Welcome to the TinyTalk classes of
Kate Shaw

"" During the current Covid-19 pandemic, we are running a reduced timetable of both in-person and live online classes.

Welcome to TinyTalk Colchester & Tendring, WINNER 'Best for babies' & 'HOOP Hero', Essex HOOP Awards 2019.
Iím your teacher, Kate. I have 2 TinyTalkers of my own, Lyra and Connie. Through them, and teaching TinyTalk for over 4yrs, I've seen again and again just how powerful baby signing can be.

Iíve worked with children
in many settings for over 16yrs, teaching in a special needs school for 8. I learned both British Sign Language and Makaton and saw on a daily basis how signing gives a voice to those who find it difficult to communicate, not to mention the magic in the moments when they realised they were understood.

It was a natural progression for me to teach Lyra to sign. At 5 months, we started a TinyTalk. I watched her smile and giggle through the songs, knowing I was giving her a way to communicate and reduce her frustrations. Like many she signed milk first, followed quickly by bird, more and daddy. Both girls' signs have always been accompanied by attempts at words because at TinyTalk we always 'See it. Say it. Sign it.' to make sure signing will not delay speech!

Once Lyra began, it was incredible how quickly she picked up the signs. At just over a year, she amazed me every day, using signs to show she had noticed things that we adults take for granted. I was able to respond to her needs and interests quickly, which has brought us even closer (so much so that daddy, nanny and grandad all got involved, using the TinyTalk DVD!)

Of course, as she got older she replaced her signs with words and everyone commented on her strong speech, but she would still sign when overwhelmed or unsure. Then Connie took it up - with over 25 signs at 13 months and over 110 by the time she turned 2. Lyra helped her learn, so it built communication and a bond between sisters.

From personal experience, I know how difficult life can be as a new mum (and how much each experience can vary!) Getting out, even to baby groups can be intimidating.

New families with babies of 12 weeks and under may wish to begin with our Newborn Communication workshop. This 6 week course is aimed at parents, with a gentle introduction to signing and a focus on communication through the senses. Spend some quality time with your new baby, pick up some tips for navigating that 4th trimester and meet other parents.

At TinyTalk we don't mind if you've washed your hair or have dribble on your top, whether you're struggling, loving every minute or whether you only got two hours' sleep last night. I endeavour to provide a safe, friendly and inclusive group where you can engage in fun activities and bond with your baby, share your experiences with others going through the same stages and enjoy a hot drink and a biscuit - because you deserve it!

I'm passionate about baby signing & canít wait to hear from you. Please get in touch with any questions.

Meet Kate...

Children:Lyra, 6yrs and Connie, 3.5yrs

Location:Colchester and Tendring, Essex

Favourite Sign:caterpillar, rainbow, turtle, cheeky!

Qualifications:BSL Level 1; Beginners Makaton; Specialist Dyslexia Teacher; PGCE; BA Hons

Favourite Film:Anything with a bit of singing and a happy ending! The Disney collection is for my daughter, honest.

Pet Hate:Bad manners! It costs nothing to be polite and kind.

Secret Passion:Used to be pretty heels, now more tame with pretty papercraft

I most admire:My parents (I didn't realise how hard their job was until I became a mum!)

I love baby signing because:I love how something so simple makes such a big difference to a baby's language development and communication. It provides a window into their minds. How can you not love it?

Meet my Mini Teacher, Nicola Titley

Hi, Iím Nic a Mini Teacher very excited to be working with Kate. I am Mummy to two TinyTalkers, Millie and Reuben. We started classes in 2016 with Kate when our daughter was 6 months old and only a month later she got her certificate for her first sign and the signs just kept coming! By the time we stopped attending classes when Millie was just over 18 months she had reached 75 signs. In fact the only reason we stopped classes was because Kate was on maternity leave.

With each new sign Millie and I felt a real sense of pride and achievement. She was delighted that she could be understood, and it helped relieve her frustration. Iím very passionate about baby signing and its benefits; Iíve seen first-hand the results and the difference it has made to our lives. When other toddlers around us were frustrated because their parents couldnít understand them, Millie was able to communicate with us making parenting that little bit easier. Despite being able to sign Millie became a little chatterbox. Many people commented on her advanced speech ability and I believe this is as a direct result of learning to sign at an early age. At TinyTalk we ĎSee it, Say it, Sign ití which encourages early attempts at speech and certainly doesnít stop your baby from speaking.

Millie was born very poorly and spent time in Colchesterís NICU. We were informed that this may cause developmental delays, learning disabilities and speech problems amongst other conditions. My partner and I were both determined to give Millie the best opportunity to develop and thrive to reach her milestones and to help her communicate. Discovering TinyTalk was great, we found a wonderful way to enable this development that made learning fun, interactive and Millie loved.

Like lots of Mummies I was no stranger to PND and suffered with PTSD as a result of Millieís traumatic birth. I wanted to be the best mummy I could be for Millie. TinyTalk classes gave us fun one to one time and opened a window into her mind. During our signing journey we enjoyed many special moments together and created treasured memories. We both formed friendships with other mums and children from the group. TinyTalk offers the ideal opportunity to meet other parents during social time and to enjoy some much-needed adult conversation. Attending classes was not only beneficial to Millie but to me also. It helped me to regain my confidence not only as a parent but as an individual.

As well as setting out on a new exciting road as a TinyTalk Mini Teacher, I will be doing so with my newest TinyTalker, Reuben, who has already been enjoying classes with Kate from 4 months old and has a handful of signs to his name already! Re-experiencing the joy of being able to communicate with core signs just reaffirms the magic of the TinyTalk journey that we both share.

I enjoy interacting with babies and children through play and song. Iím not afraid to look silly to help put children (and parents!) at ease and make them smile. I use my sense of fun, energy and enthusiasm to make everyone feel welcome and included in our classes together. I look forward to joining you on your very own TinyTalk journey.

Read more about Kate ShawCLOSE THIS PANEL

Our current classes:

Baby Signing

Online class

Monday, 11:15am - 12:15pm

Online Live E-classes Colchester Colchester CO1

£4.75 per family per class
Note:Love Laugh Learning is INSIDE Fitness 4 Less gym. Book online This class will start on Monday 4th November. Register your interest by clicking 'enquire Now' or it can be booked now via
Directions:These classes are run in private groups on Facebook Live. They are full, live and interactive sessions streamed directly into your home to keep you safe during the Covid-19 crisis.
Online class

Tuesday, 10:30am - 11:30am

Online Live E-classes Colchester Colchester CO1

£4.75 per family per class
Directions:These classes are run in private groups on Facebook Live. They are full, live and interactive sessions streamed directly into your home to keep you safe during the Covid-19 crisis.
Online class

Wednesday, 10:30am - 11:30am

Online Live E-classes Colchester Colchester CO1

£4.75 per family per class
Directions:These classes are run in private groups on Facebook Live. They are full, live and interactive sessions streamed directly into your home to keep you safe during the Covid-19 crisis.
Online class

Saturday, 10:00am - 11:00am

Online Live E-classes Colchester Colchester CO1

£4.75 per family per class
Directions:These classes are run in private groups on Facebook Live. They are full, live and interactive sessions streamed directly into your home to keep you safe during the Covid-19 crisis.

Our term dates

  • Dates this term:
  • 02 November - 18 December
  • Dates next term:
  • 04 January - 13 February
  • 22 February - 27 March

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