Why are there no weekend baby/toddler classes?

(34 Posts)
erikab922 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:25:45

I'd love to do a class like Rhythm Time etc but both my husband and I work full-time and it seems in our area every single baby/toddler class is held on a weekday during working hours.

I would imagine the classes would be very popular seeing as how so many parents don't have the option of an extended mat leave (or any leave beyond six weeks).

I haven't a musical bone in my body but I'm willing to try to replicate what they do in a class at home but since I can't even get to a blooming class I don't know what they do.

Anyone else in the same boat?

rowtunda Mon 29-Jul-13 14:27:16

I completely agree - its crazy. Also school holiday everything stops - very annoying!

rrreow Mon 29-Jul-13 15:41:15

Is there anything at your local library? Our library usually has something like rhyme time on a Saturday. Not every week though.

I agree with you, as a working mother it's very annoying the lack of things around on weekends.

fairylightsinthespring Mon 29-Jul-13 20:37:45

agreed, drives me crazy. From Sept I will be working 4 days and am trying to get my two DCs into classes but its very difficult. I guess the timeslots and teachers are all reserved for school age kids.

ceeveebee Mon 29-Jul-13 20:41:04

Gymboree near us has classes on Saturday mornings, also swimming lessons run at weekends too (SW London)

DontmindifIdo Mon 29-Jul-13 20:41:39

Agree, once your DCs are school age there are no end of weekend activities you can do, but apparently while you are supposed to want to do 'family things' on a weekend with a pre-schooler, once you've got to school age, you've had enough of that and are happy to do scheduled actitivties...

Anyway, might be worth contacting anyone running a musical bumps class near you, I know our one does one saturday class a month - it would give you a good starting point. (Also if they think there's enough demand to fill a class, you might get them running it).

oh but sports you can do on the weekend, rugby tots and little kickers (football) tend to run on weekends.

wigglesrock Mon 29-Jul-13 21:29:30

I know one of the main reasons our toddler groups etc don't run at the weekends/holidays is because parents tended to bring older kids who were off school and it got too big/unruly.

Have you tried your local library for Sat morning classes?

wigglesrock Mon 29-Jul-13 21:30:35

Sorry library already suggested blush , anyway it's seconded grin

I have exactly the same problem. Weekend classes would be great, I would love to get some other parents nearby, and have fun stuff to do with the toddlers.

We have Little kickers at a school near us, it is brilliant and they have Saturday classes. My DD is now a footballer at 2.5!!! It is a lot of fun.

I have also found that an independent school near us has a music session for toddlers on a Saturday. It doesn't advertise but you could check out some per-prep schools in the area and see if they do something?

Loveitall Mon 29-Jul-13 21:37:51

Exactly same prob here! I can see a gap in the market!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 29-Jul-13 21:38:16

I think there is probably less demand than you imagine.

You probably only want to do that type of class with a first child. Because otherwise you need to have the other parent (or whoever if a single parent) look after the older one.

A lot of parents wouldn't want to be restricted to pre paid classes at weekends when they are the only days to do things.

Some parents feel their children cover this structured stuff in childcare settings.

Added to which a lot of the classes are run by women with young children themselves so don't want to do weekend classes.

So it does tend to be stuff like ballet and gym that happens at weekends.

Sorry. it must suck for you though.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cravingdairy Mon 29-Jul-13 21:48:19

We do Gymboree and swimming at the weekend. We each get a lie in! Swimming is always fully booked and Gymboree ia getting busier all the time.

SpooMoo Tue 30-Jul-13 07:23:02

Weekday classes are to keep SAHPs and mums on maternity leave from going crazy! Presumably if you are both back at work then your baby is getting stimulation during the week in his/her childcare setting? So just enjoy your time as a family on the weekend, no need for fixed activities/classes.

Our children's centre did dad sessions on a Saturday ,and we have always done baby swimming classes on Saturday too.

Otherwise it's soft play doom!

MillionPramMiles Tue 30-Jul-13 08:47:05

erikab: I agree with you completely. I work 4 days a week so I do take my dd to one weekday class which she loves. I think it's a real shame that dp doesn't get the opportunity to see her dancing, interacting etc there too. Yes she does lots at nursery but we aren't around to see her enjoying it.

I guess a lot of the classes are run by mums with kids and a lot of the venues may not be free at weekends. I agree with OP though, someone's definitely missed a trick.

We might not want fixed classes at weekends necessarily but dd definitely needs outings. There are always weekends where friends aren't around/its raining etc and then its 'soft play doom' (well put TwelveLegged smile

MiaowTheCat Tue 30-Jul-13 09:06:22

It irritates me too - I only have transport on a weekend and live in the arse end of town where there's nowt much going on (right at the edge of a county so we tend to be a real forgotten patch in terms of council-run stuff)... the ONE thing that's on on a weekend is a dads and toddlers group - kind of useless to me!

bigkidsdidit Tue 30-Jul-13 09:11:28

This drives me mad. Where I live school finishes st 12 on a Friday so there are no classes on Fridays either. I can't go to anything!

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 30-Jul-13 09:12:11

There are things usually on Saturday mornings, but mostly targetted at dads. I do waterbabies with my DD. Me and another FT mum are the only mums in the group. All the others are dads. I think you can probably also find rugbytots and soccertots.

Music classes would be hard as it's mostly mums who go to them. I'm really surprised how few FT working mums there are in the UK. Almost all the mums I met during maternity go back part time. Same with the wives of all my colleagues.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 30-Jul-13 09:14:10

Oh and if you want to do music with your little one, don't worry about classes. Sing lots and lots of nursery rhymes with them. It's enough at this early age.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 30-Jul-13 09:20:00

Toddle - I agree, it's actually a very small group wanting weekend classes. It's people who work ft, and who do so in an office type Monday-Friday setting (e.g. I know a police officer who works full time, but that is spread over four long shifts and she has three weekday days with her children).

Add into which that most of those parents don't want to commit to weekly classes unless it is something like swimming lessons which is seen as having long term potential and value.

It is incredibly hard to run something like singing classes as drop in. To be able to charge, you have to have a good range of instruments, parachute, etc and you need to limit class numbers. Only free classes like the library can get away with enormous gaggle of children not doing much other than singing. If you get too popular, people get turned away and don't bother again. If you get a sunny day, everyone goes to the park and you lose almost all your income.

A friend of mine tried to set up music and movement classes on Saturdays (she runs them on one week day morning already) but just didn't get the take up to pay her costs.

I think a lot of FT working parents consider that 5 days a week at nursery or with a child minder gives their baby or toddler enough of the kind of stimulation a toddlers group or class offers, and want the down time to relax with their child at weekends. Others have older children at home too at weekends, which would make attending a weekend class a juggling act. Others would only want a drop in arrangement to leave flexibility to do other things at weekends, esp if its their only family time. As Amanda and Toddle said only a small percentage of FT working parents want weekend toddlers group, esp if they have to commit to going every week, so although many people think it's a nice idea in theory, in practice too few people sign up and commit to run them cost effectively.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 30-Jul-13 09:42:42

erika how old is your LO btw?

Maybe you'll think slightly differently when they are a bit older? My DD is 2, and I do see DD's time at nursery as attending toddler groups/classes all week already. They do basically the same thing in nursery. Craft, singing, drawing, gym (climbing frames in garden etc).

In the weekend, we do things outdoors as often as possible with her. Walking, parks, even shopping. (She loves shops without a lot of people, like B&Q, waitrose)! It's only recently that she really enjoys going out. She will get excited whenever she sees a bus and will start singing wheel on the bus. She's just started to get the concept of treasure hunts. We are thinking of going fruit picking with her this weekend. She wasn't so keen like this when she was less mobile. She's now ditched the pushchair and wants to run everywhere touching everything.

What I'm saying is that maybe it's just a short phase for you. Once he's an older toddler, you might be able to enjoy other 'family' activities.

Treagues Tue 30-Jul-13 09:47:51

It looks like a gap in the market but it probably isn't.

minipie Tue 30-Jul-13 10:01:50

What's even more frustrating is that these classes (the weekday ones) mostly stop over school holidays, including all summer.

These are baby classes... the babies aren't at school... so why do school holidays apply?

Or so I thought... then I realised that most of the class leaders are women with school age kids who want a term time hours job.

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