“Gymbo,” my almost 2-year-old says pointing to the clown mascot.
His teacher plays to song and dances around holding the jumbo plush clown. My son and all the other kids mimic the movements and follow the words in the song like going side to side and up and down. He has even mastered the part where they pretend to sleep on the floor.
I have been taking my son to Gymboree since he was about 5-months-old, and there are so many reasons why I am so happy that we go.
It’s something he looks forward to every week, part of his routine. It provides him with structure and playtime, a mix of learning and growing developmental skills with getting all that energy out so he can take that nap and mom can get a break.
Learning truly is fun at Gymboree.
And based off of the size of my son’s smile while running around here, he is always a happy student.
Here are all the reasons why you should bring your baby or toddler to Gymboree.
Mommy & Me Time
The reason why I even checked out a class at Gymboree is because I was looking for a Mommy & Me type program where we could bond outside of the house, meet other parents and babies, and be lead through learning activities.
After one class I was happy with how welcoming and kind-hearted his teachers were and the types of things taught to my little one. Classes are broken into levels so that kids are playing and learning with others in their age group. This allows their teachers to help them develop age-appropriate skills and concepts.
It also means moms are grouped with moms who are going through the same things at home whether it’s going back to work or a teething toddler.
No matter how independent Gymboree has made my son, he always comes to sit on my lap for bubble time. We both cherish our time together in this environment.
Learning And Playing
The setup at Gymboree (equipment wise) changes every two weeks along with the lesson or theme that is taught. This keeps things fresh and fun, preventing boredom no matter how long the baby or toddler attends classes.
The floors are matted and perfect for crawlers. It also means falling down doesn’t hurt as much, which is reassuring when toddlers start jumping off of the equipment. There are slides, things to climb and crawl through.
My son didn’t crawl until he was almost 11-months-old, and I believe that Gymboree helped him reach this milestone with the practice on the equipment and encouragement from his teachers. He also attempted to take his first steps while at Gymboree (although his real steps were later at home).
There is structure and a routine with the classes so they get used to the welcome song, play time, then the parachute, bubbles, and song every class. My son knows when the class is over and when it’s time to play.
Teaching New Skills
Gymboree also offers music and art classes. This was a great way to try painting for the first time without having to deal with the mess at home. And it’s also the little things my son has picked up from classes like “Go” and “Stop” or how to do the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
Everything from cause and effect to letters and numbers is covered as part of the curriculum yet it never ever felt like he was in school or a school setting. It makes learning fun and my son soaks it all in like a sponge. This is why I love taking him to Gymboree. I think of it as a pre-pre-school program.
Another major reason why Gymboree is great for little ones is because it encourages socialization. Before he could even crawl he was sitting and interacting with other babies. Over the course of months, the kids and parents become friendly. You see the same friendly faces and as the kids grow so does their bond.
We have met some of his (and my) closest friends by going to Gymboree. So much so that we even get together outside of Gymboree for playdates and continue to let kids grow their friendships.
Gymboree provides a safe and fun place for my son to work on everything from motor skills to vocabulary and everything in between. From learning to share and other social and emotional skills to cognitive and language development, Gymboree covers it all.
Here are the top reasons to check out Gymboree:
- Helps babies reach milestones like crawling, walking, jumping, talking
- Provides a safe space to play without worry about injury
- Classes are a great way parents can bond with their child
- Babies and toddlers meet friends; parents do too!
- Great way to learn and get them familiar with routines
- Flexible with many different class times on various days for each age group
- Warm and welcoming environment