Sessionm Descriptions

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Further details on the sessions we run are below. It also shows which sessions are run as "drop-in" and which ones you need to pre-book.

Shooting Stars / SEN group (Leighton Buzzard): DROP-IN

Shooting Stars is a drop in group for children with additional needs, their parents/carers and siblings. The group provides a play session for the children and a chance for parents/carers to meet each other for friendship, support and to share information.

Young Parents Fun & Lunch Club (Leighton Buzzard / Flitwick): DROP-IN

This is a drop-in session for parents (with children 0-5years) and parents-to-be who are aged 23 years and under. It takes place each week, although the timetable may vary slightly in school holidays.

A light sandwich lunch is provided for which parents and children can choose their fillings along with fruit. The session aims to encourage healthy eating habits and the use of doidy cups to help families to move away from bottles and lidded cups.

The session has play activities provided for parents to engage with their children i.e. play dough, sticking, imaginary play, construction, book puzzles. There are also monthly drop-ins by speech and language therapists and other health care professionals to offer advice.

Baby Massage (various locations): BOOKING ONLY

These are usually 3-week sessions in which you can learn basic baby massage techniques in a relaxing environment. The sessions are free but must be booked in advance. Baby massage is an extremely popular session so it is well worth having your name put on a waiting list. To take part, babies must have had their 6-8 week health check and must be immobile (i.e. not rolling or moving about too much – up to 6 months usually).

Baby Yoga (various locations): BOOKING ONLY

Baby Yoga is a 3 or 4 week course for parents and babies who have had their 6-8 week health check until they are 9 months old. It is a good follow-on course from baby massage as it follows many of the same principles. Parents and babies should wear loose & comfortable clothing.

The course consists of breathing & stretching exercises for parents and exercises for babies consisting of legs, hips & tummy exercises; arms, chest & back exercises; parent & baby exercises and yoga holds. The course comes with many benefits for both parent and baby. For the parent, it helps them to relax and helps to stretch & tone areas of the body. For the baby it helps them to relax, helps with releasing wind, stretching and strengthening muscles and helps prepare for crawling.

NCMA Creative Play (Leighton Buzzard / Barton-le-Clay / Flitwick): DROP-IN FOR CHILDMINDERS ONLY

This is a drop-in creative play session run by the National Child Minders Association in which child minders and their children (0-5 years) can enjoy getting together for creative activities. An NCMA coordinator is available for advice and support.

Baby Brasserie (Leighton Buzzard / Toddington / Flitwick / Ampthill): DROP-IN

A social group for mums and mums to be who want to breast feed their baby. It is run by trained Breastfeeding trained staff and may include volunteers from the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and Breastfeeding Network (BFN). Parents can come to get advice and support on any breastfeeding issue they are experiencing also enjoy a cup of tea or coffee & a biscuit in a safe environment. Older children are welcome too.

Housing Drop-In – CBC Tenants Only (Leighton Buzzard): DROP-IN

This is a drop-in session which occurs on the first Tuesday of every month for Central Bedfordshire Council tenants and offers advice and support on a range of topics.

Mini Chefs (various locations): BOOKING ONLY

Mini Chefs is a hugely popular course which is bookable. It’s a fun informal cooking session I which children learn to spoon and mix ingredients for quick and healthy recipes with their parents/carers. The session is aimed at children 2-5 years old, but younger children who able to stand at the table can give it a go!

Baby Signing (Leighton Buzzard/Flitwick): BOOKING ONLY

Baby Signing is a bookable 3-week course in which basic signs are taught to babies over the age of 6 months. It is a course aimed to give families awareness of the importance of their child’s communication and how signing can support this. Parents will learn approximately 25-30 signs and will hopefully then feel confident to introduce the signs at home.

TOGS (Sandy): DROP-IN

Time Out Group – a weekly group for young parents or carers and their children.

Tots Group (Sandy): DROP-IN

A fun and friendly weekly (term-time only) session for under 5’s and their parents or carers. A speech therapist attends on certain dates.

Midwife Clinic (Sandy): DROP-IN

A weekly session for post-natal contact.

St Swithuns (Sandy): DROP-IN

A weekly drop-in toy library.

Great Expectations (Sandy)

If you are feeling anxious, isolated, lonely, sad and if parenthood is not living up to your expectations, come along to this weekly session where you can meet others in a similar situation and gain support and advice. Available on certain dates.

Parent Partnership Coffee Morning (Sandy)

On certain dates this coffee morning offers the chance to come and meet other parents of children with additional needs and gain support, advice and information about your child’s support in school from the Central Bedfordshire Parent Partnership Service.

Baby Club (Sandy): DROP-IN

An informal weekly session for new parents and parents to be. Make new friends and share tips on how to make the most of this exciting time. Baby weighing and breastfeeding advice is available.

Adult Education (Sandy): BOOKING ONLY

Various adult education courses are available on various dates. Booking is essential for this.

Drop In (Sandy)

A relaxed, weekly session where new parents can meet up for a cup of tea and a chat.

Chatter Tots (Leighton Buzzard): BOOKING ONLY

Chattertots is a 5 week course based around communication for children aged 18mths - 5 years, it is run by children’s centre staff and Emily a speech and language therapist. Each week parents are given a top tip for talking to work on with their children, the sessions are based around play with time at the beginning and the end of the sessions for singing.

PlayStop Gym / Stay & Play (various locations): DROP-IN

These drop-in sessions are for children aged 0-5 years (a baby area is provided) in which large soft play equipment is provided. The session encourages physical activity such as climbing, crawling, sliding, jumping, and sometimes there is a short song time at the end of sessions.

Story & Rhyme (various locations): DROP-IN

During these drop-in sessions for children aged 0-5 years, a story is read followed by nursery songs. Props are also used to help keep the children’s attention.

Creative Play/Messy Play (various locations): DROP-IN

Creative play drop-in sessions are mostly suited to mobile children (up to 5 years). Fun activities are provided such as painting, sticking, colouring, sand, play dough etc. The session finishes with a snack, story and songs.

Early Explorers (Leighton Buzzard / Flitwick): DROP-IN

Early Explorers is a drop-in session for children aged 6-18 months. Activities such as sensory equipment (i.e. scarves, treasure basket, musical instruments etc.) and a selection of baby toys and activities are available such as puzzles, colouring, painting etc. A healthy snack is also provided for those who would like one.

New Parents Group (Leighton Buzzard): DROP-IN

The new parents group is a drop-in session for new parents to meet other new parents in a safe and friendly environment. The group is run by a children’s centre staff member and a member of staff from the 0-19 team. We aim to have a talk every other week on topics such as weaning, sleep, child development etc.

Dad & Me/Dad’s Club (Leighton Buzzard/Flitwick): DROP-IN

This drop-in session provides a range of craft activities and toys and finishes with snack, story and songs. It’s a good way for 0-5 year olds and their dads/granddads/male carers to get together to socialise.

Toy Library (Leighton Buzzard/mobile to various areas)

We have a toy library service with a wide range of toys, dress-up and activity equipment available to borrow for up to two weeks. The toy library is based in Leighton Buzzard but a mobile service is available to certain local areas.

Parent Puzzle (Leighton Buzzard / Flitwick): BOOKING ONLY

Parent Puzzle is a free bookable course which usually runs twice a year (Sept-Dec and March-May). It is bookable (self-referral or agency referral) and runs for 10 weeks. A crèche is provided. All families are welcome but it is recommended that, for maximum benefit, families who have a child aged 3 years (or very close) attend.

The session aims to educate families in a range of child care topics including: discipline, time out, family rules, rewards & penalties, personal power, choices and consequences, dealing with feelings, “I” statements, kinds of touch, nurturing ourselves, ages and stages in child development, issues around sex, helping children stay safe, behaviour to ignore and last but not least problem solving and negotiating.

Come & Play (Flitwick/Lidlington): BOOKING ONLY

Much like Stay and Play, this bookable session for children 18 months to 5 years old has play and craft activities as well as snack time and a story/song at the end.

Baby Clinic (Barton-le-Clay): DROP-IN

This is a drop-in session which runs on certain dates. Come and have your baby weighed and talk to health professionals who come along to offer support and advice on any parenting issues.

Bump Start (Flitwick): DROP-IN

This is an informal drop-in coffee morning for pregnant mums/partners and new mums and dads with babies up to 4 months.

Rhyme Time (Flitwick): DROP-IN

A fun, drop-in rhyme time session for 0-5 years.

Child Health Clinic (Sandy): DROP-IN

Weekly session in which you can come and have your baby weighed. There is also a health visitor on site to give support and advice on any issues.

Job Centre Plus (Sandy): DROP-IN

A Job Centre Plus advisor is on hand each week to give information, support and advice on any work-related/back-to-work issues/topics.

Bumps 2 Babes / Bumps 2 Babes (Sandy, Silsoe and Leighton Buzzard): DROP-IN

A weekly group for parents/carers with babies up to crawling stage. Baby weighing and breastfeeding advice is available at Sandy.

Bromford Support (Flitwick): DROP-IN

This is a weekly drop-in session every Monday for advice on housing, benefits, debts, budgeting etc.

Inbetweenies (Sandy): DROP-IN

A fun and friendly weekly drop-in session for parents and carers of babies & toddlers up to the age of 2.

There is also a programme of groups at Sandy on various dates with a focus on speech and language including: Small Talk, Chatter Tots and Baby Signing.