I am really a fan of Gymboree, so much of a fan that I decided to enroll my son, Inigo for a 3 time a week class as soon as he was 18 months. We took 3 different classes per week and let me give you an insight of what types of classes you can enroll your child too.
We chose three classes named, Learning Lab 1, Play and Learn 4/5 and Global Kids. These are the available classes in our chosen Gymboree branch which is Robinson Magnolia. Each of it’s class usually has 2 – 3 schedule per week and I chose all that was 11am. Good news is, before you can really choose the best time for your child, you can have a trial and if the time slot doesn’t really go along well with your child, you are free to change it as you may.
Every Wednesday, we have our Global Kids. This is my favorite and I guess Inigo also because it’s more on classroom setting with arts, music, singing, language and short introduction of parts of the world. It usually has a country theme of the day and the class revolves around and immerse on the culture of the said country. The kids enjoy it because it is full of dancing, play pretend to ride a train or boat depending on the destination. Then they are introduced to the language by teaching how to say hello on that particular country, example in Hawaii they say Aloha! Then they sing a song about that certain place with matching actions. They also incorporated playdoh time and usually gives the child an idea what that country eats and a great way to practice motor and listening skills. It is very fast paced that they can still squeeze in an art project at the end of the class. Overall, this is really my favorite because it’s a taste of everything that my little one enjoys.
Every Thursday, we have our Play and Learn Class. This class is held outside, in the play area of the school. It’s all about listening to directions, using their creativity to incorporate real life happenings to play, interacting with their classmates, execute agility and still have fun at the same time. We usually start by singing a song, pretending to ride a train and briefing the class what topic we will be discussing and showing pictures of the said topic. It’s a learning moment for the kids because the pictures they show are really familiar and relevant. After that, we usually start with the activities. For example, if we discuss about the firetruck, the monkey bars will be a play pretend of the firetruck. The ropes will be imagining that it’s a hose. The simple slide would be a ramp that they need to run to when the song starts and a lot more. I do enjoy this class because it’s more of a progressive way of learning that stimulates the imagination of the kids.
Lastly, we have our Learning Lab every Friday. This is like a taste of early preschool to our young little ones. The classroom set-up is so much comparable to the tradtional preschool where a chair and a table is inside. The only difference is, that the child is more encouraged to be socially active because the chairs are closely to each other and they only have one table for everyone including teachers. Here, they teach early introduction of letters by showing the letter, letting the child feel the letter by tracing the letter that was cut out from the sandpaper, writing the letter by finger on sand to promote the senses, and by teaching them the proper pronunciation of the said letter. After those, the teacher shows the children 5 different pictures that starts with the letter of the day. My favorite part is when the teacher gives out the playdough, instructs the kids to make little snakes out of it and gives them a card where they should follow the outline of the letter by putting and pressing the little snakes along. I love how creative that is and how engaged it makes the child. Inigo likes it so much that he doesn’t want my help! Everytime he successfully does it, he wears this proud smile and shows his teacher that he did it! Such joy to see a little boy at an early age so independent and proud of what he achieves. What follows is, the favorite part of every kid, washing of the hands and getting of the snacks from the teacher aide. They know the drill so much that they just wait for the teacher to open a book and read to them while they are munching some snacks. The book usually is correlated to the letters that we have learned that day. Then comes the last part, another art session that cultivates everything that they have learned that day. At first, I did not like this class because Inigo had a hard time adjusting with a constricted way of learning but after 3-4 sessions, he finally came in and now looks forward to this class!
I am really happy with the school that I am in right now because their priority is really making learning fun! They do not forfeit your classes as long as you inform them even without a valid reason. A simple, “we cannot attend the class tomorrow” is okay for them. Perfect for little toddlers and first-time mothers that is still figuring things out!