View Full Version : Gymboree Play & Music Classes - What was your experience?

12-05-2003, 02:54 PM
We just went to a preview class of Gymwalkers and I'm not sure what to think. DD enjoyed playing with the balls and wandering around but so much of it seemed hokey to me and she wasn't sure about some of the activities (which I didn't force, just let her do her thing). DD just turned 1 and attends a parent's day out one morning a week; we also attend a playgroup about every 3 weeks.

I'd like to hear about other's experience - did you join and wish you hadn't or weren't sure about it, joined and loved it???
Any experiences with the music class?


12-09-2003, 09:57 AM
I am currently in the GymCrawlers class and DS LOVES it. He was 8 months when we started in Sept and the session is about to end. I think some of it is hokey, too. But DS loves the singing and parachute time.

In my class you start with circle time and then there are about three structured activities before the wrap up with parachute time. The activities range from chasing ball through tunnel to crawling arcoss an obstacle course to 'socializing' in mini ball pits. After your kid does the activity you are free to roam to other sections of the gym and occupy yurselves until the next activity. DS doesn't always want to do the activity and will sometimes instead chase a ball around or become fixated with a particular piece of equipment, but its OK. Its kind of a losely structured setting.

I think the walker class is similar-but maybe a little more structured (?).

I am very glad we joined. I had no idea what to expect either. I think it has influenced DS's exploring nature and encouraged him to do new things and gave me ideas of different ways to play with him. I am still debating about whether or not to sign up for the winter session-I am only hesitating because I fear we will miss too many classes if we have a lot of snow again.


12-10-2003, 01:14 AM
DD is 13 months and we have just about finished our first session of Gymwalkers. I can say that I LOVE it, and DD LOVES it even more. As we start walking into the building she says "pay, pay, pay" (her way of saying play).

I love it because I get to chat with moms and dads with babies at about the same age. I also love that DD gets to climb on the equipment 'till her hearts content and not have to worry since everything is padded. DD loves to explore a lot more now and is much more confident in her gross motor skills. The first few times we went she was somewhat withdrawn and didn't seem to know what to do. Now I can't turn away because she's climbing on, into, under or around something!! We go to playgroup every other week and lapsit at the library, but I must say that Gymwalkers is by far her favorite. I was a little skeptical the first few times because DD didn't seem all that into it, but boy did that change!!!

We usually start with a parent discussion while the little ones play with the balls. Then the instructor kind of shows what equipment is out and some recommendations. Then it's free play, then circle time with bubbles and the parachute.

I wish the classes weren't so expensive, but we will be taking another session in the winter, probably Gymrunners since she's been doing really good with walking.


01-26-2004, 12:10 AM
I felt the same way you did when we previewed a Crawlers class -- but we joined anyway and I'm glad we did. As my daughter and I both got more used to it, we both enjoyed it more. She loves going now and I enjoy meeting other moms/dads with children her age. Also, it's nice to have an indoor place she can climb and play outside of the house! We have been going now for 6 months. Our local Gymboree center just broke away from the franchise though and has become an independent center. The owner said it was because she wanted to do more, and offer more variety, than she could do as part of Gymboree. The new classes added a storytime and some themes (such as shapes, colors, etc) to the familiar format (gross motor skills, parachute time, lap rides, singing, etc). They are also offering some new classes like tumbling, Spanish, classes for ages 4-7, etc. I have to say, though, that you might get a lot of the same benefits (socialization, etc) from any playgroup (we attend several) where you can meet other parents and your child can run and play and be around other kids. Have fun!

Ruth (Kay 09/14/02; Girl 03/16/04)

02-01-2004, 03:54 PM
Julia joined Gymboree at age 14 months. She has gone through Walkers, Runners, and we're now in Explorers, almost a year later.

She ADORES Gymboree, and I'm quite glad that we joined the program. I actually wish we had started it when she was a bit younger. I feel that it has helped develop her confidence with walking, running, climbing, and so forth.

I have to remind myself that the first several times we went, Julia SCREAMED for the entire session. When that finally stopped, she clung to me for a while before she went out on her own to play with the balls, climb, slide or whatever. Now she simply loves it. She asks to go to Gymbo's house or "bubbles" as she calls it. If we drive by the building going elsewhere, she gets very upset and cries for bubbles.

Our only problem now is that the Explorers classes are jam packed and the owner has completely done away with all Friday classes (what was she thinking?!) so classes are a bit chaotic at the moment.

Overall, Gymboree has been a very good investment for us.

Mama to Julia 1-10-02