Brighton and Hove is well known for being a hive of cultural and creative shenanigans and so growing up in our dear city, our kiddies are fortunate enough to have the artistic world and his wife waiting to teach them their trades and impart their knowledge. It is without doubt that Brighton has the coolest kids clubs around and come the new autumn term, they will all be kicking off again. To ensure you and your little adventurers beat the waiting lists, Absolute have done the ground work for you to by creating the definitive guide to those super cool groups, events and clubs that mini Brightonians have right on their doorstep.
When and where: Wednesdays 11am-1pm in Stanmer Park
Ages: Accompanied children aged 2 – 7 years
Why it’s cool: It gets kids out of their houses and starting to explore the great outdoors! Kindling’s provides weekly forest school inspired play sessions, based in a woodland garden setting within Stanmer Park in Brighton. The nature play sessions offer a place for children and their parents/carers to enjoy nature and share found treasures, songs, stories and food in a beautiful outdoor classroom. The sessions create play opportunities for children that involve them directly engaging in their environment and using the resources that nature, the woodland garden and the passing seasons have to offer. The previous term saw the kids create art using sticks, clay, string and leaves, make Elderflower fritters and wild garlic pancakes by the fire and tending to their Kindling allotment!
How to book: Email email@example.com. £7 drop-in + £3.50 additional siblings or £6 pre-booked for a minimum block of 4
When and where: Tuesdays, 11am, The Hive Hove, Stoneham Park, Stoneham Road, Hove
Ages: 2-5 years
Why it’s cool: Mini Art Cart is a design inspired pre-school art group. Workshops focus on exploring texture, colour, form and shape through creating everything from back packs and badges to crowns and capes. Children are encouraged to enjoy the process, investigate and experiment using scissors, tape, glue, glitter and stickers. Be sure to join the adventure!
When and where: At West Hove Golf Club. Drop in sessions are every Saturday morning at 9am, 10am & 11am.
Ages: 5 years old – 16 years old.
Why it’s cool: Especially for our little ladies and gentlemen! Golf is a fun, healthy sport where children learn to interact with each other in a safe & secure environment. The team of fully qualified PGA Golf Professionals is led by Ryan who has developed a reputation of being one of the best coaches in the UK and the academy has become the hub of many golfers wanting to learn the game or develop their existing games. The kids love the fact that The Sussex teams & England regional team train at the academy so it must be good!
How to book: £6.00 per hour which includes coaching & equipment. Call – 01273 413494 or visit www.ryanfenwickgolf.com
What: Baby Sensory
When and where: Weekly in various venues across Brighton and Hove (please check the website for details of locations and times).
Ages: From birth to 13 months
Why it’s cool: This has to be the most magical groups to experience with your tiny babies. No two sessions are ever the same and you and your baby will be totally immersed in a three-dimensional sensory experience every time. It’s a world filled with light shows, music, glowing bouncy balls, bubbles, instruments, rainbows, puppet shows, textures and scents. The sessions are carefully structured to follow your baby’s natural rhythm and provide a beautiful environment in which babies thrive and parents have lots of fun too. Strong friendships are easily formed in classes and many ‘firsts’ and precious memories made.
What makes the programme unique is that every activity is carefully designed with your baby’s development in mind, based on years of educational and scientific research. The teachers love sharing the information with you, explaining what they’re doing and why.
How to book: A full term (11 weeks) costs £88, half a term (5 weeks) costs £50 and a 3 week trial costs £20 (for new customers only). Autumn Term starts 5th September. Online booking necessary – www.babysensory.com
What: Banana’s Kitchen
When and where: Wednesday mornings 10:30-12:30 at the Phoenix Community Centre, Brighton, and a Thursday afternoon Nourishing Cooking Fun and Kitchen Magic for school children
Ages: Wednesdays – Mother and Baby from 0-4 years
Thursdays – 4 years upwards
Why it’s cool: It’s all about inspiring Big and Small to get their hands dirty and to make every day cooking more nutritious and delicious! Ana the group leader is a mum as well as a creative chef mama. Trained as a nutritional therapist and natural chef, she loves everything to do with food and strongly believes that balanced nutrition and a healthy relationship with what you eat are key to feeling great and living the life one strives to live. Ana loves using food as medicine, swapping ordinary ingredients for more nutritious ones and being creative with left overs in the kitchen (got to be as a parent!).
When and where: Every Monday and Tuesday at 9.30-12.00 and 1.00-3.30 in the Brighton Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton.
Ages: 0-5 years
Why it’s cool: Firstly you can’t go wrong with a bit of soft play and secondly it’s super cheap! The Brighton Open Market Parent and Toddler group provides a space for your children to play and burn off some energy as you have a chat and a tea at Streets Café, whatever the weather.
How to book: Drop in – £1 or £1.50 tea/coffee
What: Jittabugs Brighton and Hove
When and where: From 7th September at the Shoreham Centre 2 Pond Road Shoreham-by-Sea
10:15 – 10:45am Ballet and Boogie (18 months to 5yrs)
11 – 11:45am Preschool Move and Groove (2-5yrs)
Why it’s cool:
Ballet and Boogie – This is a dance class for those who babes that want to learn basic techniques whilst having heaps of fun and no pressure of exams! At Jittabugs they love to move and groove, jump and slide, pretend and play, sing and glide, jiggle and wiggle, tip tap a toe and boogie woogie. The children learn rhythm, develop gross motor skills, learn basic ballet steps, build confidence, encourage creativity, improve muscle development, improve physical fitness, co-ordination, balance, listening skills, and become spatially aware in a fun environment.
Preschool Move and Groove – Not only are these classes fun but they are educational too. They work on themes each week, enhancing child development, personal, social and emotional skills, communication, physical development and hand eye co-ordination. The themes include everything from The seasons, Bonfire night, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Dinosaurs, Easter, Mother’s day, Valentines Day, Fairies and Goblins, Emotions and many, many more. Every class starts with a Jittabugs warm up followed by work on spatial awareness, up and down, side to side, moving and stopping, team work, partner work and solo work, co-ordination and balance. Add in mime, acting, singing, dance, drama games, lets pretend and much more and then it all finishes with a (vital!) calm down at the end.
How to book: First week only just £2.50 a session following sessions £5 each or six sessions for £27. Visit Jittabugs.com to book
What: Truly Madly Messy
When and where: Thursdays 9.30am and 11am from Thursday 1st September 2016 at The Ladies Mile Function Hall, Mackie Avenue, Patcham, Brighton
Ages: 6 months -7 years
Why it’s cool: Let’s face it, for some of us grownups, just the thought of messy play is enough to bring us out in a cold sweat. It can be a lot of work and feel stressful. Some weeks it’s hard enough to stay on top of the housework without adding to it.
However, there are so many benefits to messy play. The physical experience gained during messy play helps little ones experience a variety of textures which stimulate the senses. From the moment your child can sit up they are developing eye hand coordination and fine motor skills. What looks like a mess on the surface is truly a learning experience for your child.
We all process information through our five senses, but babies and toddlers rely on their sense of touch – and often taste – to gain insight into the world around them. Messy play encourages them to manipulate and mould materials on their own and is process-driven, not product-oriented.
By joining one of the messy play sessions, children experience all these new sensations through independent play. You will be able to observe, or participate with them, without having the fuss of cleaning up after, they do that for you!
How to book: £6 per child, £3 for siblings. Call 07486 921742
What: BIMM Academy
When and where: 10 weeks per term on a Saturday from September 17th 2016 at Brighton Electric, Tramway House, 43-45 Coombe Rd, Brighton.
Why it’s cool: Brought to you by BIMM – the renowned British and Irish Modern Music Institute – it’s a fun and productive way for your child to spend their Saturday; learning guitar, bass, drums or vocals, practicing new skills and meeting cool people.
Every week, students learn modern songs taught by experienced tutors using the very latest gear. Class sizes are small, and emphasis is placed on working at a tailored pace for each individual student. At the end of each term, students perform the songs they’ve learnt in front of an audience of tutors, students, family and friends at the end-of-term showcase.
When and where: Monday mornings at Phoenix Community Centre, Brighton
Babes – under 7 months
Stage 1 – 7 – 13 months
Stage 2 – 14 months plus
Why it’s cool: It’s possible to develop communication with your baby before they can even speak! Babies use all kinds of signs and gestures as a natural part of learning to talk. Encouraging your baby with extra signs like milk, more, change nappy or tired will help your baby communicate!
Baby signing with Sing and Sign is easy because they make it fun to learn. Your baby will recognise important words sooner and can use the signs to “talk” to you before speech.
Developed with the help of Speech and Language professionals and recommended by experts, Sing and Sign is Britain’s longest running and best loved baby signing programme. How to book: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book or call 01273 540266.
What: Little Miss Fashion
When and where: Monday and Thursday 5 – 6pm at The Fashion School, 69 North Lane, North Laine, Brighton
Ages: 6 – 9 year olds
Why it’s cool: Your child could be a future top fashion designer! The class caters for complete beginners who love fashion and want to design and sew their own ideas into clothes. They will also have an opportunity to draw like a real fashion designer. The hour long class is tailored to give them extra support to learn how to use sewing machines, thread needles and hold scissors safely. Importantly, they also encourage a healthy attitude towards fashion, and encourage the children’s natural individual talents and taste with regards to their fashion and designing choices.
The creative and highly motivated classes are laced with humour and friendship bonding. Children become really confident and they encourage lots of discussion within the groups. The experienced teaching staff all have degrees and careers in fashion as opposed to an interest in sewing. They know every aspect from threading a needle with beginners to pattern cutting and fashion visualisation.
The Fashion School even hold an annual fashion show, run trips to London Fashion Weekend, Graduate Fashion Week, exhibitions plus styling workshops.
Additional classes are also held for 9-12 years old, mixed ages and 13+.
When and where: The first Sunday of the month, excluding August, January and September. 1pm – 5pm at Patterns, 10 Marine Parade, Brighton
Ages: All ages
Why it’s cool: Buggied Out is a monthly event for parents that used to party (and their kiddos) hence the play on legendary club night name BUGGED OUT. It’s a collaborative affair headed up by @kirstiinternational, @selfishmother and others.
The one main point of difference is that this is categorically not a baby rave. It’s a calm (yes you did hear right!) space for like-minded parents to get together, have fun with their kids and also relax for a bit on a Sunday and actually read the papers (unheard of!) There’s always an ace DJ, a photo booth, good food and drinks, an outside area and two hours of imaginative, interactive entertainment for the smalls.
They’ve got some corkers planned for the rest of 2016; think dads as Father Christmas, giant black balloons everywhere for Halloween and build a guy for Bonfire Night.
How to book: Tickets for kids start at £7, all parents get free entry. All tickets are available from Eventbrite and announcements take place via @kirstiinternational instagram
What: The Small Talk Cafe
When and where: 220 Portland Rd, Hove
Ages: Adults with their babies and toddlers
Why it’s cool: This is the ultimate place to relax with a cuppa, whilst having a secure, safe and above all fun and engaging environment for your little lovelies to play! The Small Talk Cafe has been specifically designed with younger children and families in mind. There is a baby change, book basket, baby chairs, high chairs and a fantastic soft play area which is free to use. In addition they hold regular classes for babies and toddlers during the week, including a disco, music classes and magic show from local established entertainment companies.
In bright, airy surroundings they serve yummy food and drinks; excellent coffee, tea, smoothies, sandwiches, stews, soups, cakes and pastries all made in their own kitchen or supplied by local bakers.
How to book: All events are free and there’s no need to book – just turn up!
What: The Small Talk Cafe
When and where: Weekly Mondays 11am-12:45pm At Unitarian Church, Brighton
Ages: For mummies and their newborn babies
Why it’s cool: Any mum will tell you, childbirth is an incredibly daunting experience and those first few weeks are a total whirlwind. The Super Mamas Club is a postnatal drop in session where new mums can and meet other ladies in the same boat and their newborns. Share the joys and struggles of those first weeks and get the help and support needed. Pop in and get advice and talk through anything from breastfeeding to colic, pelvic floor, sex after birth, sleeping issues, birth trauma, postnatal depression or any other concern you might have during those first weeks. How to book: Drop in sessions at £4 each