Star Apple Toddler Group, St Katherines Priory
Time: 10am til Noon
Gentle, structured sessions for you, your baby and toddler. This welcoming and friendly group allows your child to socialise and develop in a reassuring family atmosphere. Imagination and creativity are nurtured through free play with simple toys and natural materials. They share traditional, seasonal songs, games, a healthy snack. We make soup and bread and enjoy it at the end of our session sat together.
Our approach are informed by Steiner Waldorf education principles.
Little children love the familiar, it makes them feel safe, and for this reason the sessions always follow the same pattern and include much repetition of songs and verses. The parent and toddler room is made to feel as cosy and homelike as possible. We try to provide a calm, unhurried and relatively peaceful atmosphere whilst understanding that children this age need to use their bodies and voices, a lot, with much energy.
Give yourself a break and turn off your mobile phone, this is time for you and your child.
If you and your child attend regularly you’ll find that your child learns the pattern and rhythm of the morning. A familiar song signals the move from one activity to the next. Your child will adapt to the rhythm of this and enjoy the safety of knowing what’s coming next:Upon arrival, please come in quietly, put on slippers within the toddler room, wash hands and start kneading bread and singing songs with the Group Leader.
Free play – whilst adults do a seasonal craft
Star Apple – snack time
Tidy up time – all help to clear toys into their special baskets, whilst singing.
Singtime – the group join together for seasonal songs
We sit together to enjoy soup and the bread which we made earlier together.
Rhiannon Neale email Rhiannon.email@example.com
Pinhoe Parent and Toddler Group, America Hall
Time: 9:30am – 11:30am – Term Time only
Cost: £1 per adult, 70p per child (under 1s are free)
America Hall is huge! So much space for burning off energy, there are loads of cars and push along toys, pushchairs and ride ons, there’s a seesaw and a slide. There are craft tables and various artistic activities. Half way through the session we stop for a snack and a drink with Tea and Coffee for grown ups. At the end of the session we sing some songs whilst they toys are tidied away. The highlight of the group is the ‘Ready Steady Go’ game which involves running/toddling from one end of the hall to the other!
Ladysmith Baby Cafe
Time: 11:30am – 1pm Term Time only
Precrawlers! Come and have a cup of real coffee and a slice of cake at this warm and welcoming group. It’s a super friendly group, a chance to meet others at the same stage of life – share experiences and support each others.
The community room at Ladysmith is off Pretoria Road, behind the Infants school, there is covered parking for prams.
Merry Go Round Toy Library, Belmont Park
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Cost: £5 annual membership – see website for more info
I just love the toy library, especially for toys which are big or expensive! It is especially good when you just know your kids are bored with the wet weather and all their indoor toys. Come and BORROW something….like a library!!! Who knew! We borrowed a small activity table whilst Nancy was learning to stand and all manner of other stuff I could never afford to buy let alone house!
Chattertots, Alphington Community Hall
Time: 9.30am – 11am
I’ve yet to review this myself but I’m told there is an area for babies, a craft activity for the older ones each week, toys to play with and then a book and song at the end. Sounds great! I’ll see you soon! This group occasionally opens in the summer holidays but please check first.
Gudrun – 07785268568
Ladysmith Primary School, Pretoria Road, Exeter
Time: 9:30-11:00 Term Time Only
Cost: £2 per family 50p for extra adult
Ladysmith Toddler Group is located next to Ladysmith Infant School, in the Community room (accessed via Pretoria Road near the bottom of Sampson’s Lane).
The group is run by Ladysmith Community Action Team (LCAT). The Toddler Group was originally designed to welcome the growing number of families who speak English as an additional language. Since then the group has developed, and now welcomes families from across our community to enjoy and share the experience of bringing up children, whilst celebrating cultural diversity.
There are various activities set out for children to explore including some sort of tactile/ messy play, art/ craft activity, plus lots of toys and a small outdoor area with ride-ons.
Hot drinks for adults are provided, along with squash or water and biscuits for all. Families are welcome to bring their own snacks as well if required.
In all sessions we finish by gathering on the carpet for a story and to sing songs together as a group; we encourage everyone to join in, although please don’t worry if your child has other ideas! At the end of each session we sing a ‘good bye’ song, in which we sing good by to children individually.
Come along and play!
Walter Daw Primary School, Woodwater Lane
Time: 9:15am – 10:45am Term Time Only
Cost: £1.50 + 75p per additional child
This lively group meets in Term Time in the school, when you get to the school ask at the receptionist for where to go. It has the usual mix of toys and ride ons, the group also includes singing and story time and a craft table where all sorts of seasonal crafts can be found at Easter, Halloween and Christmas. The group holds seasonal parties and outings! The last one was to ‘The World of Country Life’. There are healthy snacks and drinks provided. Tea and Coffee is included.
There are also things for parents to look at, Usbourne Books, Phoenix Cards and the Health Visitor pops in for sessions
Jessica Brown 07540769299 firstname.lastname@example.org
Riverside Christian Center, St. Thomas
Time: 10:00am – 12 noon Term Time
Nicola emailed me with this review…I visited the above Toddler Group yesterday and offer this review of the setting.’Riverside Christian Centre Toddler Group is run by Rosie with her daughter. It is located by the Exe Bridges and easily accessible from the river. The group’s spaces are large and uncrowded with a soft area for babies and younger children, and a more physically challenging toddler area in a separate space. Buggies and prams have ideal parking near the play space for children who fall asleep on the way to the group – it’s easy to keep an eye on sleeping children in their buggy.The baby area toys are appropriate and in good condition. The toddler area has slides and climbing equipment, tunnels and age-appropriate blocks, dolls and pushchairs etc.Tea and coffee is offered for parents and carers and juice/water and biscuits for the young ones. The first visit is free. The only drawback to the visit was the steps into the building, which means asking for help from inside or negotiating with another parent to help with getting up the steps.’Thank you Nicola!….xx Jen
Riverside Christian Centre – 01392 210146
Pinhoe Road Baptist Church
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am and 1:30pm – 3:30pm Term Time Only
Cost: Voluntary Donations
The only playgroup I’ve found with a sand pit! This a huge bright room full of fun!
There‘s a Wendy house, dressing up clothes, a reading corner with squashy cushions, a safely cordoned off carpeted area with smaller toys for babies, Jigsaw tables,Arts and Crafts, Playdoh table, dolls house table. Tea and coffee for grownups and juice and a biscuit for little ones. We agther for a good old sing song before tidying up. I love it!!
Julia – 01392 424181
Clyst Heath Nursery and Community Primary School, Clyst Heath
Time: 10:00am – 11.20am Term Time only
Run by members of Trinity church. Loads of toys and things to do in a very friendly environment, there is a craft session making facemasks, supervised sticking and painting. There are soft toys and ride ons, Playdoh, puzzles and bricks. At 11o’clock we have a drink and a biscuit and a good loud sing song before we finish.
Jane: 01392 460940