Our Tot Bop Holiday Classes provide families with fresh, fun and engaging classes and workshops to take their children to in the school holidays, where most other regular activities stop. We know having activities at the finger tips of parents is key in helping to maintain healthy, happy children, especially when other aspects of their routine pause during the holidays.
At Tot Bop, our holiday timetable is designed to cater for all ages, with something for everyone:
- 9.30-10.05am Tiny Tots (age 1-2.5) class
- 10.20-11.05am Baby Boppers (age 2.5 – rising 5) class
- 11.15am-3.15pm Funky Monkeys / Groovy Movers (age 4-9) extended workshop
The younger age group classes (Tiny Tots and Baby Boppers) are parent/carer participatory, as with our regular classes. This ensures all children feel safe and supported, especially if it’s a new environment and parents and carers can come along and enjoy the activity with their child … and trust me, you will enjoy it just as much as them! It’s also a great way to experience a one off class if you are considering regular classes for your little one in term time.
The older age group (ages 4-9) is drop off only and the children are with us for an extended period of time from 11.15am until 3.15pm. They bring a packed lunch and partake in a class, confidence building games, learning of a routine, an arts and crafts session, a mini disco and a showing to the parents at the end of each day. This is great for working or non-working parents to grab a few hours to get jobs done. It also encourages a little independence in your child, without the commitment of a super long day.
We tend to try to offer holiday classes and workshops in both Leighton Buzzard and Aston Clinton each school holiday. What we can offer, will depend on the time of year and hall availability. However, we tend to offer just classes in the half term break and the full holiday timetable, as detailed above, in the longer school holidays at Christmas, Easter and in the Summer.
So, what’s included in each session?
Tiny Tots (age 1-2.5)
The Tiny Tots class is 35 mins in length and parent/carer participatory. The class focuses on providing a fun and engaging introduction to music, movement and rhythm. There is a strong emphasis on rhythm, moving to the beat and copying ‘actions’ and movement patterns. This is all done in a fun, imaginative and engaging way, using tools such as props, puppets, instruments, bubbles etc. The developmental stage of the children is paramount and every exercise is designed to work of developing early co-ordination, gross motor skills, imagination and copying skills, all wrapped up in a fun and imaginative way. The structure of the class is as follows:
- ‘Pat & clap’ warm-up
- Assisted stretch
- Action song
- Motor skill exercise
- What’s in the box?
- Imaginative props section
- Rhythm exercise
- Storytime ‘meet the puppet’ section
- Parachute fun
- Sensory cool down
Baby Boppers (age 2.5 – rising 5)
The Baby Boppers class is 45 minutes in length and is parent/carer participatory. The class introduces the structure of a dance class in a fun, funky and imaginative way. There is a strong emphasis on rhythm and moving to the beat. Exercises are often linked with shapes, colours or numbers in order to enhance cognitive awareness and learning landmarks. Children learn to follow instruction and develop gross motor skills further, such as walking and running at different speeds, galloping, jumping etc. Children submerge themselves in their imaginations in the storytime section and groove out in the Tot Bop boogie, where even the grown ups get up and dance! At the end of the class, the children chill out in the sensory cool down with scarfs and bubbles! The structure of the class is as follows:
- Ice breaker warm-up
- ‘Shaky’ warm-up
- ‘Make a shape’ stretch
- Centre exercise
- Travelling step
- Music/rhythm section
- Storytime section
- Tot Bop Boogie
- Sensory cool-down
Funky Monkeys / Groovy Movers (age 4-9) Extended Workshop
For our extended holiday workshop, we have chosen to combine the age groups of our usual Funky Monkeys (age 3.5-5; preschool & reception year) class and our Groovy Movers (age 5-9; school years 1-4) class to be accessible for all. When the children arrive, they will be met by one of the teachers and shown where to put their lunch boxes and belongings. They will be shown around so they are familiar with the hall and where the toilets are for example. We know that some children may be nervous at the beginning, especially if they are being left for the first time. So, to help break the ice, we start our session with some super fun confidence building games, which introduces our theme of the day, gets their imaginations going and also encourages them to work with others and as a team, helping them to immediately relax and get to know other members of the group.
The children then get the benefits of a full Funky Monkeys class, which is super accessible to all, even those with not much previous dance experience.
The class follows the same structure as the Baby Boppers class, as detailed above, but the content of each exercise is that bit more challenging, in line with the expectations of the age group. The music/rhythm section introduces a variety of music genres and children learn both a rhythm pattern and a movement sequence to match the style of the genre (eg. Rock n roll, Charleston, salsa, reggae, hip hop etc.). The imaginative side of the storytime section develops in line with their cognitive awareness. Rather than just focusing on every day subjects that they will be aware of in their world, we are now able to develop this further and introduce more abstract, fantastical ideas like pirates, unicorns, dragons, fairies, superheroes etc. And trust me, even the older ones in the group still LOVE this section! They still rock out in the Tot Bop boogie, where they also get to develop their freestyle skills, before chilling out in the sensory cool down with scarfs and bubbles.
By this point they are quite tired and hungry! So it’s lunchtime! The teachers eat with the children and all children are supervised at all times.
After lunch we move onto our craft session to let our food digest! Each day there is a different craft activity to make, which follows the theme of the day. The children will then use their creation as a prop or costume in the choreographed routine later. There are also extra colouring sheets available, encouraging children to embrace our daily theme and bring out their creative side. All colouring can either be taken home or used to create our backdrop for our performance later in the afternoon.
After our craft session, we are ready to get moving again, so we do a quick re-warm of our bodies and move onto the choreographed routine section. As mentioned, we introduce a different theme of the day each day, which continues in the choreography. One of the teachers leads the session, teaching the choreography bit by bit until the children have learnt an entire routine.
After the intense concentration of learning a routine, we have some fun with a mini disco involving lights, bubbles, fun games and lots of dancing!
A quick tidy up follows, while we get ready for the grown ups to arrive. We then do an informal performance of their choreographed routine, using their craft creation, so the parents/carers get a glimpse of the fun we’ve had. After that it’s home time and everyone heads home for a good rest!
The Tot Bop team is very excited for the next holiday classes and workshops which kick off in just a few weeks! If you have yet to book your child in, don’t delay as there are limited places in each class/workshop.
Click on the following link to book: https://totbop.co.uk/product/summer-holiday-dance-classes-aston-clinton-leighton-buzzard/
We look forward to seeing you there!