It struck me this week that under normal circumstances our summer edition would be with you, telling you everything you need to know about what’s on in Nottingham over the next few weeks. That wasn’t possible, but there’s still so much to say, so here’s a newsletter instead. I hope you enjoy it, and enjoy getting back out there safely with your family this summer.
Nottingham baby businesses prove themselves versatile as they adapt to support families
From baby music groups and messy play to baking groups and tots tennis lessons, businesses across Nottingham have proven their resilience by switching online or diversifying their offer over the last few months.
So how easy has it been to engage with babies, parents and young children through a screen, and what does the future hold for these small businesses which are often run by parents of young children themselves? We asked a few of our well-loved activities what the last few months have been like for them.
Wendy Prevezer, from Early Years Music Groups, discovered she was able to adapt her music sessions to work on Zoom, right from the start in mid-March. “I didn’t know if it would work online with such small children, some as young as 6 months: the activities are normally very hands-on and interactive, often following the children’s lead. But with every session I’ve learned how I can better engage with the children and parents online, often incorporating their choices. Parents are asked to get a few props together each week according to the theme, and we all really enjoy our sessions together at home. I’m continuing this way until at least September.”
TinyTalk were able to move straight to online classes when lockdown hit, so that families could continue with their Baby Signing & Toddler Talking classes and they found the adapted online format worked well for their families.
Adele from Tiny Talk Nottingham Central said: “Our online Baby sign and Toddler communication classes have proved popular with both existing, and new families, and it is wonderful to see babies and toddlers’ sign language and spoken word communications skills continue to grow with us during lockdown.
“We always focus on parental wellbeing in our classes, and it was especially important to also include social support elements for parents in our online classes, as many families with young children can feel isolated at home.”
Tumble Tots reached a milestone this week, having delivering 100 classes online to their parents and little ones, and even hosting an ‘at-home’ sports day this week, all helping pre-schoolers enjoy staying active while they can’t get to classes.
Throughout the lockdown, Rugby Tots also delivered online classes to the community. Kyle from Rugby Tots said: “When we had to suspend our regular classes we were determined that little ones could still get to practise their skills so we delivered online sessions instead. The online classes followed a similar programme but parents could easily improvise with household items in place of the usual Rugby Tots equipment.
“We were really happy that they worked so well, but have been even happier to get back out there over the last few weeks, delivering classes outside with social distancing in place.”
Muddy Feet Outdoor Playgroup, which runs outdoor, nature-based activities for families, has also been delighted to restart sessions with social distancing in place. But, during lockdown, diversified by producing and sending out weekly home activity packs so that children could continue to engage with nature at home and on local walks.
Fran Groombridge from Muddy Feet also delighted her local community by posting trails and quizzes around her local nature walk in Gamston during lockdown, as did Helen Whatling from The Old Barn at Field Farm.
Helen, who runs children and adult craft activity sessions and parties regularly surprised local children by sharing crafts and toys she made from natural materials. Stick men, bubble lines, magic wands and rainbows were just some of the items that bought huge smiles to children’s faces in Radcliffe upon Trent during April, May and June this year.
Jo , Editor of Lots for Tots magazine Nottingham, said: “It’s been fantastic to see how many small local businesses, often run by parents who’ve also been home-schooling their own children, were able to innovate and find ways to continue to run their businesses and support families and young children during the pandemic.
“Parents of young children are a sociable lot, and little ones get so much out of their usual music, dance, sport, singing and signing activities. So it’s been great to see how much has been made available online and how much social support has remained through the classes.
“But there are many of our favourite small businesses in Nottingham who are still struggling and are unsure how they’ll re-open and when – such as soft plays, dance and gymnastics. I hope that parents across Nottingham will give them as much support as they can so they can survive the coming months as we continue to get back to normal.”
Due to the ‘What’s on’ nature of its content, and routes of distribution, Lots for Tots magazine was unable to publish a summer edition, but looks forward to a packed Autumn edition, out in early October.
County Council to support UK children returning to school, following major incidents like coronavirus
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Educational Psychology Service (EPS) has been appointed to provide practical guidance to schools across the UK, to help them recover and support children returning to school, after major incidents like the coronavirus pandemic.
The EPS has been appointed to work for the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) and National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) on the major project.
By helping children get back to school, and re-establishing new daily routines, the Council’s service will play a major role in supporting children’s health and wellbeing, following the upheaval of being in lockdown.
Nottinghamshire birth registration appointments have resumed
Appointments to register births that have taken place in the county can now be booked by Nottinghamshire parents regardless of when their babies were born.
Parents who live in the county, can book appointments at registration offices including West Bridgford, Arnold, Mansfield, Worksop, Retford and Newark.
County resident parents who had their babies in one of the Nottingham city hospitals can only make appointments at either Arnold or West Bridgford registration offices at this moment in time.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s registration team initially prioritised appointments for babies born between January and April 2020 due to a backlog caused by coronavirus restrictions.
For further information please visit: https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/births-deaths-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/births/resuming-birth-registration-appointments-frequently-asked-questions or to book an appointment please call the County Council Customer Contact number on 0300 500 8080
Children’s Art Week comes to Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries
Children’s Art Week, taking place from Monday 29th June to Sunday 19th July, will see thousands of children, their teachers and their families taking part in fun, creative activities at home and in schools across three weeks in June and July.
This year for Children's Art Week, Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries will be joining in with online workshops from; the multi-talented artist Fabric Lenny, the animator and film maker Trevor Woolery, the writer and theatre maker Jayne Williams and a brilliant team of five ‘Little Creatives’ artists!
Visit the Inspire website to find their specially made videos and resources here www.inspireculture.org.uk/arts-culture/community/engage-art-week/
Martin's Pond, Wollaton
A project to enhance a local beauty spot is well on the way to completion with the installation of specially-designed gates. Nestled in amongst houses and allotments in Wollaton, Martin's Pond is considered a 'hidden gem' along with the adjacent Harrisons Plantation Local Nature Reserve. It is believed to be the first site in Nottinghamshire designated as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) more than 40 years ago..
Forest School opens at Edwalton Day Nursery
Edwalton Day Nursery, on Melton Road now has a Forest School with a woodland play area and lodge classroom. This exciting new addition carefully encourages children to manage and evaluate the risks of engaging in play within the outside world.
The programme will be delivered by the nursery's fully trained forest school leader, and younger children will have the opportunity to participate in a less structured way, further details on the play area are mentioned below.
by Emma from little lullabies sleep solutions
Abi in Beeston asks: “My little boy is 3 months old, should I try to get him into a nap routine soon?”
Emma: “By following age appropriate wake windows you will automatically establish a rhythm for your babys day that flows rather than being set in stone. For a 3 month old the wake window (length of time between waking and next nap) is about 1hour 30 minutes.”
Paul in Nuthall asks: “How long do children go on waking during the night? My 2 year old still wakes a few times, and I think he should be sleeping through by now.”
Emma: “We all wake during the night for brief spells due to our sleep cycles however adults and children with good sleep habits have learnt how to resettle themselves. There can be many reasons a 2 year old wakes in the night; over tiredness, time to drop the daytime nap (sigh…) separation anxiety, reaching a developmental milestone such as potty training, environmental factors or reliance on something/someone to fall asleep in the first place.”
Poonam in Sherwood asks:“My 4 week old doesn’t sleep for very long. Less than an hour at a time, during the night or day. Is this normal? Should I feed him every time he wakes?
Emma: “This is completely normal. At 4 weeks you baby is very new to the world and you’re adjusting to your new role. However there are very gentle steps you can take to help your baby sleep longer when they’re ready.
“Clearly differentiate between day and night. Set up a simple short nap and bedtime routine. Avoid over stimulation and follow the appropriate wake window.
“Every baby’s sleep needs and patterns will continue to change as they grow and develop, so remember, sleepless nights won’t last forever. There are things you can do to help you and baby get into good sleep habits, like being aware of signs of tiredness during the day and being consistent with a bedtime routine.
Contact Emma at email@example.com
lots for november... sling swing
Sling Swing Family Sunday Session Sunday 18th November 10.30-11.30am
Brewhouse and Kitchen, Trent Bridge, West Bridgford, NG2 2GS
As well as our weekly classes, we’d love you and the family to join us for a babywearing boogie at the Riverside Gallery area of the Brewhouse and Kitchen, West Bridgford. This special monthly event will involve fun and gentle dances to take part in wearing your baby in a sling/carrier. Good quality slings available to hire and all instructors are qualified in babywearing and insured.
Free Parking. Adult tickets are £5 each, a pair of adult tickets are £8 or a family of up to 4 adults tickets are £14. Under 18’s are free. Suitable from 6 weeks old+
Booking essential - please contact Nikki: firstname.lastname@example.org
for all our weekly class listings visit our
I’m really happy to introduce myself to you as the new Editor of Lots for Tots Nottingham. I’ve been a parent in this wonderful city for the last five years, and have experienced firsthand the incredible variety of activities we have on our doorstep.