We recently visited the newly renovated Gymboree Play & Music gym in Gahanna, Ohio. After a complete remodel they held a free open house for families to come experience the new space. We took a Play & Learn class, which is broken down by months/years from ages 0 – 5.
This was the first time I had been to a Gymboree that wasn’t a clothing store. The before/after renovation “wow” factor was lost on me, but you could tell by the other parents reaction that this renovation added more variety to the unique play space.
The all-wood equipment was made to challenge and stretch children’s potential with more climbing and sliding than before. It’s OK if they can’t do everything or if they get frustrated. The emphasis is on discovery with age appropriate challenges and skill building exercises so they can learn at their own pace. The open house event was very busy so it was nice that we could come back for a free preview class.
We tried the Gymboree Play & Learn 4, 16-22 months. The class was geared to help toddlers figure out how the world works, and become a competent problem solver through games that uncover patterns and sequences.
I was very excited to try a class specific to my son’s age that also included parent involvement. The level 4 class had 13 friends in attendance and we had plenty of room to play and participate in activities. The class theme was a variety of fast and slow. The instructor taught us play-based activities to demonstrate fast and slow. The songs that were sung were part of the fast/slow theme and incorporated dance, movement games and instruments.
If your child is not into a specific guided activity then it’s encouraged to follow their lead and continue playing with them. I loved having 1:1 time with my son in this fun learning environment. He enjoyed watching and interacting with other children his size. It was adorable! The class was 45 minutes long and went pretty quickly with the right balance of open and guided play.
The class we took costs $72 per month for one Play & Learn or Music class per week plus unlimited Playgym. There are plenty of membership benefits from unlimited open gym (Playgym), gymbucks to use at the retail sister stores, and discounts for birthday parties. There is a New Member Fee and they do offer additional class or sibling discounts. You can also do drop-ins for classes and open Playgym if a membership is not the right fit for you.