Who doesn’t like to start the morning with a good old sing-song?! I have recently discovered ‘Songs & Stories’ held at The Change Initiative on Sheikh Zayed Road, an amazing session of traditional nursery rhymes, stories and dance that’s almost free of charge (each class costs AED 20 but this is redeemable against a purchase in the coffee shop so it doesn’t really count!). Hosted by the very lovely and super talented Cat, the sessions have been running for a couple of years and are perfect for Mamas with little ones of any age, from birth through until 3 or 4 years old. I’ve seen tiny babies right through to bigger kids attend, so there’s no excuse for not coming to try it!
Each class (I use this term loosely as they are really informal sessions!) features a group sing-a-long of different nursery rhymes, held on the carpeted play area of the Change Initiative. Don’t worry if you think you’ve forgotten them all from your own childhood, the catchy tunes will soon come flooding back! Through attending, I have also discovered a whole host of songs to add to my repertoire, much to my son’s pleasure – I think we were both getting fed up of Twinkle Twinkle!
As well as offering the chance for us new mums to get out the house, singing nursery rhymes are great for helping your little ones to develop their language, social and cognitive skills. The repetitive nature of the catchy rhymes will help them to remember the words, as well as putting a big smile on their faces. I can tell my bambino enjoys it, and it’s fab for him to be around other kids of different ages too. He might not be able to join in with the singing quite yet, but you can be assured his little brain is starting to store the tunes and encouraging him to listen. Plus he finds it hilarious when mama sings!
For the older kids, nursery rhymes can help promote counting and memory skills – I find some of the rhymes even test my own memory!
Don’t worry if you’re not the world’s greatest singer- everyone is welcome as long as you join in and have fun. As I mentioned, some of the rhymes were new to me and I didn’t know the words, but you soon get the hang of it! Cat also welcomes requests, so if you have a special song (or are celebrating a birthday) make sure to let her know and she’ll include it in the session.
There are normally a few other Mamas around at the end to grab a coffee and a cake at the café which is good for some grown-up socialising once the songs have been sung. It is nice to see some different faces each week, and it (until now) seems to have been a well-kept secret!
Before you leave, don’t forget to have a browse around the Change Initiative shop – great for stocking up on organic cotton babygrows, blankets, educational toys or chemical-free cleaning products; they have a great selection and it’s worth a look – plus it’s fab for pressies.
Need to know:
Sessions are held every Tuesday morning at The Change Initiative at 10:00am and 10:30am.
There is a nominal fee for the class of AED 20, which is redeemable against anything at the yummy coffee shop after the class.
No advance registration is required; simply turn up on Tuesday ready to sing!
Cat has also set up a Facebook group ‘Songs and Stories’ to communicate any class info in the event a session is cancelled.
Happy Singing Mamas!!