I was first introduced to the world of Tatty Bumpkin at my local Children’s Centre when Little Miss was six months old and I signed up for Baby Bumpkin classes. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Baby Bumpkin, only knowing that it was ‘yoga-inspired movement and storytelling’. Little Miss really did enjoy the classes which were a mixture of sensory play, music and movement all around a different theme each week.
Fast forward two and half years and Sam Richardson, the owner of the Rutland Tatty Bumpkin franchise (which covers Stamford, Grantham and Bourne as well), invited Little Miss and I to try Tatty Bumpkin – the classes for older children (ages two to seven). I was quite keen to see how different the classes would be and how my very active 3-year-old would react.
What happens at Tatty Bumpkin?
Every week follows a different adventure with Tatty Bumpkin (a rag doll) who lives on Wobble Farm. We start off on mats arranged in a circle and we always start with the ‘Bendy, Giggly, Clever’ song – oh, and when I say ‘we’, I mean both of us. Tatty Bumpkin is very much an interactive experience for parents as well.
Each week Tatty goes on a different adventure, which is told through props, singing, dancing and movement. The children are encouraged to participate in the story as well – Sam will often ask for ideas of what to pack for the adventure or what would everyone like to eat for lunch. Little Miss, like most young children, has a very active imagination, so she likes to contribute (loudly) to the story.
The yoga aspect of Tatty Bumpkin is very cleverly incorporated into the classes. For example, at the start of every story, we always have breakfast – making bowls by sitting with our legs wide apart and reaching up behind us to the cupboard for breakfast ingredients. Little Miss is ridiculously flexible, I am not. But I do enjoy the stretching I do each week at Tatty!
When I tell other people about Tatty they often say to me, ‘Oh, that would be no good for my wee one, s/he never sits still.’ I thought the same about Little Miss, as she can be quite excitable, but she is usually very good. Occasionally she will want to run around the hall, but she normally comes back when she hear something in the story she’s interested in.
Tatty Bumpkin really has captured Little Miss’ imagination. During the week she sometimes spontaneously bursts into the ‘Bendy, Giggly, Clever’ song or sometimes just starts talking about one of the Tatty stories. It’s been quite good for practicing her listening as well, like most 3-year-olds listening is not one of her strongest skills!
One of my favourite moments was when we were sat around a campfire at the top of a mountain (which we had just climbed), singing while we toasted marshmallows and drank hot chocolate. Yes, you need to embrace your inner child as well, but I can live with that for 45 minutes a week!
All the important bits
Baby Bumpkin is suitable for babies until they can walk. Tatty Bumpkin is suitable for walking toddlers onwards.
Wednesday: 10am – Baby Bumpkin – Belton Lane children’s centre, Grantham
Thursday: 10am – Baby Bumpkin – Market Deeping children’s centre
Thursday: 11.30am – Baby Bumpkin – Sweet Shoppe Dreams, Stamford
Thursday: 1pm – Tatty Bumpkin, Darby & Joan hall, Bourne
Friday: 1pm – Swingbridge children’s centre, Grantham
You can pay £5 for each class, or £27 for a term (6 weeks).
DISCLAIMER: I attended one term of Tatty Bumpkin free of charge. Since then I have paid my own way. All words and opinions are my own.