We are really excited to be featuring on the AFA blog and cannot wait to share with you all what we have been up to recently. We really have pulled together over the past few months and have came out the other end stronger and more ready than ever before – with three new Franchise signings might we add. Stay tuned…
Team work really does make the dream work.
As a team with over 35 Franchises in both the UK & Australia, the franchisees pulled together to offer support for one another in more ways than one. The team put their heads together for both ideas and support. As a result, we are now prepared and ready to get back to what we all love doing – encouraging every child to make their mark through our messy play and mark making classes.
March 2020 really was one to remember. Who would have thought a global pandemic was heading our way? To say that Little Learners embraced lockdown would be an understatement. Brand awareness and getting our eye catching purple colours in front of parents and kids became our new focus – a slight change from getting messy at our usual classes and parties. Being stuck indoors with young children was a testing time for everyone and so that is where we stepped in. The team did everything in their power to help with home learning, entertainment and delivering a sense of normality to our Little Learners… even if it was just for 20 minutes a day!
Our Franchisees turned into internet sensations to say the very least. Each morning at 10am a member of the team went live on our main Facebook page. Each LIVE encouraged learning from home and gave structure to our Little Learners days! The LIVE’s escalated and soon we found ourselves hosting a Virtual Festival Weekend where we invited other small children activity provider’s to join us for a weekend full of live children’s entertainment.
Socially everywhere and anywhere…
Our Little Learners on Lockdown Facebook community grew to over 2.5k members and is still growing. The group encouraged member to share ideas and ask for advice. Afterall, we are all in the same boat. Our YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram followers were growing rapidly.
Home schooling really was a challenge. The Little Learners Team put together our own home learning kits to help make things a little easier and of course more FUN. Our shop grew in popularity with messy play resources, paint sticks and clothing flying off our shelves. Knowing parents were trying to entertain their kids indoors we designed our own Mark Makers worksheets. Colouring sheets and cutting skills sheets are now all available for free download from our website. Our most popular was our NHS Rainbow and Captain Tom Moore sheets with thousands of downloads over the lockdown period.
But we didn’t stop there…
Little Learners made it onto the TELLY!
That’s right, we managed to land our very own TV advert which ran for the month of July. A dream well & truly came through. Watching TV on an evening and seeing our logo & franchisees pop up on the screen was quite the surreal feeling.
Growing, growing, growing…
Being stuck in the middle of a pandemic, signing new Franchise’s was never an expectation. However, over the period we managed to sign not one but THREE new Franchise’s in new postcodes! Our new Franchisee’s have hit the ground running, organising venues and securing bookings for upcoming classes already. It really is such an exciting time to be a part of the Franchise team.
Light at the end of the tunnel
With lockdown measures lifted & life slowing returning to a new normal we have been putting plans in place to get our much-loved classes up and running! Each of our franchisees have undertaken an Infection Control Course as a means of keeping everyone extra safe while enjoying our classes. Our classes are going to be as jam packed as ever before with lots of mark making fun. Knowing the importance of washing our hands, we have decided to include hand washing as part of the classes. We even created our very own Hand Washing song (premiered over lockdown) and it will now become our Little Learners theme tune I guess you could say.
Can’t stop, won’t stop.
My goodness, were exhausted. Super proud to be part of a team who support, encourage and build each other up. With our new Franchisee’s on board, plans for the future include more mark making fun, festivals and garden parties! Big shout out to the AFA for all the continuous support.
Find out more about little learners; www.theafa.org.uk/members/little-learners