Just had free trial session at Gymboree - fantastic!(33 Posts)
I have been looking for an activity class for DD (2y 8m), and Gymboree has recently opened here.
I phoned them last week and the Play session for DD's age group (Gym Explorers) was this morning, and we got a free session. Just got back and it was really really good. I was very impressed. Seemed more professional and organised than Tumble Tots (we did that when DD was younger). It was really well done - today was based on a Winter Wonderland theme - so we did lots of activities pretending it was winter - building a snowman, throwing snowballs, hibernating like a bear in the caves (tunnels), went inside an igloo (parachute), catching snow bubbles, jumping into puddles, riding a toboggan and read a winter story and sang songs.
DD adored it and got loads from it.
It isn't cheap though!!! Costs £89 for 12 45 minute classes. Art the moment there is a special offer - when you enrol for 12 Play sessions, you get 6 music sessions for free.
Gymboree (has a website by the way) does 3 sessions: Play, Music and Art. And there are different classes for different age groups.
I have signed DD up for Play , but on a Friday we will also do the 6 music sessions for free for now.
For your money we also get to use the free "Open Sessions" - which are on every day Mon-Sat, normally around lunch time here.
And they do birthday parties for memebers and non-mebers too which look good.
Was really impressed!
Oh, forgot to add. If you go on their website you can ask for a free trial session at a location close to yourself. Worth a look and a session for free, even if you can't join it properly. Reeckon it'd make a lovely birthday party regardless of whether a member or not.
I took my ds to a free trial session a couple of weeks ago and I was really impressed too. He absolutely loved it playing on the slides and climbing etc. I really want him to do something with other children as he loves being around other babies. While we were there he just kept smiling at everyone! Yours sounds rally cheap £89 where abouts are you? We went to one in wimbledon and it was £145 for 12 weeks which I thought was quite expensive. We got a £20 off voucher though which brings the price down a bit. I haven't signed ds up yet but dh said if he really does like it he'll pay for him to do it
Gosh - can't believe the price difference. Guess it must be down to the rental of the premises maybe???
Really loved it. DD is still talking about it. On Friday afternoon we are going for the first of our free music sessions. We get 6 of these free with our 12 weeks enrolment of the Gym Explorers.
Definitely feel it was just that bit better than Tumble Tots, but I guess we are also paying for that too.
www.gymboree.com. It's the same as the clothes but has a link for the activities. You won't get much info re times and prices, but you'll get the phone number for your closest one.
I was thinking of taking dd to the wimbledon one. Did you think that was worth it dancer 77?
I also have dd2. Does anyone know if it's ok to have both, or do they have a creche? I can never get through to anyone on the phone....
Cas73 - at the Gymboree we went to they have a class specially for people with two children (think both have to be mobile though) on their own. And there is a 30% discount for the second child. Have a look at what they offer.
There are also classes suitable from birth upwards.
There was a woman at DD's class with a baby in a car seat who just slept contently through the class, and then watched the final singing bit.
One more thing. Do you know if you have to take the 12 sessions on consecutive weeks or can you brake them up?
Don't know I'm afraid. But I suspect that they are 12 consecutive weeks. And if like Tumble Tots I suspect you pay for missed classes too.
Cas73, we did gymboree for a while at Wimbledon but stopped when DS was about 2.5. There is a creche at Holmes Place which you can use for your other DD if you want - although one woman carried her younger child around in a backpack. The creche is quite nice though - DS has always enjoyed it there. You can miss up to 2 sessions and make them up later, or you can go to other sessions on in the week if there is space. HOWEVER one of the reasons I left is that DS got a bit boisterous in the class and the teacher gave us a lecture on making our children behave which I felt was aimed esp at DS - her name was Vickie and IMO should not have been teaching toddlers. Plus I felt that she honestly didn't like DS and tended to ignore him. Whereas the teacher we'd had before (Becca?) was lovely and DS adored her, so it is a bit dependent on who you get as a teacher.
Agree with that too. Left Tumble Tots as it was getting too structured and the children had to do certain things at certain times, could only use the equipemnt as shown - no exploration, etc. These kiddies were only 18-24 months too!
Our Gymboree teacher is called Beki and she was great. A couple of the little boys didn't want to join in with the structured stuff so they were free, with parents, to explore the equipment as they wished. I liked that.
cas73 I diid think it was worth it simply because ds loved it so much. It was good that when he didn't want to join in certain things I played with him on the equipment and it wasn't just him either, other children were the same too. 45 mins is quite a long time for an 11 month old to be made to do things for but he did very well a lot better than I thought. We did have an incident where he refused to give his musical instrument back - had a bit of a tantrum! I sure on my leaflet it said that you had to have one adult to one child as you are involved so much. I can't remember who took the class though.
I'm in cheam/sutton so southfields is not mega miles from me how does it work? do they have set class times anddo they have free times as at gymboree there are times when you can go in and play with the children when there isn't a class on. Quite interested in giving it a try.
Thanks I will have to give it a try. How much does it cost?
DD1 has just turned 2 and dd2 is 10 months. I've wanted to take dd1 to one of these for ages, but couldn't as there's noone to look after dd2. Now I booked dd1 into a nursery a couple of mornings a week, so at least she will interact with other kids and maybe I can take dd2 to a babygym.
I might look into the siblings thing in gymboree though.
We have Gymboree over here in Switzerland (since about 2 years ago). Friends rave about it but it is expensive, even by Swiss standards, and not as flexible as some of the examples on here, so you can't make up missed sessions as easily. Also the parties are members only. Perhaps the individual franchises can set their own rules.
Unfortunately both their sites here are about 25 minutes drive away and none of the sessions for dd's age group fit in with our other commitments. Shame as I've just dropped Kindermusik as dd was one fo the eldest of the 18 months-3 age group, had done all 4 themes and sadly the lady isn't offering the next age group at the moment.
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