Review by: @nellefant, local Mum and admin for http://www.tootingbaby.co.uk
Did we pay? One comp for launch date
Do we know the organisers? No (though @tootingbaby has been to one of their baby raves, and loved it)
Alfie (@captcookiecraft) who manages the craft room at Big Fish, Little Fish events (the parent and baby raves which began in Brixton) has started The Minnow Club, a regular craft and family coffee morning. It is held at the Prince of Wales pub in Brixton (very near Brixton station, opposite the Ritzy Cinema), 10am-midday on Thursdays.
I attended the launch event in December with my baby, along with around twenty other parents/kids. A craft table full of pre-cut Christmas tree decorations was packed with crayons, glitter pens, sequins, and fluffy bobbles, for children to colour and stick (with the hands-on help of parents if required!). There was a separate Playdough table with shapes and cutters, and a play area for younger babies with tunnels, bouncy inflatable balls, and toys. To add to the crafty element, next time they are hoping to have a floor mural, i.e. a space for drawing on the floor! I enjoyed a very good flat white and a pastry for a bargainous £2, they also had muffins and strawed cups for children to have water or juice.
So, how it is different from a playgroup? The “proper” coffee and pub seating for grown-ups makes a difference – Hannah of @bflfevents said she’d love for it to become a space for groups of parents to meet up as they normally would for coffee, but with the advantage of having lots more for the kids to do! The pub certainly made a good venue, it’s very spacious (fine to take the pram) and they had a special “early lunch” menu available, so they had obviously embraced the idea of welcoming the Minnow Club.
The specific focus on craft is original, and it’s nicely unstructured – you can choose when and whether to have a go at the craft activities or just let your kids do their own thing. The atmosphere was friendly and chilled out, I got the impression most parents did not already know each other and most people were open to a friendly chat. I attended with my 13 month old, who enjoyed the play area, but didn’t quite get the most from the crafty bits – but it was all definitely a big hit with the older toddlers in the room, so I look forward to taking her again in a few months’ time!
Next Minnow Club is on Thurs 9 January, and it will take place weekly. It costs £5 per family (i.e. parent(s) and child), £8 for 3 or more kids.
Twitter: @BFLFevents @CaptCookieCraft