Guest Blog: written by Deborah Hart, TinyTalk Kent Downs
You might know the name TinyTalk. They’ve been running baby signing classes across the South East for 17 years now, teaching thousands of families to communicate with their small person before their speech develops thoroughly. Babies are physically capable of making signs with their hands from around 5/6 months (waving, clapping and pointing are all signs that your baby is ready to start communicating with their hands). However, TinyTalk have always encouraged babies from much younger as, although it may seem like they spend much of the time gazing around, small babies are actually taking it all in and soaking up all that information ready for when their bodies catch up! We completely underestimate what babies are capable of understanding in the first months, so now TinyTalk are offering classes specifically for families with tiny newborn babies!
These newborn workshops are gentle and calm, offering families the chance to spend some quality time with their new child, alongside other likeminded parents. The focus is on supporting your baby’s early development by tapping into the communication tools available to them at this young age. New babies rely heavily on their senses, so the classes look at supporting their vision and hearing, and their sense of touch and smell using age-appropriate toys and resources. You’ll learn lots about why your baby does what they do, and take home some useful skills and ideas which will help you through these challenging early months! And of course, you’ll also learn some great starter signs to use from the off, giving your new person a super headstart with their communication skills.
You can start the workshop, which runs for 6 weeks, when your baby is anywhere up to 3 months old. You’ll receive a weekly handout, access to materials, and plenty of chance to practice in class., not to mention the support of your class leader and the other attendees. New parents often say how invaluable these friendships are, helping you through the challenges a new baby brings.
Because the TinyTalk newborns workshop is aimed at parents, it’s totally fine if your baby is asleep when you arrive. You can wake them if you wish, or you can let them sleep and take the chance to pick up some useful tools to use at home. The workshop spaces are warm and calm to aid learning, but it’s all very relaxed so don’t worry if you need to feed your baby, or if they cry – you’ll find a warm supportive welcome!
What’s really lovely is that there’s chance to chat at the end while your baby plays or sleeps. You get a hot drink, and you can sit down with a biscuit and chat to other families, or just sit quietly if that suits you better! The class leaders can signpost you to helpful local professionals where you can explore some ideas in more depth, and help you create a valuable network tailored to your family’s needs.
The next TinyTalk Newborns Workshop runs:
Tesco Community Space, Ashford (TN24 0YE)
Starting September 10th for 6 weeks
For more info, and to book your space contact:
Deborah Hart, TinyTalk Kent Downs