Early Learning Groups

A space for you and your child

Parent and Infant Group

These 10 sessions are based on Pennie Brownlee's book "Dance with me in the Heart" and influenced by the work of Dr. Emmi Pikler and RIE® approach.

Each session has a topic, which we respectfully discuss. Just to give you an idea, some of the topics are being in partnership with your child, unassisted motor development, power of language we use around our children, how cultural imperatives match or do not match the biological imperatives of your child, the magic of play, emotional intelligence, the power of conflict and more.

The most powerful lesson is learning to see your child with 'new eyes' and foster the connection you have. The relationship is ALL and that is what our sessions focus on. At the end of the day YOU are the most important person in your baby's life.

Parent and Toddler Group

Toddlers have the right to be accepted and respected for who they are now. You have the right to be supported during this precious and often intense time when your child starts learning the 'power' of his/her emerging 'will'.

During these classes we focus on what your toddler is learning and what you are learning.
For your child the focus is on:
  • Play, imagination and wonder
  • Emotional safety in relation to expression of emotions
  • Conflict - a royal opportunity to grow
  • Skills for making and keeping friendships
  • What does routine, ritual and rhythm mean to your toddler
For you the focus is on:
  • Skills to stay in partnership with your toddler who is set on doing things their way
  • Skills for respectful conflict management
  • Exploring your emotions for emotional safety during conflict with our children, and between children. This proves to be the biggest learning for many parents
  • Trust vs fear - it is contagious
  • Journey towards self-discovery
  • Looking after yourselves
  • Unconditional love
    These 10 sessions are based on Pennie Brownlee's book "Dance with me in the Heart" and influenced by the work of Dr. Emmi Pikler and the RIE® approach.

    This group is suitable for children from 12 months to 2.5 years.


    Our playgroup is inspired by the work of Dr. Emmi Pikler, Pennie Brownlee and the 'culture of respect'. It is a friendly and child-led environment where you can appreciate watching your babies and children do what they do best! Play! It is a place where you can safely discuss your struggles and victories and enjoy a cup of hot drink and form new friendships.
    During our playgroup we invite you to notice what your child is doing. This is done in silence for about 15 minutes.

    When we adults are silent the babies and children talk. They don't express themselves the same way when we are talking as they are dealing with all the sensory stimulation and all the noise.
    By 'just noticing' you will learn a lot about your child and yourself as a parent. It is a true art to start noticing what your child is 'really telling you'. It takes time and practise and it will enrich your relationship. Trust your child and his/her learning that is taking place right there, in front of you. This is also knows as mindfulness.
    We have starting a tea ritual 'picnic style' for the children and it was a success. Rituals are rhythms in life that bring joy if done with full attention.

    These groups are facilitated by Tineke and Jana. They are early childhood educators with years of experience but most importantly mothers with passion for supporting families and creating inviting and beautiful environments for you and your child to enjoy. They were fortunate to have completed the majority of Pennie Brownlee's courses which inspired us to provide a non-judgmental and reflective classes for parents and their children. They also both attended RIE® Foundations: Theory and Observation™ Course in February 2017.


    "I value the sense of community and opportunity to take time to focus on the babies in a calm and meditative way. The discussions are gentle and insightful. I like the socialisation with other mums, and of course the two of you, as part of my weekly rhythm. One of the most revealing processes is the observation, the opportunity to take time out to just watch and enjoy, consider and celebrate their exploration and growth has been a great reminder for me to enjoy the journey."
    - Nina, Parent & Infant group

    "The way we bring up our children is what determines the kind of society we live in. Since the health of any society is dependent upon the emotional health of its children. Children’s well-being should be our top priority."

    - Robin Grille

    "What stands out the most when I think over the classes was simply the time and space this gave for me to focus and reflect on my own parenting. While it's something I aspire to build in to my own week, I came to really look forward to these sessions, as a time to really 'be' in my relationship with E., and to learn alongside everyone else. I found the readings in the book another useful moment in the week too, a chance to tune back in to that space of reflection and a positive reminder that simply being mindful is always the first step. I did find that the sessions themselves were what bought the readings alive for me, and so the book & the classes work well together."

    - L., Parent & Infant group, 
    Parent & Toddler group participants

    "I'm so happy to have discovered Oma Rāpeti! All the anxiety and perplexion around parenting seems to have vanished like a phantom. The work with the heart is wonderfully restorative. And given a better understanding of Sylvia's perspective on the world, I have been bought to an extremely agreeable place both mentally and spiritually. Thanks very much."

    - Hermione, Parent & Infant group, Parent & Toddler group, Playgroup participants

    "I really value the course material and the open, honest discussion that follows. I also really value the 15 minute observation time and watching your intervention during the conflicts. It's a unique experience to see the material we are discussing being practiced in real time!"
    - Lief, Parent & Toddler group participants

    "Observe more, do less. Do less, enjoy more."

    - Magda Gerber

    "I truly got much more out of this group than I thought I would. It's not only a relaxing and calm atmosphere to hang out with you and your babies - and other Mums and bubs - but you learn so much about baby development and how to deal with certain situations. It's helped me tune into my baby much more and also helped me stay relaxed."
    - Aimee, Parent & Infant group participants

    "I've been coming to Oma Rāpeti play group for almost a year. My daughter and myself truly look forward to each session. I find the playgroup extraordinary, respectful and inviting. It's a kind of spiritual nutrition for me! Oma Rapeti staff revitalise the sense of connection between people through dialogue and lay foundations for a creative coexistence and respect. Jana and Tineke maintain a sincere faith in the humanity of the other person, they both engage in a frank exchange of views that actually benefit people. The parents are able to learn, open up and explore issues together and come to a deeper appreciation and understanding!'

    - Iveta, Parent & Toddler group, Playgroup

    "I have learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

    - Maya Angelou


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