My son and daughter’s eyes lit up as we walked into Gymboree on West Broadway in Vancouver. Having not been to a play gym or indoor play space in over a year, they gazed around at the bright colours, climbing structures, balls, mats and space to play, in anticipation. A quick hand sanitize, temperature check, shoes off, coats hung, and they were off running. With a variety of programming for kids newborn to five years old like music and art classes, Play & Learn and open gym, Gymboree is a great place to wow any age!
My son, 4, daughter, almost 2, and I participated in the Family Play class, which is for 6m – 5 years. It’s hard to find multi-aged classes that accommodates siblings and entertains both of them so I was happy to have this option. My daughter especially, was so excited to climb and jump as this type of environment was so new for her. The equipment is designed for kids aged five and under so the heights and surfaces felt safe which allowed me to step back and let her test her limits.
At the playgrounds everything seems so high for her that I never go too far but at Gymboree, with mats below and no sharp edges I felt really comfortable letting her explore. I could also see the confidence in my 4 year old as called out for me to watch him test every ladder and crawl space.
The class was well structured with free play and activities led by our instructor Maddie. We joined the circle and sang songs, played with bubbles and the parachute. We also met Gymbo, the Gymboree mascot. Maddie set up a balancing structure and a ‘find the bells’ game which my older kiddo loved. It was great watching him be a leader helping some of the younger kids with the activities and ensuring they got a turn.
It’s easy to see how the classes encourage development through sensory exploration, playful-problem solving and music that inspires imagination and self-expression. It was really fun to see the kids applying their cognitive skills through imaginary play and social skills with other kids as well as testing a few physical limits.
It’s a good feeling when your kids are easily entertained in a safe, stimulating atmosphere. I could see them burning energy as they ran around and their little minds processed the experience. Both mentioned several times over the weekend how much fun they had so it was a win for us all!
This post is sponsored by Gymboree Play & Music Vancouver
Gymboree Play & Music has been fostering creativity and confidence in children ages 0-5 for over 40 years. Today, there are over 700 locations in 40 countries, making them the global leader in early childhood development programs. Designed by experts, their age-appropriate activities help develop the cognitive, physical, and social skills of children as they play. Contact them at www.gymboreeclasses.com/
Jenn Wint is a writer, communications strategist and a public relations specialist. She is passionate about storytelling and community. Jenn lives in East Vancouver with her husband, 3yo son and 1yo daughter. You’ll find them hanging around Vancouver’s playgrounds, water parks, coffee shops and anywhere that bakes fresh cookies in-house!