Babies Project – classes and workshops for caregivers, babies and adults

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OCTOBER 20 – NOVEMBER 17

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Babies Project is an educational non-profit that offers developmental movement education to babies of all ages (including adults).

We offer classes and workshops for babies by age group, free sessions for babies and toddlers, workshops for caregivers, and developmental movement classes and workshops for adults.

Babies Project was created by Sarah Barnaby and Amy Matthews, who are both Infant Developmental Movement Educators (IDMEs) trained through the School for Body-Mind Centering.

Read about what we believe and teach from:

At Babies Project, the principles we teach from, play from, facilitate from, explore from and live from arise from our core values of agency, comfort, and curiosity. We believe these three values are embedded in developmental movement, and shape behaviors that lead us to be more responsible, resilient, interdependent, self-regulating and relational.

How do we raise children (of all genders) to respect themselves and others? How can we model a way of being in the world that encourages self-awareness and awareness of others? As caregivers, how can we re-pattern what we were taught and no longer value, and find a different way to relate to the little ones we care for – not only because it’s healthier for and more respectful of our children but also because it’s better for ourselves? Our work with babies provides a frame for relating to all people as whole people, as individuals in an interdependent web.

Our earliest reflexive responses to touch and movement begin to develop before we’re born. As a general rule, our first response to touch is to turn away and withdraw. From this ability to say “no,” we can then learn to turn towards the stimulus and bond to touch. We believe that the way “no” comes before “yes” as it plays out in our reflex patterns is also an important factor in other aspects of our lives – in developing a healthy sense of self, in being able to make choices, follow our curiosity and change our minds. And that early experiences of letting “no” play out leads to a greater sense of respect for ourselves and eventually others.

There are values and forces in our culture that assign judgment, blame and shame for all kinds of things – being fast, being slow, being big, being little, being loud, being quiet, being different or not good enough in any number of ways. We believe that each family, and each relationship in that family, develops and co-evolves differently and uniquely. Each baby finds their own way, ideally supported by trusted relationships and nurturing feedback. We believe that healthy relationships are built on things being sometimes messy, on ruptures and repairs in communication, in small falls, repetition, iteration and practice.

We work (and play) with balancing the idea that every baby finds their own way into movement, and what we know is helpful about how movement skills build on each other. We believe that taking longer to learn something means having more skills when we ‘get it’, and that getting there faster doesn’t mean doing it any better. When a baby (of any age) finds their way to a new skill through their own agency (and with our support), they can more fully own the skill and build upon it. A child’s process of learning a new skill is not only about acquiring the skill itself – it’s an opportunity to further develop (or re-pattern) their learning how to learn.

As life-long movers, as movement practitioners and teachers, and as Infant Developmental Movement Educators, our way in to engaging with babies and caregivers is through movement.

Why movement? Learning to move and being moved are some of the biggest learning experiences in the first year of a baby’s life. How a baby learns to move and how they’re supported in this process are significant influences on their relationship to learning for the rest of their lives.

Movement expressions that we use all the time as metaphors derive their potency from the literal, physical and actual movements that underlie them. A baby who is supported in exploring the physical movements of seeing, touching, pushing, reaching and pulling builds an internal, experiential, embodied support for grasping the metaphorical. A baby learns to form and act on their desires and intentions through seeing and touching a toy (for example), deciding, planning, measuring, moving toward it, reaching, grasping, pulling, running into limits, evaluating, problem-solving, integrating, settling – and repeating. The ability to change, to make transitions, to adapt, and to shift perspective play out first in movement.

So our earliest experiences of movement shape how we learn to learn. And these movement experiences shape our sense of comfort with ourselves, our sense of curiosity about others and the world around us, and our awareness of our own agency in changing and being changed by our own choices and our relationships with others.

At Babies Project, babies of all ages can experience their own comfort, curiosity and agency. Join us.

Support us by making a DONATION to support Babies Project. Your donation is tax-deductible. Thank you!

To learn more, watch our video (below), read about our principles and read testimonials from caregivers about their experiences here.

If you’d like to receive news and updates, please join our newsletter. If you’d like to bring your baby to the free sessions, you can sign up for a Be With Your Baby: Intro & Orientation class here. If you’d like to observe a Babies! session, email us to reserve a space.

And if you’d like to support us, become a BP Member or make a donation of another amount. Your donation is tax-deductible and we appreciate donations of all sizes!