6th June 2015
Kensington Palace is not only a fabulous building with a long reaching history in luscious, relaxing grounds, it is also the venue for baby classes. Kensington and Hampton Court Palace both offer Tiny Explorer classes for two age ranges (babies and toddlers/infants) where you get to visit parts of the palace or gardens while learning about the topic of the month through song and play.
We met at the group entrance of the palace and parked our buggy and locked away our bags. We only needed baby for the exploration that was about to take place. The group leader had a small puppet pug which greeted each baby and we sang the welcome song. This month the theme is William and Mary. They purchased the then Nottingham House in 1689 when this part of London was the countryside, and immediately started work at turning it into a palace.
After a quick verse of ‘Here we go round the Mulberry Bush’, around the glowing tree in the foyer, we passed down the corridor to see the Kings and Queens on the wall, including William and Mary, then over to a textured play mat for some more songs. We sang ‘Rock a Bye Baby’, which is rumoured to have lyrics about William of Orange, and some songs about flowers growing. For props we had some scrunchy paper, windmills and scarves while also learning actions to the songs. A colour and texture sensation for the babies. Some babies threw scarves in the air, or looked through the coloured fabric, some were mesmerised by their parents blowing the windmills and some just loved crackling the paper.
Next up the Christopher Wren staircase, surprisingly plain, for more singing on bean bags in the upper drawing room area. Here we learnt about how Mary loved flowers and filled the palace with them and her other love, blue and white china. We played with fabric tulips and blue and white blocks. We even listened to some mechanical singing birds while singing songs together. Betty was a right fidget, crawling through the middle of the circle, grabbing and chewing everything in sight. The final part of the session was out in the garden, with more songs on a furry blanket while the mummies and daddies wafted a colourful umbrella over the babies. Good fun had by all!
A fantastic baby session, similar to baby sensory but in a much better location with history thrown in and at a cheaper price! Cheaper than my local sensory class anyway. Looking forward to booking more sessions and some at Hampton Court too. If you have time before or after the session make sure you enjoy Kensington Palace Gardens. There is a lake with geese, ducks and swans and the amazing Diana Memorial Playground. Windy paths take you from one set of fun to the next. Pirate ship, teepees, swings, balance games, sand pits. Hours of fun in a safely gated area.
Baby friendly info:
The group cloakroom is used for buggy storage and all valuables can be placed in a secure locker during the session.
There is limited walking around the palace so carrying baby isn’t a problem, you can bring a carrier if you prefer.
There are baby changing facilities through the cafe, but strangely the room is too small to fit a buggy. So if you also need the toilet, you then need to use the larger disabled toilet next door or balance baby on your knee…
The cafe has high chairs.