As parents across the island adapt to life at home with their young children, one local toddler group is providing virtual sensory play to help parents keep their little ones busy.
Sam Ranieri has offered Toddler Sense adventure play classes to 1-4 year olds in Jersey for the past 9 years. With covid19 preventing weekly meet ups at their St Martin base, Sam realised that providing some continuity of routine for children, and a chance for parents to maintain contact with a group while still in their own home, could help families manage without their usual sessions.
Toddler Sense is now running as an online class via the video conferencing app Zoom. The 45 minute sessions include a mixture of songs, activities and play that families can join in with via phone, tablet, pc or smart television.
Sam said: “Covid19 has taken away the routine that is so important for young children. Many parents are already missing interaction with other parents and children of a similar age, and it can become particularly challenging to keep thinking up new activities to do indoors when toddlers need constant attention.
“A virtual Toddler Sense class offers parents a break from finding activities to stimulate and entertain. Our sessions are an introduction to learning through sensory play and games. It’s important to stay positive in these challenging times and that’s exactly what Toddler Sense is all about – in the real world as well as online – a supportive, creative environment where everyone can join in and be free to have fun.”
For Sam and her family moving the classes online is a vital way to maintain stability in these challenging times. With Sam’s husband Cesare’s personal training business affected by the Covid19 safety measures, Toddler Sense is the family’s only income and so the Ranieris are embracing technology for their own family too.
‘My two daughters (aged 4 and 10) are helping me run the classes. They’ve both attended since they were a year old, so the familiar routine of our classes is helpful for them as well,’ said Sam.