It can be difficult to go out somewhere with a toddler. That’s just being honest. You need to find somewhere that your child will enjoy, but also somewhere that you can have a nice time as well. Soft play areas can be amazing (see my review of one here), but sometimes you need to find something a little different.
This past weekend my daughter and I went into the city centre. I had some stuff I needed to do at the shops, and I wanted to get my punk rock princess out of the house for a bit as well. It was there, at the intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham, that we came across Jo Jingles. They were offering free taster sessions for parents and kids to see what Jo Jingles is all about. So, we joined in.
What Is Jo Jingles?
I suppose that I should start by explaining what Jo Jingles actually is, shouldn’t I?
In short, Jo Jingles is a musical class filled with movement and singing. These sessions are designed to help your kids to develop motor skills, listening and vocal abilities through play. There’s a bunch of different nursery rhymes and songs, all of which involve dancing of one method or another. This helps to get your child used to social interaction as well.
The sessions are very energetic as well, so they can hold a child’s attention really easily. On top of this, your child will get to play with a bunch of different musical instruments, all designed for young hands. My daughter couldn’t wait to get her hands onto the maracas that they had at the free session we attended.
How Did The Session Go?
So, the session we attended was a taster session. It lasted somewhere between 30 to 45 minutes, which was great as it was long enough for my daughter to get the most out of it, but short enough that she didn’t get bored. It started off with all of the kids sitting with their parents, in a semi-circle, as the host introduced herself and started the first couple of songs. To begin with, we had a piece of music based on a galloping horse that would speed up or slow down.
This gave the kids (and parents) a fun little game of pretending to ride the horse at the same speed as the music. The next song was an all-time classic; heads, shoulders, knees and toes. All of the kids seemed to love this. My daughter even turned around to me with a huge smile on her face. That was great to see.
After a couple more short songs, the maracas came out and at that moment my daughter got really excited. We played a sort of alternate musical chairs game where we had to shake the maracas to the music, but stop when the music went quiet. It took a few tries, but my punk rock princess very quickly figured out what she was supposed to do. That, straight away, showed me how effective the Jo Jingles sessions could be.
Finally, someone dressed as the character Jo Jingle came into the session. The outfit was great, but sadly, my daughter isn’t too fond of costumes like that. I expected her to start crying, but actually, the person seemed to understand that my daughter was a bit scared, so they stood a fair distance from her but kept waving at her. This helped to keep her calm, even though she was very shy and wouldn’t let go of me. Whilst she may not have gotten the full experience of the costumed person, the fact that they were able to handle the situation as brilliantly as they did is a huge positive. They were definitely professional yet caring, which is really important to me.
How Much Is A Session?
As mentioned earlier, the Jo Jingles session we went to was just a free taster session. However, the actual price really isn’t that bad, coming in at about £5 per session. What I didn’t realise before going to this taster session was that they have regular classes in the intu Victoria Centre. I believe these sessions happen on Tuesday’s in the mid-morning, so whilst I wouldn’t be able to take my daughter (due to work commitments), other parents can go there with their kids and have a really fun time.
The classes and sessions are definitely worth the cost. You and your kids will get some great value for money from Jo Jingles! The classes take place at the Nottingham Coffee Club every other Tuesday, with the upcoming sessions happening on the following dates;
- 19th June
- 3rd July
- 17th July
And That’s All Folks
I would highly recommend the Jo Jingles sessions and classes. Whilst we have only been to a taster session, my daughter absolutely loved it. She had so much fun and, for a child with a low attention span, didn’t get bored or turn away from the class, music or host. She was fixated on joining in, up until the person in the costume came. But then, as mentioned already, the person in the costume managed to help her stay calm and she continued to join in for a slight distance.
These classes and sessions are great and I have already seen how effective they are. If you’re looking for something to do with your kids, then Jo Jingles is a definite recommendation! You can find out the timetable for Nottingham classes (or any other location) here. I would definitely suggest taking a look at least.