In my area, there are several Gymboree knock-offs, as well as a real Gymboree location. Earlier this week, my son and I attended a free trial class at My Gym, which claims to be “The Worldwide Leader In Children’s Fitness.” The class was for “Waddlers,” or crawling and newly walking babies.
It started with a “warm-up” in which parents moved the babies’ arms and legs. Most of the 45-minute session was unstructured, so the babies could do what they wanted. At various points in the class, the instructors set up apparatus for swinging, balancing and rolling. The babies were also free to climb on the various mats, jump on the trampoline, or play with any available toy.
I thought my son would love it because there would be a huge room for him explore and things to climb on, but he surprised me by not really enjoying it much at all. We had a similar experience with Kindermusik as well.
Obviously, as parents we want to encourage our children to grow and learn and develop, but I’m finding that the growth and development seems to happen at each individual baby’s pace, regardless of whether the baby’s in daycare, spends all day with mommy, or attends various classes. I think that when he’s older, my son might actually enjoy a class like My Gym … but then again, maybe not.
Every place I’ve called offers a one-time free session, so before you spend money on a series of classes, attend a trial class to see if your child really enjoys it.