There are mixed opinions regarding whether or not our babies benefit from group play before the age of one. Despite these contradictory claims, have you ever asked your baby whether or not he or she prefers being cooped up in the house all day with the same toys, or engaging with a big group of other babies, moms, and dads?
In Beijing, there are many options ranging from organized baby play groups at international schools, sing-song gatherings at local venues, and various exercise-oriented activities to break a sweat while your little one laughs hysterically at the silly things you do to get your body back into shape.
These weekly opportunities will help you meet other parents who are in the same boat as you, and who knows, maybe you’ll make a family friend for life. Group play is as much beneficial for moms and dads as it is for kids because it takes you out of the solitude that usually comes along with caring for a newborn and allows you to get out there and connect. After all, if you don’t use it, you can definitely lose it.
Safari Song Time
Help develop your baby’s ability to vocalize their fun with this entertaining weekly event at The Bookworm. Along with stimulating their brains and encouraging development, Safari Song Time will no doubt be the highlight of your little one’s week as it will put them in contact with many other kids their size through the magic of music. So if your child is between the ages of 3-18 months, make sure to drop on by every Friday/Saturday and let them experience songs and nursery rhymes from around the world. Please take note that if the AQI is above 200, the event will be canceled. RMB 60 per child. Friday/Saturday 10.30-11.30am. The Bookworm. (6586 9507)
Just because you are in the healing stages after your birth doesn’t mean that there isn’t a yoga class that’s geared to your specific needs during recovery. Not only will this class give mothers time to focus on relaxing their bodies through various asanas and breathing exercises, but also re-establish core strength while expanding your baby’s (6-weeks to crawling) comfort level in new situations. Participation between mother and infant is integrated throughout the session, promoting interactions with other new moms and babies in attendance. RMB 150 per class. Every Monday 12.30-1.30pm. Yoga Yard. (6413 0774)
BSB, Shunyi Baby & Toddler Group Friday Mornings
Whether you’re new to parenthood, or you have a year or two behind the wheel, check out these fun playgroups where they break out all toys and other goodies for a fun morning of free play, singing, and much more. While it’s obviously a great chance to check out all of the facilities at the British School of Beijing, Shunyi (BSB, Shunyi) Early Years, with a guided tour of the campus, it will also get you connected with other families, which isn’t always an easy task if you are one of the many that are new to town and are unfamiliar with all of the parenting resources that exist in the Shunyi area. Free. 9-10.30am (Sep-Jun). British School of Beijing, Shunyi. (8047 3588)
Mommy & Baby Fitness
Get over to Park Apartments every Wednesday for this infant-friendly fitness class focusing on getting mommy back in the gym while building a stronger connection with this new life through exercise. Expect a variety of low impact techniques ranging from yoga to light Pilates to get your body healthy and back to normal. Classes are informal and relaxed and allow the opportunity to feed, change, or comfort your child whenever necessary. RMB 1,440 (12 class package) to RMB 200 (single class). Wednesdays 9.45-10.45am. Park Apartments. (WeChat: SabinaKirchherr)
Photos: Kipp Whittaker and courtesy of Hannah Ryder