This play centre in the heart of Central encourages your bubba to play and develop!
One of my favourite activities with Eve is attending classes with her. As a working mama who is lucky to have flexibility, these weekday classes offer a great opportunity for mama-daughter quality time while also giving Eve a little something she enjoys. She LOVES anything music related so a music class is right up her alley.
Over this past year I have sampled two classes at BabySteps, which is located in Universal Trade Centre on Arbuthnot Road. BabySteps provides play, music, art and dance classes with a focus on a ‘tailor-made’ approach to play and development. What this means is they offer developmental assessments to find out what your child really needs so they can cater to those areas. They also keep their class sizes small, from my experience, which helps with making sure that the children are being heard and understood and given the appropriate attention throughout class. And while attention is given, they give the freedom to the child to explore through music and play. To play along with the tailor-made approach they don’t publicise their schedules (which can make a Type-A mama a bit freaked out to not know the days and times!) as they like to work with you individually to cater to the best times that work for you and other children who are interested in the class. So, don’t hesitate to call them up and ask rather than close out of the site because you can’t find the schedule. They always want to work with what fits your schedule best!
The BabySteps location is in a building that is filled with loads of kiddie class places (but please don’t get me started on why the elevator in that building takes forever!). What is even better is how great the BabySteps environment is. We all know Hong Kong lacks space but this is one thing that BabySteps does not suffer from in my opinion. The play area is spacious and has an open view of the city. It’s clean and has a nice, bright feel to it and their philosophy with the play area is super inviting. If you sign up for a package, the play space is open to you at all times for no extra charge, which is especially nice if you are looking for inside play spaces when the weather heats up. They also have a stocked pantry filled with goodies that both mama and little ones will enjoy (Oreos and coffee for me please!) and they have extra diapers and wipes on hand if an emergency situation happens where you find yourself with none.
One of the things I look for in a playgroup space is the ability to take them there as they grow. Our first class with BabySteps was when Eve was 16 months and the second one was at 2 years old and I felt she was catered to her age group in both instances. Our first class was a music therapy class, which involved exploring instruments to develop her music and social skills as well as their cognitive behavior. During the class, Eve was encouraged to explore different instruments with independence yet guidance from the teacher. What really impressed me the most is that after the class when we entered the Play Area again Eve went straight to the drum set and keyboard rather than her forever favourite sliding board which was super encouraging to the fact that she picked up on the whole music theme of the class.
And most recently I took Eve (aged 2) to their Step-by-Step class, which is for 2-3 year olds and the focus of this class is to allow the little ones to manipulate their gross and fine motor skills as they experience various activities throughout class. The class focused on language comprehension rather than language production and included messy art play (which Eve loved!), story time, free play and other activities.
Another thing that I have always loved about BabySteps is that they often hold events such as ‘Teach Your Child to Play Independently’ or ‘Etiquette Workshops’. And often times they offer these on Saturdays, which are great for parents who are looking for ways to entertain little ones on the weekend!
BabySteps offers free trial classes (which a parent must attend). To schedule the class, you can email the BabySteps team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BabySteps, 25/F, 2501-02, Universal Trade Centre, 3-5A Arbuthnot Road, Central, www.babysteps.com.hk