Term Dates

Zip Zap are delighted to share our term dates with you for the upcoming year.

Summer Term: Monday 16th April – Friday 20th July (excluding Monday 28th May to Friday 1st June).

Autumn Term: Monday 3rd September – Friday 14th December (excluding Monday 22nd October – Friday 26th October)

Zip Zap Term Dates

Zip Zap are delighted to announce our term dates.

Summer Term – Tuesday 18th April – Friday 21st July (exc. 29th May- 2nd June)

Autumn Term – Monday 4th Sept – Friday 15th December (exc. 23rd- 27th October)

If you have any queries or want to hear more about what we do then please get in touch.

If you would like to see where your nearest ZipZap Class is, then please use our Class Location tool by clicking here.

Building Confidence in a Zip Zap class

We all want a confident, articulate and outgoing child but how can we ensure this is developing from the early years?

Attending weekly music and sensory classes not only entertains and stimulates your child, it allows you to have a few minutes time out whether it’s during the ‘wheels on the bus’ or the glorious bubble section. It also gives you the chance to interact with other parents and the most important bit… the long awaited Gail’s double shot latte on the way to class that you have dreaming about since the 5am wake up call this morning! But how can we be sure these classes also build confidence?

During Zip Zap’s toddler class we actively encourage children to collect and return their props from us. By using their curiosity and excitement for exploring new objects, children forget that they are leaving the security of their carer’s lap and approach other children and adults in a familiar and safe environment. This simple act is an excellent way to encourage their independence and a sense of freedom. From their first week, they probably hold on with dear life to their sensory ball or maraca in the safe place of their carer’s lap, but in time they will be on their feet, racing towards the Zip Zap bag to return their favourite (and usually soggy) finger puppet. This is a constant gauge of their confidence and we begin to see their gorgeous little personalities emerging in a busy, class environment.

Another way of celebrating their triumphs in gaining independence is a child’s slow but steady involvement in the physical warm up. The moment when your child suddenly picks up their left leg in our scissor chops exercise is such a special milestone. Ok, so it’s not the equivalent of taking their first step but it is a sure sign that their focus, confidence and co-ordination are all developing. Besides, how cute do they look with their little arm tucked under their chin just like the Zip Zap leaders do when lying on our sides?! Magic.

Then we come to the best section of the class each week, it’s… BUBBLE TIME! Usually during a child’s first few weeks at a Zip Zap class, they will need their grown up to accompany them up to the bubble machine. As the weeks go by, they will be up on their feet popping bubbles by themselves, interacting with other children and developing independence.

It’s moments like this that we must never take for granted in a child’s development. It’s these occasions that will give them the skills and confidence to run into their first football class or birthday party, yes birthday parties where parents don’t have to stay!!!! So much to look forward to when they turn 4, now to just get through the next eight hours….

zip zap kids object permanence

Object Permanence in a Zip Zap Class

Have you heard of Object Permanence? Have you attended one of our Zip Zap classes and wondered why one of the teachers decides to have a nap mid class?

Let me explain….

In the Zip Zap world we have come to know this section as the ‘boo poem’. Moya, Sophie or Sarah decide to have a break from the singing and go to sleep underneath the blanket whilst Alana or I whip out the castanets. It may seem rather strange, but this is all to do with object permanence.

By around 4-5 months, a baby’s vision and hearing have developed and they are beginning to master different skills. They begin to grasp the idea that objects and certain people exist even when they can’t be seen. They begin to reach for objects hidden under blankets and have a lot of fun playing peekaboo.

Now back to the ‘boo poem’. One of the teachers will disappear under the blanket, whilst the other teacher begins reciting a poem with a castanet. The simple sound of the castanet draws a child’s focus towards the blanket and the fact that the other teacher has disappeared. The poem and the beat of the castanet also help with rhythm and of course, every baby needs to learn a new nursery rhyme each week! After the nursery rhyme has finished and a count to 3 the teacher that is hiding reappears with a grand hello. This is then repeated 3 times so the children get used to the idea that someone disappears but then also comes back.

Though this is the main section each week where we focus on object permanence, there are many other ways which in which we include object permanence into a Zip Zap class. Colin and Dave having a little nap at the beginning of the class, props disappearing and then reappearing and scarves to play peekaboo.

Our friendly Educational Psychologist, Dr K. Robinson strongly believes “that the development of object permanence is such an important milestone in a child’s life as underdeveloped object permanence can lead to separation anxiety as the child has not yet learnt that when an object (or parent/carer) is out of sight that they continue to exist. If a child has not yet negotiated the developmental stage of permanency they are likely to experience distress when not connected with their parent or carer and may seek to be connected to them at all times”. Louise Bomber also has some incredible books which look at this.

We continue this into the Little Zippers classes too as the toddlers grow in confidence each week by coming up to the front and shouting ‘boo’ or tickling toes.

So there we go, now you can be certain that we don’t employ lazy teachers at Zip Zap that like to have a nap mid class! Someone once said to me when I was having a tough time with my son, “Every thing is just a phase, it will pass”. It kept me sane through the trials and tribulations of object (me) permanence/ separation anxiety with my son, luckily we are past it now!

New Term Dates 2016-2017

We are delighted to announce our Term Dates

Autumn Term 2016 – 5th Sept – 16th Dec (exc. 24th Oct -28th Oct)
Spring Term 2017 – 4th January – 31st March (exc. 13th Feb – 17th Feb)
Summer Term 2017 – 18th April – 21st July (exc. 29th May – 2nd June)

If you have any queries or want to hear more about what we do then please get in touch.

If you would like to see where your nearest ZipZap Class is, then why not use our Class Location tool by clicking here

Autumn/Winter in London with delightful little ones

I am in mourning for the last of the summer days, gone are the Zip Zap themes of the Seaside and Holidays and we now are gearing up for our Autumn, Hibernating Animals, Night Sky, Rain and of course, Christmas themes.

However, there is something magical about Autumn when the leaves are turning brown and for my toddler, (who prefers the buggy to walking) I have learnt to embrace how much fun walking on crunchy the leaves is. Also, who can deny the delightful build up to Christmas, not to mention the bribery of how Santa’s fairies are watching so the ‘challenging behaviours’ don’t go unnoticed!

I’ve always been tempted to curl up at home with a make shift tent and duplo (not for me obviously!) in the cold and rainy weather but actually getting up and getting out gets the wind in our sails and burns some energy, from the little ones of course, if only parents had energy to burn!

London has so many fun things to offer children and the dark nights and bright lights make for an extraordinary sensory experience. Christmas at Kew Gardens is such an incredible event; the light shows are second to none and excite children beyond belief. They have delicious marshmallows and live performances to distract the children whilst you neck your warm gin cocktail!

I have so many fond memories of Christmas at Kew and it is now a regular fixture on the Christmas agenda. I’m sure Winter Wonderland is just as magical but I am a little traumatised to ever go back. My NCT friends (god bless NCT friends!) and I went when the babies were three months old and it was a sensory overload for the little babies and sleep-deprived mums. Most of the babies kicked off when they heard the incredibly loud music and getting the tube back in rush hour proved too much, so thinking the bus would be a better option, I tried to discreetly feed my screaming baby only to squirt a lovely woman with my breast milk due to an over excited let down reflux. Major social awkwardness and for some reason I attribute this to the Winter Wonderland experience!

The best thing about London in the Winter with babies or toddlers is the spontaneity. There are so many activities for Halloween, Bonfire Night and magical experiences for little families. I do love to occasionally scrap the bedtime routine and head into London with the little one in tow to go and experience these magical things that make the memories. Time Out has all the knowledge, thank goodness for Time Out!

At Zip Zap, we have so many wonderful themes coming up between now and Christmas so why not get your little one all cosy and wrapped up in the buggy, grab a Gail’s coffee on the way and visit your nearest Zip Zap class so you can both be entertained in a delightfully, warm venue.

However, it is 9pm on a Friday and in the name of spontaneity, I am off to bed!

Zip Zap has a YouTube channel!

We have been trying to create a Zip Zap channel on YouTube for a while, due to request. It takes time when you’re not super tech savvy, and we are certainly not! We’ll try to upload videos for you and your little ones to enjoy.

It can be found here:


ZipZap on the Harringay Ladder

Gone are the days of the late night kebab shops and the free trips home from town on the No 29 ‘bendy bus’.  Now we see the Harringay Ladder becoming a hub for young families.  This is why we are super excited to open a new ZipZap class!

I, (Moya from ZipZap) moved to the Ladder in 2008 after drama school when rent was cheap but cheerful in comparison to much of North London.  However, rising house prices mean more young families are moving there so they can get the living space they need without spending the same amount on a three bedroom house as they would on a castle in Scotland!

Green Lanes still manages to retain it’s traditional shops and restaurants but beginning to pop up are quirky cafes such as Music and Beans, where you can simultaneously buy a guitar AND treat yourself to a delicious cake and latte!  It’s also such a nice place to live, with slow gentrification yet managing to retain it’s charm with original shops, cafes and restaurants (a dying phenomenon in London. Oh at this point, I would like to point out that the Turkish restaurant Selale offers the best chicken shish kebab in the whole of North London.)The Harringay Ladder attracts wonderful people and let’s face it, ZipZap mums, dads and nannies are those wonderful people.

 So, that brings me to the sales pitch! We are opening on Friday 9th September at the Salisbury Pub at 10am for toddlers and 11am for babies. Do come along and try out the class, Sarah and Laura would be delighted to meet you and your little one/ones. We hope to see you there for our Colours theme.