I feel that slowly, slowly we're emerging from a hectic and chaotic summer. This week I starting thinking about fun new activities to do with the girls and checking out the new schedules for the many, many classes for kids round here. Yesterday we tried something new - La Pajara Pinta - a group where children learn Spanish by being exposed to the language through singing, dancing, games and more (an activity from the family club at GoFit Gym in Gillet Square, Dalston). It grabbed my attention when a flier was pushed into my hand last week as something we might all enjoy.
Little M is quite interested in languages - she loves The Lingo Show, makes up her own languages and takes great pleasure in learning a few words to say to family and friends who speak different languages. I used to speak passable Spanish, learnt mainly when I went WWOOFing around southern spain in my mid 20s, but it's beyond rusty right now. I hoped this class might gently awake a part of my brain that hasn't been used for a while and help me reconnect with some fond memories.
We all had a lovely time. We were a tiny bit late because of last minute phone calls about flooring (the last major task of our refurb that needs sorting) but were immediately welcomed into the friendly group. Everything was in Spanish, and quite a lot, but not all, of the other people were native Spanish speakers. Maria, who lead the singing, was so expressive and lively that it didn't really matter that we didn't understand most of what was being said and sung - little M and little L both picked up on the happy vibe and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The words for all the songs were projected onto the wall which I found really helpful - I could actually follow some of the songs and join in a bit. The way the session was planned, the song choice and the activities with different birds and animals worked pretty well to keep the children involved and allow them to focus on a few repeated words that they might actually be able to take away with them. Afterwards little L very conveniently fell asleep so little M and I treated ourselves to lunch in a cafe. A successful morning!
I think we all got a buzz out of doing something new. Little L especially was pleased to be among people and have new entertainment as she's reached a stage where she easily gets bored. Little M keeps asking me to sing the songs and gets very excited at the few lines I can remember - think we'll be going back to learn some more soon.
It was great to do something that the girls enjoyed and that I got something out of for myself too, something aside from pleasure at seeing them happy.