“ A play facility providing the opportunity for interactive fun play between parents and their children. Several locations throughout England. „
My 13 month old daughter and I have been going to the Play and Learn and Music classes at Gymboree since she was six months old, and she loves it. Our first class was a free trial, and we were very impressed with the friendly outgoing class leader. Wee Beastie was one of the smaller kids in the class, with some of the others already mobile, but the leader made sure she got musical instruments when the other kids were crawling over to take them out of the box and she now has a wonderful appreciation of music and will dance and "sing" along to whatever music she hears. Very useful when someone on a bus or a train has their headphones too loud! The play and learn class is more about developing mobility and learning through activity. Wee Beastie also enjoys this class and has gone from Class I (6-10 months) to Class II (10-16 months) during her time at Gymboree. I felt the early class was a bit of a waste of time, to be honest, except for the chance to interact with other mummies and see how other babies of a similar age are doing, but Class II for crawlers and walkers is wonderful, plenty of high-energy activity going on and lots of fun all round. They also have free play times where you can go and use their equipment for a few hours a week, which is free if you take a class and that Wee Beastie loves, and also Art, Dance and other cool stuff for babies right up to five years old. I think the cost of classes varies with location so I don't want to give numbers in case they're wrong, but the list of Gymboree locations is here: http://www.gymboree-uk.com/find.php Be warned about the homepage though - it plays a song and I've never yet been able to find the button to turn it off! Highly recommended for people who want their kids to enjoy themselves and learn at the same time.
A lot of people have not heard of Gymboree, and the people who have think it is a clothing store in America. This is why I wanted to spread the word to all the dooyooers because this is an opportunity not to be missed. If you think Gymboree is a clothing store in America you wouldn't be wrong but it is also a pre-school learning programme based in both America and the Uk. There are various locations throughout the UK and although you may not have heard of it there is bound to be one near you. I first took my daughter here when I read about it on Net mums. We were looking for ways for my daughter to socialise with babies her own age and this looked perfect. It was a baby group with play and music and it was held every week. We popped along for our first session which was free as it was a trial and we were very very impressed. The session is run by very outgoing characters picked speciafially for gymboree and they make you feel very welcome. There are other babies and mums there and you all sit in a circle and basically play games with some fatastic props. The propbs, songs and music used is all picked to help stimulate your baby according to their stage of development. For the babies we use finger puppets, fibre optic lights and balls, tummy time mirrors and a parachute. I can honestly say that as I took my baby week after week I could see her developing. She has learnt so much from going there and she recognises when we are there and gets extrememly excited. She gets the opportunity to roll around a fully padded room with small slides and climbing frames for babies which is all padded and soft and she just loves it. She has made some fantastic friends and we look forward to going each week. Since we have been going there she has learnt how to clap her hands and crawl and although she would have learnt this eventually anyway I truly believe she has picked this up from going gymboree and I can really see the difference in her development when we come out of there. Although it is quite expensive it is definately worth it. Membership is £15.00 and then you pay £30 odd for a term (4 weeks) this works out to about £7.50 a session ehich I know some people would find expensive for a baby class but their staff are fully trained and qualified and they do get excellent interaction with the other babies. Gymboree props cannot be brought anywhere else except the gymboree shop online as they are specifically designed for gymboree making the classes unique in every way. I would really recommend taking your baby to one of these classes as it does them the world of good. I have not found anything else like it and will continue to take my baby there throughout all the classes (level 7 3-5 years) There are other classes avaliable at gymboree and although we have only ever been to baby gym, music classes, arts, mum and baby fitness, yoga fun, globetrotters, infant signing and lots more. Please visit their website to see what I am talking about and go and try out one of their free trials sessions as you will not be disappointed!!