Unless you have friends who have babies at similar times as you, parental leave can end up being a bit lonely. I have tried to keep myself busy by doing some baby classes. This has made sure that I got out of the house and met some other adults, while entertaining the little one without having to think too much myself. These are some of the baby activities I have tried and what I think about them
Babysalmesang – Sct Marie Kirke
Babysalmesang, literally baby psalm singing(!), seems to be a very popular baby activity, with most churches offering this possibility. I was a bit sceptical about this, but decide to try it out anyways (what I do in the name of research for this blog!). I first tried Christianskirken as it is closest, but the group was already full (word of warning: if interested don’t leave it till late to sign up as groups do get booked up), so the choice fell on Sct Marie Kirke.
Organist Pia leads the babysalmesang at Sct Marie Kirke. The class consisted of around 10 mothers and their babies meeting every Wednesday for an hour in the church. As the name implies what happens during that hour is that we sing psalms, but I was surprised to see that it was also so much more than that! Pia was always very organised. Equipped with a glockenspiel, rattles, bubbles, a piano, cloths and a swing (amongst others) we were kept constantly on the go (and babies entertained).
I was very impressed with this class, not least because it is all free! A new group is starting in September (as well as a group at Christianskirken that I will be checking out for yours truly) so if you are home with a baby I really do recommend trying to join one of these groups if you need the push to get out of the house. And no, don’t worry too much if you’re not Danish Protestant! I was made welcome with open arms. And if you do, say hi to Pia for me!
Babyrytmik – Sonderborg Musikskole
Babyrytmik is another baby music class, this time organised by the music school in Sonderborg. Again this was a one hour activity consisting of singing, movement and rattles. It was pretty similar to babysalmesang, with the main difference being the topic of the songs we were singing (church songs vs children’s popular songs)
Again this class was very well organised, and when I asked the teacher if he could share some Danish songs with me so I could learn them before class (Danish parents already knew them as grew up with them) he obliged very happily. However, when thinking that babysalmesang is all free, while this costs around 45 DKK, I started to doubt whether it was value for money.
Baby Tju-Hej – Sonderborg Bibliotek
This is another music/singing activity for children, this time happening at the library in Sonderborg (as well as other branches) around once a month for 30 minutes. Surprisingly, the library has no story-telling or similar activities for young children, though the songs used here have more of a story-telling nature and are more action-songs than at the other two activities. The selection of action songs is potentially as the event is aimed at children up to 3 years.
Unlike the other two activities, there is no limit here on group number, so this was by far the activity with most children (around 40 at a quick guess when I went), and both parents and ‘dagpleje’ mothers (childminders) bringing their charges to the event. This made the activity more of a show rather than a class, but was just as well organised. Again, there were rattles, soft toys, and this time a guitar.
There are, of course, other activities going on. We have already written about Baby Swimming. There is also part 2 to this post about our experience of this, together with the babysalmesang at Christianskirken and a Baby Stimulastik class I am also doing.