I became a stay-at-home mom when Nathaniel was 18 months old. I worked right after my maternity leave ended when he was around 10 weeks old. I worked a full-time position up until he was 18 months old, and never had the chance to attend mommy and me classes. When I became a stay-at-home mom, I researched for activities, events, and classes we could be attend. I found a lot of classes nearby our home, and many of them were very pricey without much reviews. While searching online for art, music, and mommy and me classes, I stumbled upon Gymboree Play & Music. I was drawn into the website because I’ve never heard of Gymboree having classes! I thought it was only a clothing store. I read client reviews, and I also read the descriptions of what each class offered, and it seemed to all have positive feedback. Thus, I was excited to sign up my son right away! I found a Gymboree Play & Music site nearby, and signed up for the free classes. They offer a free class for prospective members! I signed up my son to the free art class, and the free play & learn class. They have different levels of classes depending on age. We started him in the Art I class because it was for ages 18-24 months, and in Gymboree Play & Learn 4 class for ages 16-22 months.
When we arrived at Gymboree Play & Music, we were greeted right away and all the workers were all very warm and nice. Nathan tried out the art class first. Each week they have different themes or topics, and at his first art class, the theme was “Puppets” so they made these projects below. A paper bag puppet and a sock puppet.
Though the class was for ages 18-24 months, and Nathan was at 18 months, it seemed a little too advanced. Either that, or Nathan is a little delayed in art. I assisted him in most of the projects. The instructor told me beforehand that art and music classes are more structured than the play & learn classes, so it can be a little too much for some children. But, I have to remind myself that it could take some time to get used to and all children develop at a different pace. The class was about an hour long, and nearly 30 minutes into the class, Nathan was already getting tired and did not want to sit through it any longer. At the end of the class, I told myself, maybe this isn’t for the class for him.
So next, we tried the Play & Learn classes which is not as structured as the art class. It’s more free play, and a lot more play space since it’s conducted in their little gym area. Gymboree is such a cute place, they have soft padded obstacle courses and little slides for little ones. So when Nathan played in the gym area during the play & learn class, of course he would love it instantly. The play & learn classes also have different themes and topics for the different levels of classes. Nathan was in the level 4 class. The company changes their topics and curriculum every 2 weeks, and in the beginning of each week of a new curriculum, my son is fully engaged and ready to participate. But, since they don’t change the curriculum every week instead, by the 2nd week, Nathan is just plain bored, and just wants to run around and do his own thing. The play and learn classes are fun for parents as well. Parents are fully engaged and really hands-on with these classes. The songs are catchy, and sometimes I catch myself singing to it ALONE! Haha.
We also tried the music class, which was A LOT of fun. Nathan loved this class better than the art class. He loved playing with the instruments, and he participated more. The teacher was very animated, and really made the kids have a lot of fun. We learned new songs and chants. They also have different themes every week. One week was a superhero theme, the kids came in their favorite superhero costume or shirt. Another week was a Broadway theme and they learned some songs from Lion King! The teachers are very creative and patient with the children.
Overall, I really love taking Nathan here and I really wish I could keep taking him! The monthly membership dues are quite expensive. If the prices were a little lower, I would definitely keep taking him. For now, I research fun and free activities around the area. This is a really great place to bring your kids and have them interact with other children their age. If you have an only child like me, and want your son or daughter to learn how to share or be comfortable with more people, this is the place to go. The toys and gym area is very clean, and they are really good about sanitizing the area. Also, if you’re looking to find a place to have a playdate, this is also a place for you. It’s also a good place to meet other moms and make new friends!
Nathan having fun during Play & Learn
Enjoying the instruments during music class
Here’s a sample of one of their classes during Play & Learn.
Above is a coupon for a free class at Gymboree! Find a local Gymboree Play & Learn near you, and check out what classes they offer and their times.
Comment below if you have been to a Gymboree and tell me your thoughts!
‘Til Next Time,