If you have been following me on Social Media (especially Snapcht <zenisanj> / InstaStories <mummyonmymind>), you will have seen that for the last month and more, Master Z and I have been attending the Music Monkeys Class at KidsHQ on Thursday mornings. Having attended quite a few now, I wanted to share with you my thoughts and how Master Z got on in these classes himself.
Since Master Z is not yet attending nursery or school, I was really keen for him to join the Music Monkeys to develop his social skills with other children. Though he has been to numerous play areas and one off classes where he gets his daily dose of stimulation, a consistent and enjoyable learning environment is what he lacked and Music Monkeys offers just that. Before I delve into our experience, let me share with you a little background about Music Monkeys and what they offer.
Background on Music Monkeys
A successful, established children’s entertainment and education business in Abu Dhabi, Music Monkeys have this year expanded their reach to Dubai. Established in 2012 by British mum of 4 and primary trained teacher Lisa Irwin along with co-Director Beth, Music Monkeys run Mum & Tot classes lead by a trained team of English-speaking teachers. The classes include a wide variety of interactive songs and activities where mum/carer and child can enjoy together, playing different instruments and using different mediums to communicate. All the while, these classes adhere to the British EYFS system.
There are three types of classes, each catering to a different age bracket. Classes last 30 minutes for Baby Monkeys– 3 months to approx 18 months & Mini Monkeys – 18 months to 2.5 years. Swinging Monkeys’ classes for 2.5 to 4 year olds last 45 minutes. Class sizes are capped at 12 to keep them small and intimate. Classes in Dubai are taking place at KidsHQ every Thursday and Fitness First in Meadows Village every Sunday. (The classes at KidsHQ include a 30 mins free play!- We are regulars at KidsHQ but you can read about them here.)
Each term a different theme is focused on so the children’s get to learn some of their favourites as well as introducing some new songs. Myself and Master Z joined the classes during Term 2, which focuses on Creature Comforts that includes everything from furry favorites to being chased by dinosaurs or sounding out animals of the jungle.
Our Music Monkeys Experience
Lead by the energetic and highly trained member of Music Monkeys, Catherine wasted no time in getting the children as excited and involved with the classes as possible. I remember Master Z being so shy in his first class and me having to push him and join in so that he would follow. Thanks to Catherine’s stream of positive praises, he left the first class full of glee and couldn’t stop talking about it. As the weeks have rolled on, I have seen Master Z’s confidence grow ten fold, not just in joining in and now even singing along to the songs, but also approaching the other children in trying to make friends and play with them, something that was alien to him before.
Today was our second weekly @musicmonkeysuae class at @kidshquae and my hearts melts watching Master Z grow confident with each song, exploring the different instruments and singing/shaking/ dancing to his heart's content! 💕🐰🎼🥁 "The Sleeping Bunnies" is his favourite song so far and Catherine, their teacher, is so full of energy and positive praise. Master Z beams with pride as he gets his Star sticker at the end of each session. 🎖 The best part of course is that he gets to enjoy playing in @kidshquae once the class is done, so he is well and truly worn out for nap time! Hooray! ✨ Already can't wait for next week's Music Monkeys class! #musicmonkeysuae #musicmonkeys #swingingmonkeys #musicclass #music #kidshq #playarea #playtime #motherhood #parenting #lifestyleblog #lifestyleblogger #mummyblogger #dubaiblogger #dubaimoms #dubaimummy #mashaAllah #mummylife #uaemoms #instamoms #momsoninstagram #mumsindubai #igersdubai #toddler #toddlerlife #instavideo #shakers
The class itself involved plenty of activities of all kinds, some loud some quiet, some that involve being still and others that involve chasing bubbles or hopping like a frog. There is never a dull moment in the 45 minutes of the class. To be honest, I think it’s incredibly difficult for Master Z to choose his favourite part of the class because he enjoys the entire thing with equal gusto.
“Hello Hello, Hello How are You? Hello Hello, Hello How are You? I’m Good, I’m Great, I’m WONDERFUL!” *Throw colourful scarf in teh air* I secretly love this great welcome that they sing at the start of every class and I have caught Master Z singing along to it many times during the day to himself too whilst at home or in the car!
Drums are definitely Master Z’s instrument of choice amongst Bells, Tambourines and Shakers. The kids love marching along with the drums as well as banging on them, starting off quietly and getting louder and louder with each beat.
Sing a long
Songs acting out the sounds and actions of the animals in the jungle get Master Z singing along, even if he doesn’t really know half of the words, but I love that he still tries. Also, a new found favourite is Sleeping Bunnies, which the entire class re-enacts by sleeping on the floor and when the songs goes “Wake Up Little Bunnies”, we all wake up from our deep slumber and start hopping like bunnies. Yes, of course, I couldn’t resist joining in withe the fun too!
This one gets all the kids giggling, and I love that Catherine asks to identify each of the colours with different parts of the body, asking the kids to “put their hands on the colour Yellow” or “sit down on the colour Blue”. Educational and fun at the same time. This is followed by plenty of waving around of the parachute to enhance their motor skills and lastly bouncing balls and watching them fly into the sky, definitely the best ending to this activity and one that is repeated a number of times because it is so popular.
Whether it is running around popping bubbles whilst singing along or being chased by the scary Dinosaur hand puppet, the kids love running around the great big space and burning off all their energy. Catherine ensures to pay attention to each child and interact with them through out, even mid chase and I love hearing Master Z’s hysterical laughter at being “snapped” by the Dino!
In between all the mayhem, there are also moments of quiet. This is normally done with the use of Pop Up Books. Catherine ensures each child has the opportunity to uncover the surprise behind the hidden doors of the books or answer questions about what sound each animal makes. The feeling of pride when Master Z is able to do it successfully can be seen in his wide smile and shiny eyes, and it is such a heart warming experience for me.
Good Bye Song
The goodbye song is a great way to relax all the excited kids and end the class by singing goodbye using all their body parts as well as chiming a hand held bell at the same time. Once again, educational and great fun.
Though the above mentioned activities vary in duration and type with each class, I am always surprised at how much we actually do in the space of just 45 minutes. It is a fun filled class, with plenty of songs and educational activities that keep the kids motivated and interested throughout. As mentioned before, I have myself noticed the first hand change it has brought in Master Z in terms of his confidence, and seeing as there are still a couple of classes left, I am sure this will only grow even more.
Also it helps that we are in KidsHQ, which offers 30 minutes free play after the class, and once completed, results in a toddler that is ready to nap without a fight – a parent’s ultimate dream in other words!
Last week after finishing the class, Master Z asked me when we were going back for Music Monkeys Class and when I said that we will be returning next Thursday, he continued to ask me every single morning till the day whether it was “Thursday” yet? I suppose that shows you just how much he loves it and has gained his seal of approval.
I would highly recommend the Music Monkeys Class to Tots of all ages, because if Catherine is like any of the other staff members at the other branches in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, your child and yourself are surely in for a good time!
If you are interested in being part of the next Music Monkeys Class or would like to know more, head on over to their website. Details about location and timings in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be found here and you can stay up to date by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Note: As a Brand Ambassador for Music Monkeys, this post is written in collaboration with them. However, all views and opinions expressed above are honest and solely my own.