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As a psychologist, former play specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Mum to 3 grown up children and founder of Musical Minis, a nationwide pre-school music group based on child development, I am often asked for my views on various subjects. Recently I was asked to share parenting advice to answer readers problems in Mother and Baby Magazine. Here are the questions and my answers: Every time I ask my two-year-old to do something, she says no, even when it’s a fun activity. What should I do? The ‘no’ phase is all part of your child’s speech development although it... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at Learning made fun
Guest post by Emily Sherr. As a Reception Teacher, I know that starting school can be a difficult time for everyone involved. The separation, the fact your baby is growing up and it being the start of your child’s very long educational journey, all contribute to making starting school a potentially challenging experience. However, knowing your child is ready and prepared for their first of school in September helps to make this difficult time slightly easier. I have come up with a few simple tips that will make the first few weeks of school easier for you, your child and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at Learning made fun
As a psychologist, former play specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Mum to 3 grown up children and founder of Musical Minis, I am often asked for my views on various subjects. Recently I was asked to share my views on whether homework should be eliminated in primary school for an article for Costco Connection. I debated that it shouldn't be. Here are my thoughts: It is important to state from the outset that homework needs to be appropriate to the child’s age and stage of development both in content and time in order for it to be worthwhile. Homework... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2017 at Learning made fun
As adults, we often view tidying up as a tedious chore, but for children tidy up time can be highly enjoyable and beneficial for their development. At Musical Minis, tidy up time happens during each session and the children are encouraged to join in. This aspect of the session is necessary for the children to gain the most out of Musical Minis and to learn new skills. If the instruments and whistles were not tidied during the session, it would feel very chaotic and cluttered. The children would find it difficult to fully explore what was there as they would... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2017 at Learning made fun
Every week at Musical Minis we have a blowing song as part of our instrumental session. Blowing whistles is a skill that children take a great delight in learning and so introduce a whole new form of instrument. What begins as an accidental noise soon develops into a controlled sound. With the whistle the child learns to improve control of his/her breathing. To control breath is a skill that singing and blowing will encourage. It helps us to turn words into phrases and sentences. Breath control is an important tool in controlling stammering and stuttering. A number of children develop... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at Learning made fun
Guest post from Rachel Parker. Rachel runs some sessions for Durham Musical Minis. I'm currently 18 weeks pregnant with my second baby and in a few days time my husband and I will be attending the routine ultrasound scan where we will have the chance to find out the sex of the baby. We still haven't decided whether to find out or not! When we attended this scan for our first baby we knew for sure that we wanted to know if was going to be a boy or a girl. We were given the news that I was carrying... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2017 at Learning made fun
Children’s music and development franchise Musical Minis have announced that Jo Weaving, owner of Musical Minis South Wales has been awarded the title ‘ Outstanding Franchisee of the Year’. At their recent annual conference, founder Karen Sherr and husband Rob revealed that Jo, a Mum from Barry with two boys Jack who is 13 years old and Harrison who is 8 years old, had been selected to recognise her consistent support over many years. Jo bought the business 13 years ago when her eldest son was a baby. Karen and Rob also praised Jo for her organisational skills, tenacity and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at Learning made fun
Guest blog post by Jo Weaving our South Wales Musical Minis franchisee. Having grown up in England, I’d never witnessed any special celebrations for any of the Patron Saints days before, although I could tell you who the Patron Saints for each country within the UK are, and their special days, having learnt this for a badge when I was a Brownie. But, although I’d lived in Wales, for a number of years, before I became a Mum, it wasn’t until I had my first baby and started taking him along to groups, that I actually realised how much effort... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2017 at Learning made fun
Guest blog by Leena Thakker, the Musical Minis Buckinghamshire, South Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire franchisee. As a child I had always wanted to go to Lapland but it remained a pipe dream. But then becoming a parent, that burning desire grew stronger and stronger and I was determined to make that pipe dream a reality. After a fabulous summer holiday in Cape Verde in 2016, I announced to my husband that I really wanted us to take the girls on a surprise trip to Lapland over Christmas. Having had our usual one holiday per year, my husband said that it would... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2017 at Learning made fun
As a psychologist, former play specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital and founder of Musical Minis, I am often asked for my views on various subjects. Recently I was asked to share my suggestions on how to teach children to share for an article for Mother and Baby Magazine . Various extracts from the article can be seen here. As a Mum you already have an amazing array of skills to help navigate your child through the day-to-day challenges of being a toddler. One skill in particular is negotiation and it starts to come in handy as you find yourself... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2017 at Learning made fun
Following our tradition of tallying the names of children attending Musical Minis classes, the list below shows the most popular names for children attending in 2016. It isn't necessarily children who were born in 2016. Furthermore, it doesn't include children who attend Children's Centre sessions or nursery 0r school sessions. The numbers in brackets shows the name's position in 2015. Top 10 Boys Names:- 1 Jack (=4) =2 Henry (1) =2 George (6) 4 Harry (7) 5 Oliver (=4) 6 William 7 Alexander (=8) =8 James (=8) =8 Charlie (2) 10 Thomas (3) The only name t0 have dropped out... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Learning made fun
Guest Blog by Jo Weaving, the Musical Minis South Wales franchisee. I met Terry, for the first time, over 20 years ago. Back in 2007, when I was looking for volunteers to help in Musical Minis, Terry seemed an obvious choice. So, in September of that year, Terry joined the Musical Minis South Wales team. Terry is a mum to 4 grown up boys, grandmother of 6 and great-grandmother of 5. She helps in the Tuesday afternoon, Pontyclun class, although she has covered sessions in all venues across the area as well as parties & nurseries. Terry loves helping children... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Learning made fun
If you are looking for a rewarding job that is part time, term-time only and fits around the school runs, then this could be the job for you! Leena Thakker, the Musical Minis franchisee for both Bucks and South Northants and Oxfordshire, is currently looking for 3 dynamic people living in the 3 different counties to run fun music sessions. Each Leader will run classes in their area. The ideal candidates must have a love for children and bounds of enthusiasm to join the growing team. Previous experience of working with children would be an advantage but not necessary as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2017 at Learning made fun
Everyone at Musical Minis and the Learning Made Fun Blog wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy the festive break and we look forward to seeing some of you in 2017. Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2016 at Learning made fun
Our franchisees are once again gearing up to make sure that Christmas at Musical Minis is full of seasonal fun. Our non religious Christmas sessions are run as part of the standard Musical Minis programme. Some of our franchisees are also running special Christmas party events. Click on the locations below to find out what is going on in your area: Berkshire South East Essex South Lincs Teesside Other locations will be added soon so please keep looking or contact your local franchisee. Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2016 at Learning made fun
Guest blog post by Amy Ryan, the Musical Minis Southern Home Counties franchisee. Amy runs classes in East Grinstead, Edenbridge, Forest Row, Lingfield, Redhill, Rusthall and South Nutfield. In June 2015 after a lot of soul searching I decided to hand in my notice at the job I had worked in for over nine years. It was not an easy decision. It meant leaving behind a very good regular salary and it also meant that my time as a worker in London was coming to an end after almost twenty years. I loved my job, I loved the lifestyle it... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2016 at Learning made fun
There was a real party atmosphere at Musical Minis in Chester-le-Street on Friday 14th October. Musical Minis in Durham, a pre-school music group for babies and toddlers, was celebrating its 2000th member. 14 month-old Eva Harris of Durham was the 2000th member. Mum, Katrina had no idea that when she enrolled Eva onto the Autumn term of Musical Minis, that her daughter was the 2,000th child to attend the popular music classes. Louise Emerson, the owner of the local franchise, had a very special treat in store for Eva; she received a Musical Minis book bag filled with treats, including... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2016 at Learning made fun
Musical Minis is proud to announce a new franchise in the East Cardiff and Gwent area, with classes starting in Castleton, Cardiff and Newport in November. Hazel Shaw, who was until recently a Facilities Manager in a law firm, has become the latest to join the successful Musical Minis franchise, which was established in 1989 by Karen Sherr. Hazel has a lot of experience working with young children including being a nanny in Australia, running school clubs and volunteering in schools. These experiences have inspired her to take up a new career working with children. Karen Sherr, founder of Musical... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2016 at Learning made fun
There is now a new activity download on the Musical Minis web site. It's our Olympic themed download with songs and activities to do, both indoors and outdoors. You will also find ideas to help create your own mini Olympics, so even young children can be excited and involved in the Olympics in Rio this Summer. Click on this link and enter your details to instantly receive the pack. I would love to hear from you as to how you get on with this download and any ideas which you may have for future ones. Are there any specific activities... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Learning made fun
We have been asked to share the information below - although this is not in any way an endorsement by Musical Minis. It has been created by Dental Elite and used in the NHS. It has been approved by the paediatric anaesthetic associates. Childrens fear of dentist Children and adults can be scared of the dentist, a fear known as odontophobia. However, if you can reassure children early on it is likely they will grow up with a sense of confidence around going to the dentist and thus live a much healthier life. A fear of the dentist can be... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2016 at Learning made fun
I’m Jo and I’ve been running Musical Minis in South Wales since 2003. As well as running Musical Minis classes I also teach music. (instrumental lessons). Prior to my purchase of the Musical Minis franchise I trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and worked for a leading telecommunications company. Both my children, Jack (13) and Harrison (8) have been brought up in a house surrounded by music, including attending Musical Minis classes with me from a very young age. Jack asked to learn to play the piano at the age of 3. The recorder... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2016 at Learning made fun
Musical Minis named Leena Thakker, owner of Musical Minis Oxford, Buckinghamshire and South Northants as their ‘Outstanding Franchisee of the Year’ at their annual conference. The conference, held in Birmingham and attended by all Musical Minis franchisees, was centered on the theme ‘How understanding your business can increase your revenue’. Leena bought her Oxford franchise in 2009 and purchased the adjacent territory of Buckinghamshire and South Northants when it came up for resale at the end of 2015. Leena first discovered Musical Minis when she attended with her own children Anya and Alaina. Leena runs 17 classes in six venues... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2016 at Learning made fun
Musical Minis is delighted to announce a new franchisee in the South East Essex area. Natalie Duncan, who was until recently a Senior Business Development Manager, has become the latest to join the successful Musical Minis franchise, which was established in 1989 by Karen Sherr. Natalie has a young daughter called Daisy whose development has inspired her to take up a new career working with children. She will be continuing the Musical Minis franchise which first came to the South East Essex area in 2001. Since then over 2,000 children in the area have benefitted from the Musical Minis programme.... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Learning made fun
A GUEST blog by Louise Emerson, the Musical Minis Durham franchisee, about her typical day. Like most mums, my days are vey busy with 3 fairly young children to care for. Our mornings start at 6.30am when I get up and ready before the girls, as once they are awake, chaos ensues! It feels like everything is on fast-forward; rushing around preparing breakfasts, distributing the outfits I’ve hung out the night before for each of them and doing 3 lots of hair before the school run! I always try to leave the house reasonably tidy but it’s sometimes impossible with... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at Learning made fun