Almost a year ago I moved cities. It was for many reasons, to move in with my partner, to be in a better area for my little one…I thought I had planned and considered everything, prepared myself and was excited for the change. In reality I found myself feeling lost in a new place away from my friends and familiarity. I did not know where the local parks were for sliding, the nearest woods for welly walking, the swimming pool for splashing and wearing oversized Spiderman trunks. I found Aldi in the first week but there is only so much fun we can get out of a supermarket.
Leo was soon to be starting school and I was desperate to find some local clubs so he could make some friends and burn off some of the hyperactive, you-moved-my-life-around-and-now-I-am-unsettled energy. I have always been a promoter of kiddy groups, whether baby, toddler or preschool and they have been a valuable parental resource. Especially those with free caffeine. Your little ones develop social, motor and cognitive skills, attending promotes emotional development, self-control, and they learn to communicate, to share, to follow instructions. I hoped going would provide little man with some much needed structure.
Adults need to socialise too. I could enjoy watching him, catch my breath and gather myself. Spend quality time away from a home made up of cardboard boxes and bubble wrap. Joining a local group would also be a good way of integrating into the community. I was lonely and so was he. There were lashings of parental guilt on top of my cake of ‘help what do I do?’
I would usually check out community notice boards, except I had no clue how to get to the library, or where the hell the doctors was. I reverted to my trusty Google and was met with pages of information for different areas, some groups were closed, some numbers did not work, I scoured mums net and found contrasting views and opinions. After 45mins of scrolling and clicking I got fed up and frustrated. I said the adult version of ‘duck’ it.
So the other day when the lovely Tessa emailed and asked if I would blog about her FREE App that she will be launching in the summer (2016). My IPhone is full of useful apps, I think a good one can be indispensable. CLUB HUB’s purpose? To locate children’s clubs and activities around the U.K. where parents can input their location, child’s age and interest to view results related to them. I agreed to do a feature post because I think this app might help other parents, because I think it would have helped me and because time is not a parent’s friend, we barely get a minute to pee let alone desperately hunting through search engines for appropriate activities!
So check out the website. Once the App is launched I will give it one of our ROARING reviews. For now the concept has me and Leo putting two big thumbs up, perhaps it can help us find a frigging gymnastics club for him rather than him trying to do a roly-poly off the sofa. Alternatively if you are a children’s organisation or club and want to feature on the ‘Club Hub UK’ App, join the mailing list on the website and make a mummy’s life easier!
If you are picking activity groups make sure you ask yourself; is there a session charge and do you pay upfront or per session? What is the group size? Are they are insured? What activities are on offer? Do you need a kit? Do you stay as a parent? Most importantly let your little one get involved in choosing and enjoy!