Emma and The Magic Bag

Emma House runs Emma and The Magic Bag, a group for pre-school (0-4 years) children. Here she explains more about the group and what’s happening during Lockdown.

Q. How many children attend each session?
A. It can vary – anything from three to twelve children, sometimes more in my Childminding Class. They are open/drop-in groups so any parent/carer can come to either of the weekly sessions.

Q. How does the Childminding Class work?
A. It’s something I started last year. Childminders often have more than one child to look after which changes the dynamic of the group.

Q. Do people have to sign up for a term?
A. Nobody has to sign up, all my groups are designed to be flexible.

Q. How much are classes?
A. £5 per child, per class for 9.30 and 10.15 classes (siblings are free). Childminding group is £2.50 per child.

Q. When do the sessions take place?
A. Tuesdays at 9.30am or 10.15am with the Childminding Class at 11am. The groups run during term time – nothing happens during the school holidays.

Q. Can you describe what happens in the classes?
A. The children’s excitement and interest are very much dictated by the contents of my magic bag and activities are focused on/around the various characters that appear from within the bag. The sessions vary depending on what the group needs. Some groups are highly ‘energised’ and need calming material to enable them to focus whereas other groups may lack confidence which requires confidence building material which then leads us onto more energised activities. The content swings from sitting activities to jumping around songs in order to build concentration and focus.

Q, What’s so enjoyable about the classes?
A. Music touches on every aspect of child development so singing, movement, rhythm and rhyme are all important foundations for learning. The group experience is so important for both child and parent and many friendships are formed within the groups. A positive group experience will give a child confidence and help develop social skills. If I’m enjoying myself then I know the group is enjoying itself – if I’m not enjoying myself I know I’m doing something wrong!

Q. What would you say is the main aim of the classes?
A. I focus on listening – a skill that really needs attention in this era of screens and tablets. Each child develops differently and it’s a joy and a privilege to see a child try something for the first time. One of my main aims is to have fun – fun for the children, the parents/carers and for me!

Q. What’s happening during Lockdown?
A. I’ve been trying to support parents and give some form of continuity to the children by putting my groups online for free. I add short (fifteen minutes) weekly sessions on Instagram (emmamagicbag) and Facebook (Emma & The Magic Bag) and do a weekly live session on Facebook on Thursdays at 10am. Anyone can join in – it’s not just for my groups but all families with young children stuck in Lockdown.

For more information contact Emma House emmahouse1@outlook.com or message via her Facebook Page – Emma & The Magic Bag, or call 07983 464202.