By Kerry Law
No, I haven’t succumbed to Christmas early—that jingling sound is most likely the ringing in my ears (in a good way!) after a regular Jo Jingles session with my toddler.
Taking place across London (as part of a UK-wide brand), Jo Jingles is a music and movement class for babies and preschoolers from 3 months to 5 years old. Our local class of mixed ages in Chingford is run by Enfield Jo Jingles owner Victoria—a woman with more energy and positivity than the Duracell Bunny.
Victoria is aided by cuddly mascot Jo, and each week’s class has a different theme—the zoo, our bodies, colours, numbers, transport—with songs and activities to match. Every session follows a regular format; little ones feel comfortable knowing what’s in store, which helps them to grow in confidence over time.
The class is friendly and welcoming to both regulars and newbies alike, and Victoria does a brilliant job of getting to know each individual child, engaging them and making everyone feel involved. Not to mention remembering countless names—a simple, personalised touch that makes a real difference to the children.
A typical Jo Jingles session includes 45 minutes of the regular welcome songs followed by music with lots of dancing and actions to encourage rhythm and a bit of musicality. There will be a couple of opportunities to grab percussion instruments to shake, bash and jingle along to the music—I can tolerate most of these, but when a little sleep-deprived I tend to wince if the cymbals make an appearance.
Like any baby and toddler class, you and your child will get more out of it if you enthusiastically join in too (so don’t think that standing at the back scrolling through your phone will cut it). Every class involves a chance for the adults to get up and move about—be prepared for a bit of strenuous lifting and swinging around if it’s the Hokey Cokey.
My little one’s favourite activities tend to involve the cuddly toys, usually bouncing them about on a parachute before we play Peekaboo and then sing them a lullaby. All the noise and activity will slow down for some quiet time near the end, perhaps with some bubbles (always a favourite) and the obligatory ‘Sleeping Bunnies’. Then it’s time to wave ‘bye-bye’ to Jo for another week.
When/Where: Jo Jingles Chingford takes place at 3:15pm every Friday during term time, at St Edmunds Church Hall, Chingford Mount Road E4 9DS. Victoria’s classes, of mixed or set age ranges, are also available throughout the week in Goff’s Oak, Winchmore Hill, Waltham Cross, Hoddesdon, Cheshunt and Enfield town.
Further info: Places can be booked for a term or half term, with the latter costing about £36 (depending on term length). You can try a first taster session for £5. Victoria and Jo can also be booked for birthday parties and events.
For booking, class schedule and more information visit www.jojingles.com/enfield-area or email Victoria via firstname.lastname@example.org; or use the search function at www.jojingles.com to see if there’s a Jo Jingles class near you.