which feature sensory exploration and
gentle movement designed to stimulate baby in new ways. For older children the more technical aspects of gymnastics can start to be included. Some classes are
offered in community venues and others take place in dedicated
gymnastic centres with specialist equipment.
Whether they saw it on the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, on the Power
Rangers, or on Yu Gi Oh, children today have been exposed to martial
arts from an early age. From karate to kung fu, martial arts provide a
powerful workout. Today's martial arts provide children with physical
exercise, a chance to gain self confidence, an opportunity to interact
with others, and worthwhile lessons in self defence. For children of all
ages, martial arts are an exciting alternative to team sports.
“Football is a gentleman's game played by hooligans, Rugby is a hooligans game played by gentlemen” Unknown.
Why is this? The two sports are both physically active and similar in
their strategy, in fact Rugby evolved from “the beautiful game”. In the
current world the major differences can be found in their ethos and
Rugby is a fantastic game for all kids to get involved in: it keeps them fit, they make friends for life and learn to work as part of a team. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) actively promotes its core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment,
Discipline and Sportsmanship.
It’s never too early to introduce your baby to swimming - even the
tiniest babies develop physically, emotionally and mentally when they go
swimming. Out of all the activities you may choose for your child, we
highly recommend taking your baby swimming regularly because it gives
them confidence in the water and teaches them an important life skill –
plus it is a great bonding experience and it’s FUN! For older children, swimming lessons include different strokes and more detailed water-safety.
Support, Health and Advice
We have heard from many Mums and Dads that find the regular activities and classes they attend important for the general well-being as they can provided much needed social interactions and general support especially when your baby is very small. There are also many groups and networks that are set up to support families with particular circumstances or needs. Your health professionals are a good place to start when looking for a local group that can help you. Often they have online networks too that can help between meetings.
Uniformed groups, think Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Sea Cadets and more, have been established for many hundreds of years and are just as popular today. They've moved with the times but continue to provide important life skills and experiences. They are usually run by volunteers from community venues. Be warned that most have a long waiting list and if you want your child to attend put them on the list well in advance, sometimes years in advance, to ensure that you have a place.
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