Maddie and I were recently invited by Durban North mom of two, Samantha Nicholson to experience a 10 week term with her ‘Froggies’ class at Clamber Club Durban North. I was super excited and keen to give the well-known baby and toddler movement, health and fitness class a try as I have only ever heard good things about it.
I have tried a fair share of different baby sensory classes with Maddie so I thought I had a rough idea what we were in for until I arrived at Sam’s Durban North home where she runs her classes and saw this when pulling up into the driveway…
Every child’s dream garden right? Well it just got better and better…
With the focus on promoting movement, health and fitness, Clamber Club aims at teaching toddlers between the ages of 12 to 22/24 months in the ‘Froggie’ class and 22/24 to 36 months in the ‘Leap Frog’ class, lessons through appropriate movement activities.
Each week is themed, from learning opposites to big and small, heavy and light and on and off for example. This exciting sensory motor programme for babies and toddlers aims in encouraging and equipping parents with skills that help the development of their children.
Each lesson, Jog the Frog, the Clamber Club mascot interacts with the kids by introducing himself and in turn encouraging the toddlers to say their name when greeting Jog. If you can’t tell from the pics – Jog was a HUGE hit with Maddie! I had to purchase her own little Jog the Frog teddy for home!
Jog is involved in a lot of the indoor lessons from putting his foot in and out of his gumboots to riding on his car.
The lesson starts in Sam’s classroom which is a neat and tidy flat at the back of her property where she invites the children to learn through movement such as singing, dancing, clapping their hands, stamping their feet and jumping up high to the original Clamber Club music (you learn the words very quickly and the kids recognise the songs in an instant). Twenty odd minutes are spent inside doing activities relating to the topic / theme of the week which often involve songs and some sort of exercising for the kids.
One of the many things I love about the Clamber Club classes with Sam is the fact that active learning is enhanced as Maddie gains greater awareness of how her body moves, improves her coordination, learns important perceptual motor skills, and enjoys learning about the world she lives in, whilst having lots of fun with me.
And then there is theme week! Just WOW! Theme week happens every third week and Sam literally transforms her class room into a room of amazement! The first theme week we experienced was under the sea and Maddie got to explore and learn all about all things sea relating from riding in ‘boats’ to being introduced to sea creatures like Mr Octopus.
The entire class of between six and eight kids then head outside for various forms of outdoor play. Each week Sam and her team set up the garden in a unique setting with different equipment ranging from a teepee, soft play, a ball pit, a sand pit to ride ons and puzzles. The toddlers are also encouraged to go explore and ‘free play’ as well as participate in a skill of the week (a new activity each week) and Sam sets out a different form of tactile play a week from blowing bubbles to squeezing wet sponges and sweeping up oats.
The toddlers are then called back into the classroom to get a stamp (or two or three) on their hand – the toddlers LOVE this! And we sing goodbye to Jog before heading home with very tired kids!
Since Maddie ‘entered toddlerhood’ I have found her to be up on her feet and eager to explore and Clamber Club Durban North has given her a real sense of adventure and desire to want to touch, see, hear, smell and taste everything. Her body coordination and balance has improved through the Jog the Frog’s exercises and activities she has done and learnt from, and I have been able to introduced her to simple concepts like in and out, on and off and heavy and light. Plus it is also fun to bang a drum in music and rhythm, and to bounce, wiggle, jiggle and jump, even for me!
The first few years in a child’s life are extremely important as it is the most sensitive period for optimal brain development, so by investing time into attending Clamber Club I have been able to rest assured knowing that the time we are spending in Sam’s classes is allowing stimulation time, providing sensory experiences and the active play is helping her to build a better brain!
Sam is truly passionate about what she does and is so amazing with the kids! The amount of enthusiasm and effort she puts in each and every class is commendable!
We have also met such awesome moms in the class and Maddie has made new friends which has been so sweet to see over the past couple of weeks.
Thank you to Sam and her team for having Maddie and I apart of your classes and we cannot wait to enjoy the rest of this term in your classes!
Here is a highlight reel of Maddie’s first couple of weeks of her term at Clamber Club Durban North:
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