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Sensory stay and play baby group launches on Carlton Hill

Simply Sensory has been set up by Jemma Atkin in the downstairs studio of existing business Simply Dance


A local mum has launched a new sensory stay and play baby group on Carlton Hill.

Simply Sensory has been set up by Jemma Atkin in the downstairs studio of existing business Simply Dance at 376 Carlton Hill, where Jemma’s daughter has been dancing for over a year.

This is very much a passion project for Jemma and she now describes herself as part of the ‘Simply Dance family’

Jemma lives locally and told Gedling Eye that “I have been in Carlton for four years and love it! The variety of shops we have here and the fact that there are so many are small businesses is just brilliant. We love being part of this community.

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“I’m a mum of 2 and I’ve taken a keen interest in how baby sensory and baby play benefits children since I had my 1st and want to pass this knowledge on to other parents. I’m passionate about helping people to re-create what we do at home and want to create a real community feel to my classes.

“I definitely felt like sometimes I’d have liked to come to a session in a safe space where my little one could learn and play and I could enjoy a hot cuppa and a biscuit with other mums and dads! Our plan is to offer SEN sessions too and this is something we’re looking at adding ASAP!”

Jemma explained that a sensory stay and play group is different to a baby class: it is not instructor-led and is designed as free play.

The parents/carers are free to follow their babies and toddlers lead on the activity they wish to do. This means the parents/carers can chat with others and share their experiences with tea, coffee and biscuits available.

She added that the benefits of sensory play include (but are not limited to):

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  • Stimulate proprioceptive and vestibular senses
  • Develop/improve fine motor skills
  • It helps to build nerve connections in the brain
  • Supports language development
  • Improving social skills such as communication and co-operation

The set up at Simply Sensory includes stations set up every session that include: musical instruments, general play toys, reading snug in a teepee and a play kitchen.

In addition to this, each session is themed so the books provided are based on that theme and there is also a station each week dedicated to that theme. This is usually a tuff tray filled with themed activities.

Finally, there is a sensory light corner which, when the lights are turned off create a really calming and sensory space.

Jemma said “The sessions aren’t instructor-led but I’m on hand throughout to discuss how parents can recreate baby sensory at home.

“As a mum of 2, I’ve found some baby groups intimidating and want to create a community of parents and carers here where everyone feels included. We’ve also made our pricing as inclusive as possible at £7.50 pay-as-you-go or an unlimited access membership for £28 per month.

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“We want to make these sessions accessible to all and have priced our sessions accordingly, all babies and parents deserve to come to a class where they feel welcome, can benefit from social interaction for them both and not be made to feel like they don’t belong”

Jemma can be contacted by email to jemma.atkin@outlook.com, by phone on 07803 428571 or online via https://www.simplydancenottingham.co.uk/ .

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