Mums in Bahrain
The best Bahrain parenting groups to meet like-minded mums (and dads) Discuss this article
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With Bahrain being such a small country, you could be forgiven for assuming there isn’t a great deal of variety for mum-and-child-based activities. But you’d be wrong.
With just a click of a mouse, it didn’t take me long to realize there is in fact a great deal of fun and interesting family pursuits to be had, not to mention something to suit everyone – from the more conventional, such as baby signing and baby yoga, to even a Maori playgroup. Here are a few of the more interesting activities the Kingdom has to offer!
Signing with Lavina
We all know how difficult it can be to communicate with our young before they are able to talk. But as hard as we grown-ups might find it, imagine how frustrating it must be as a baby not to be able to get your message across. With signing, that can be a problem of the past. As a neurobiologist, Lavina Faleiro is acutely aware of the many different ways the brain works. When she had her own daughter three years ago, she looked into signing after becoming very interested in ways to communicate with her from a very young age. A baby’s brain is like a sponge, always absorbing new information at a fast speed, she explains. Before long she found that she was able to teach her daughter to recognise a wide variety of American sign language words, giving her a signing vocabulary of over 100 words by the age of one.
“Signing is a great way to help with bonding and communication with your baby when they are too young to talk,” explains Lavina. “Not only does it promote learning from a very young age, it also helps with self esteem and practically eliminates tantrums as both adult and child are able to make themselves understood.”
Ages: Six months to three years.
Where and when: Thursdays, 9.30am, My Gym, Seef District. Saturdays, 10.30am, Amwaj.
Contact: Lavina Faleiro +973 36 42 21 46, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.babysigningwithlavina.com
Amwaj Cooperative Playgroup
A coffee morning with a difference, the Amwaj Cooperative group gets together once a week in different locations around Amwaj. As the name would suggest, the playgroup is a cooperative undertaking, ensuring that everyone has a say and a part in the organization.
“We are fully aware that not all care-givers are the child’s mother,” says playgroup member, Shaema Imam. “Whether it’s the mother, father, grandparent or even a nanny, we want to make sure that everybody feels welcome and equally involved in the playgroup.”
The weekly playdates include discussion topics for the adults on different aspects of parenting and playtime for the children. The last half hour in every session is reserved for arts and crafts for everyone to take part in together.
The group also has a Facebook community where care-givers can interact with each other, sharing advice and taking advantage of the parenting forums that offer regular advice on common parenting issues.
Ages: No specific age group.
Where and when: Mondays 9am-11am.
The Bahrain expat community is a vast and varied melting-pot of cultures. As great as this is on the one hand, living so far from home means that children often miss out on the various aspects of their own culture that they would otherwise be exposed to on a daily basis. With this in mind, New Zealand mother, Alice Karetai, came up with the idea of a starting a Kiwi playgroup, where children are exposed to the Maori language through singing and storytelling.
“This is a great way to bring a bit of home to our children here in Bahrain,” says Alice. “We teach the little ones Maori nursery rhymes and read stories to them. It’s amazing how much they can pick up this way.”
A fun social morning, mothers can get together for a much needed chin-wag while the little ones play close by, before coming together to sing and mime their favourite nursery rhymes.
Ages: Anything below school age.
Where and when: Changes from house to house as well as outdoors when the weather permits.
Contact: Alice Karetai +973 33 78 14 10, www.facebook.com/pages/Puna-Reo-Bahrain
Yoga with Lavina (Maharani Yoga)
Yoga is a great way to bond with your child while helping them with their coordination and balance. Parents and care-givers play a vital part in a child’s early movements and yoga is the ideal way of helping them build strength and stamina.
Babies learn much of how to move by watching and copying adults, and by doing yoga with their child, a parent also learns a lot about what it is like for a child to learn these movements. Yoga also has the added benefit of helping with common aches and pains in adults, from backache to joint pains.
Yoga teacher Lavina Faleiro says: “Yoga is very beneficial for the young. It helps with upper body strength in babies, enabling them to develop movement faster than they would otherwise and for the older children it can be extremely beneficial with coordination and balance, which comes in very handy in their other sports activities.”
Ages: Mums and Toddlers (crawling to walking); Families (kids and parents).
When: Mums and Toddlers, Tuesdays, 3.30pm. Families, Mondays, 4.30pm.
Contact: Lavina Faleiro +973 36 42 21 46, email@example.com, www.maharaniyoga.com
Time Out Bahrain,
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