Writing this blog I am sat on a rock jutting out from the oceans calm mediterranean waters (well actually it is a cushion on my living room floor) next to my son who is eating his snack in his boat (mini bath) in the middle of the ocean (blue blanket adorned with shells, ocean creatures, books, and sensory ocean inspired resources we have made. But why am I telling you this? Well you see a business, art form, practise all have the potential to be what ever you want them to be………today we have transformed our living room into what we wanted it to be and you can do the same with your practice.
I have been a teacher for 8 years but over the last year my students have changed. Instead of 3 – 5 year olds I am now facilitating the exploration and learning of Mothers, Fathers * their babies. This change in role for me has felt very natural as I’m passionate about empowering parents to love exploring and learning with their children and to understand how powerful play can be.
As a teacher I am very much used to reflecting, developing, improving and differentiating my lessons. Reflective practice is closely linked to learning from experience. It doesn’t have to become a mammoth task, it can be as simple as a thought that you note down and implement into your future practise.
I firmly believe that the trick is not to strive for perfection but instead to strive for growth……..to nurture your knowledge and allow new ideas to blossom into practise that is organicall evolving. Just remember that your core element (mine is my baby massage strokes and baby yoga sequences ) is what you want to keep as your firm foundations and the way you deliver this is what you can develop, adapt and play with.
Let me take you through some really easy ways to help you develop your practise around treasure baskets and play in Baby Massage & Baby/Toddler Yoga sessions (but you can apply these ideas to most things).
Theme plan for the year
- It is really helpful to get a rough guide of the year ahead and some themes that you can explore for example……what celebrations occur throughout the year and when, when do seasons change and how can you celebrate and incorporate this.
- Build up a bank of ideas that you like around these themes. It might be a bit much to do this all in one go so you can collect ideas throughout a year (feeding into point 1). This will give you a basis to work, year upon year.
- Join Pinterest (link at the end of this blog). This is a great app to get on your phone (you can also explore online via a PC). It is a visual library of ideas that is fun, quick and easy to use. If you see something you like you can save it to a ‘pin board’. Pinterest is great at helping to get the creative juices flowing when starting a new theme for your practise.
- Research some classic/popular early years story books. The simpler the better! You could even ask parents that come to your sessions to tell you their top 3 story books. You will soon find out if a pattern of favourites starts to emerge. If not there is a little list at the end of this blog you might like to explore.
- Test run. Before I run a session I always set out my resources. The key is to make it look REALLY inviting and special. So take your time over this it can make all the difference;
- Attracting the babies/toddlers attention
- Wowing the parents and getting them interested to explore with their child
- Helping you to feel confident and excited to share your resources
- As your session unfolds take time to sit back and watch, how are the babies interacting with your resources? HOw are the parents interacting? Is something not working? why? How could you develop this in a positive way?
- Record. If you create something that works really well take a photo of it and file it/save it so that you can use this idea again and maybe even developit further. Don’t forget you can use these photos on social media (with parental consent) as well to attract new custom and to remind parents of the great time they had.
Reflect, recycle & extend
- Save, re-use, recycle. When I say this I mean you don’t have to scrap what you have done in the past just build on it. If things are working for you then great what else can you add? Parents that come to my classes often comment that they like the fact that they can make some of the resources themselves at home or that anything purchased is relatively inexpensive. You can also upcycle other peoples idea adding your own personal touch.
The main thing to remember is that developing your practice isn’t the ‘end goal’ its food for your business.
By continuing to develope you are keeping your interest, delivery & planning fresh and fun.
This piece is by Colette Bruce who runs Little Lotus Baby. She can be found here: