GAP groups run once a week for 9 weeks (a typical school term) with a group of 8 Babies/Toddlers and their Moms/Caregivers. GAP groups have been developed by the authors of the book "Groovy Adventurers: How to encourage your baby to move from one developmental stage to the next while having a blast!" As Moms and Occupational Therapists, they have designed the groups, which are based on sensory play and development, to be loads of FUN! You will also meet some other Moms and their Little Ones who are in the same stage as you are, learn more about your amazing Baby's/Toddler's development and try out some fun games which you can also play at home.
Which Developmental Stage is your little one busy mastering?
From Creeping to Leopard Crawling: your baby is a Creeper if he can balance himself while sitting and sit alone for longer on his own. He will start to sail-crawl on his tummy by using his hands to push himself backwards or pull himself forwards. He may even be able to rock in the crawl position. He can grasp an object voluntarily, and will start holding objects with both hands and thus will love to play the drums! (i.e. bang an object on the table). His babbling becomes more distinctive and he can ask to be picked up by lifting up his arms. He starts to develop an attachment to Mommy - he is very dependent on Mommy and does not want to be separated from her!
From Creeping to Crawling: your baby is a Mover if he starts to try and crawl, although he may go backwards first. He can pick up a small object the size of a button between his finger and thumb and he enjoys exploring holes and grooves. He can stay standing for a few seconds by holding onto something but falls back down to the sitting position. He responds to his name, likes to imitate sounds (e.g. raspberries, lip bubbles, clicking) and enjoys chattering, i.e. "ma-ma", or "mum-mum". He enjoys copying sounds and gestures (e.g. coughing or kissing) and can wave "bye-bye". He loves playing peek-a-boo and shows an interest in looking at books (especially with simple pictures).
From crawling to Taking Steps: your baby is a Groover if he can take a few steps if held by both hands and can walk sideways while he holds onto furniture. He may start to hold onto and push an object like a small chair or a trolley to help keep his balance while walking, although his balance is still very unstable. He can move from squatting to standing and back to squatting and he crawls more fluidly. He loves pointing and sticking his fingers in holes, grooves and cavities. He enjoys posting objects into a container and taking them out again and can fit nesting toys into one another. He may start saying his first words (one-word sentences) and copies familiar words he hears often. He can start to point to his main body parts if you name them for him (e.g. "where is your head?"). He can respond to simple commands or requests (e.g. "give me your hat") and he may start to shake his head to indicate "no". He understands, "no", "stop", "bye-bye" and can wave "bye-bye" or "hello".
From Taking Steps to Running: your baby is a Traveller if has learnt to walk alone with his legs wide apart and his arms held out in a "high guard" position. He can walk upstairs if you hold his hands. As his walking improves, he will start to walk faster and he will learn to take a few steps backwards and to change direction while walking. He will learn to start running, but will fall often and will find it difficult to change directions when running. Once he is walking and running confidently, he will learn to walk up and down stairs unaided while holding onto a rail. He tries to jump up and down with his feet together; his toes barely leave the floor. He understands many words and phrases, even though he may not say many words yet. He will try to imitate animal sounds and is able to follow a simple instruction (e.g. "give Granny a kiss", "fetch your ball", etc). He will start to use objects for their intended purpose (e.g. drink from a cup, brush his hair with a comb, dial and listen with a telephone, etc) and can play next to another child.
Running, Jumping and Leaping: your child is an Adventurer if he can carry objects while he is walking and climbs easily. He runs well and can change directions and avoid obstacles in his path while running. He is able to walk upstairs, alternating his feet and can jump off lower steps. He can stand on one leg for a few seconds and can kick a ball. He can jump with both feet lifting off the ground and enjoys learning to ride a tricycle. He is quite assertive in saying "no" to adults' demands/requests and defends his possessions passionately. He can string words together into phrases, identify basic colours when asked (red, yellow, blue, green) and count in sequence. He is dressing and undressing almost independently (although fastenings may be difficult). He knows most of his body parts. He begins to mimic real-life scenarios (e.g. house-house) and watches other children playing and then may join in for a short time. He enjoys group activities (e.g. singing).