I often tweet my days plans and we have one day at week when he head to FootyTotz. A few people have asked me about it, so I thought I would write a post about it and share my views on the class.
The class lasts around an hour and is £5 per child (although I think if more than one it reduces to £8 for the two). The children take part in a range of activities designed to help them develop their physical skills, amongst many other things.
I’ve heard good things about FootyTotz, so when our Jo Jingles class came to an end, I wanted another class that had a structure to it, rather than the free play of the playgroups we love attending. FootyTotz was suggested by a few people so we joined the waiting list. We have been going a good few months now. It is really hard work (for me!) but I think Daniel enjoys it.
The class is suitable from 18 months, but I am reluctant to enroll Emma in it yet (she is 17 months) as I think she will be too young for it. I think, personally 18 months is a little too young as it requires a lot of concentration from the children, and at over 2.5 years Daniel struggles on some days (like today). He still requires me to guide him around the course too much for me to be able to help both Emma and Daniel. Emma is quite happy to be on my back whilst we run around, and she usually gets to take part in the end game too.
Each week has a theme, Motorway, Holidays, The beach, The park, teddy bear picnic etc and a range of activiites and courses are set up on the theme. I have to say the imagination that goes into it is excellent.
The children are given an achievement card which they get stamps in when they use certain parts of their feet, inside, soles, heels etc and these are all stamped up at the end of the session. The sessions all have the same general structure, a warm up (the brilliant ‘Bean Game’ is played which gets the children jumping around and nice and warm), various obstacle courses to be completed with and without a ball before the end bit where each child gets the chance to take a penalty.
Each week a child (or two if it’s a large group) get awarded the player of the week trophy which they get to take home for the week. I have mixed feelings about this, as it has become a bit of a focus for some children. Daniel got upset when he had to return the trophy (you can buy a replica but I choose not to) and he asks every week, why didn’t I get my trophy? I can see the pros and cons of the trophy either way, I’m just undecided.
The class is really good and energetic but some weeks it can feel a bit chaotic – although it isn’t – more just noisy! as some weeks it’s almost as if all the children decide they’re not going to play and just be awkward. I guess it’s inevitable with young children. However most do get stuck in and it’s been good to see Daniel’s ability to concentrate and follow what are often quite complex instructions improve in the few months that we have been going.
Rick, who runs the session we go to, is brilliant with the children and they all adore him. Great for Daniel and Emma to have a male leading a session that they go to – sadly early years groups, sessions and care are all too dominated by females so it’s great for them too in that respect.
We will be going to Footytotz for the forseeable future I think; Daniel knows the day we go and likes to pack his bag complete with drink and achievement card each morning as well as pop on his football shirt. I’m not sure when I will enroll Emma on it, perhaps as Daniel gets a little closer to aged three and perhaps needs less of my support for the activities.
You can read more about FootyTotz here and look to see if there is a session near you. It’s worth the £5 per session charge, in my opinion and this seems in line with the cost of many sessions like this. It’s good for us to attend a session with a clear structure as this benefits the children enormously.