Hackney & Islington

Hackney & Islington

Open for prebooked classes only! Give us an email or call to get booked in for a free trial or a regular session!

About Us…

If you are on the lookout for an amazing place which offers fun, high quality and educational classes for your children you need to look no further. You cannot do better than Gymboree Play & Music’s award-winning sessions delivered by our fantastic Islington team. Come visit us, we can’t wait to welcome you and your little ones!

Register your interest in having a free trial today by emailing us at islington@gymboreeclasses.co.uk or calling 07818153700.

Our Location…

Our site is located at 60 Highbury New Park between Highbury & Islington roundabout and Newington Green. The building is located inside the estate, so it can be easily be reached from both adjacent roads – either Highbury New Park or Grosvenor Road. If you arrive by train we’re about 4 minutes walk from Canonbury train station.

Parking…

If you arrive by car there are multiple Pay-and-Display bays nearby. If you live in Islington and have a local parking permit you might be able to park for free in the local resident parking bays during the designated times.

Sock Policy…

Please remember to bring your socks! We want our site to be the cleanest children’s activity site in the area. It is our policy that adults must wear clean socks at Gymboree Play & Music. If you forget to bring them along there will be a pair on sale for £1, half of which we will donate to the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

rainbow trust logo

Timetable…

Please note that ALL classes must be prebooked and paid for in advance!

Islington timetable 2021

Just drop us an email on islington@gymboreeclasses.co.uk if you would like to get booked in.

 

‘Gymboree Play & Music’s new play classes are uniquely and intentionally designed around your child’s early development, which happens organically and differently for every child. Because of this, our new class groupings are not designed by age, but rather by milestone to give our parents more flexibility and the opportunity to choose the class that is right for their child!’

Babies, 0-8 months…

Where they are: Just getting comfortable being out of the house and beginning to explore!

What to expect in class: You’ll learn a variety of ways to play with your newest little bundle of joy. Newborns 0-8 months are exposed to sensory play, songs, and the beginnings of social play. Meet like-minded parents while our expert teachers lead you through nurturing exercises and activities that stimulate your baby’s brain development.

Crawlers, 6-14 months…

Where they are: Crawling, cruising, rolling, sitting, ready to explore anything and everything.

What to expect in class: We boogie down with our babies, give them baby massages, sing them songs, and explore new physical challenges every week through teacher-led activities on the equipment. Play as a group and socialise with others! Sing songs, learn a routine, and PLAY!

Walkers, 10-18 months…

Where they are: Your little one is walking! They might not be steady, but they’ve taken their first few steps!

What to expect in class: We’ll explore new physical challenges every week through teacher-lead activities, with a focus on different ways to use each piece of our equipment. Crawl through tunnels, explore different textures, slide down slides (or climb up slides!), toddle over bridges, or take a ride in a swing!  We’ll also practice social skills and memory building through singalongs and group play.

Runners, 16-26 months…

Where they are: They’re on the move! Your little one is communicating, running, and showing interest in friends!

What to expect in class: It’s all about opposites!  Loud and quiet, fast and slow, up and down! Contrasting themes help your child learn better ways to communicate. Learn how to control body movements and how to use the body to navigate and problem solve. We’ll also practice repetition and routine with regular parachute and bubble activities.

Explorers, 22-28 months…

Where they are: Your little one is communicating, sharing opinions and showing interest in their first friends!

What to expect in class: We’ll use creativity and imagination in all activities. Throw a pretend party, imagine a wild trip to outer space, or pretend to be an ant in a bug’s world… we’ll transform our playscape into a whole new world!

Explorers Plus, 28 months-5 years…

Where they are: Jumping, climbing, crawling, and dancing!

What to expect in class: Our Playfloor comes to life with a live construction site, dinosaur adventures, jungle fun, and even a trip to the fire station!  We’ll be improving balance and co-ordination skills along with building strong muscles and bones.

Family Class, 6 months-5 years…

Where they are: Crawling, walking, running, or exploring! Everyone is welcome! Participating in a diverse class of physical, social, and cognitive developmental skills creates a dynamic class, where younger children benefit from watching older children and older children benefit from being leaders. Great for siblings too!

What to expect in class: More adventures come to life through imaginary play in this multi-age play class. A perfect opportunity for siblings to experience class together, or for children to practise more diverse social skills like leadership and peer modelling.

Music…

Our Music classes are a fabulous way to start exploring rhythm and movement with your child, and are set to a different genre of music every two to three weeks.

Music I (6-16 months)…

Children are very receptive to musical learning at this age. Research has shown that infants can have memory for songs heard while in mum’s tummy, and babies as young as 5 months can remember musical sequences and detect changes in pitch, melody and rhythm! Participating in Music I impacts all areas of your baby’s development. You’ll learn songs that boost memory and language and explore music elements like beat and rhythm through age-appropriate instruments and playful movement activities. Learn lullabies from around the world to help to build those important connections between you and your child and support their emotional development.

Music II (16 months – 2 1/2 years)…

Our active approach to musical learning introduces your child to 16 different musical styles. Through singing, dancing, movement games and instruments, your child learns important musical “building blocks” like rhythm, beat, tempo and melody and builds a foundation of musical skills to grow on. These activities provide powerful tools that impact your child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development too.

Music III (2 1/2 to 5 years)…

Your child’s ability to express musical rules, structures and elements dramatically increases. Cognitive and physical growth leads to more complex and accurate responses in singing, critical listening, moving and instrument play. Our playfully structured activities encourage interaction with peers and support group cooperation through music making.

Art…

Budding artists will love our Art classes! Get messy and creative with activities involving playdough, paints and plenty of glue and glitter. Then, take home your masterpiece to show off to the rest of the family.

Art 1 (17-24 months) Art II (24-36 months) Family Art (17 months-5 years)

Art provides skills for learning and self- expression at any age. That’s why a Gymboree Play & Music Art class is an essential introduction to a world of colour, form and texture that shape a foundation of creative possibility for your child. Our imagination building activities will invite exploration of a collage wall, tactile station, painting, song, story-time and gentle movement to inspire the littlest of artists.

Nothing inspires the imagination quite like art. An Art class sends your child home with far more than a finished project. Children leave our class with an enhanced creative spirit and a positive means for self-expression. Unleash your child’s imagination in a world of hands-on discovery with painting, sculpting, drawing, collage, song, dress-up and other imaginative activities.

Theatre Arts (3-5 years)…

Your little one will sing, dance, paint and create with the opportunity to perform to friends and family at the end of each term. This new programme will promote confidence, self expression, peer interaction and task completion through a variety of creative art forms such as drama, text work, singing, dancing and set and costume making. At the end of each course you have the opportunity to watch your child in a live performance!  In both Key Stages 1 and 2 of the UK National Curriculum music, dance and drama are seen as ways for developing control, co­-ordination, poise and expression of feelings, mood and ideas. The Theatre Arts programme develops all of these important skills and in doing so promotes independence and school readiness in a fun and exciting way!

School Skills (3-5 years)…

This class will equip your little ones with key social, emotional and intellectual skills needed for school and life. This programme will encourage curiosity and build self confidence in your Pre-Schooler using art, science exploration, play and more. Activities help develop confidence, communication, perseverance and co-­operation, giving your child a solid foundation for future learning environments. Teachers also read books that explore and nurture key social and emotional skills, and encourage communication with peers.

This School Skills class includes both independent and group learning activities to promote the important personal and social skills your child will need for a successful transition into school.

 

We are not currently taking booking for birthday parties but do feel free to get in contact if you would like any further information. Register your interest now by emailing islington@gymboreeclasses.co.uk or calling 07818 153 700.

 

Normally we offer tailor made birthday parties on Saturday and Sundays – the whole site to yourself, as well as Parties on the Go – meaning we can come to your home or hired venue.  Our themes include Jungle Safari, Under The Sea, Pirates and Princesses, Superheroes, First Birthday and lots lots more!

There is no better place for your little one’s party than our amazing site.

 

 

 

Baby Massage…

Babyin BabyoutBaby massage is back! Roz will be here leading her wonderful baby massage sessions on Wednesday afternoons in our upstairs room from 13:45-14:45 and 15:15-16:30.

‘We start with a lovely relaxation for you followed by a gentle massage for your baby. It is a wonderful way to relax into parenthood. You can come from 6 weeks to crawling. More information and reviews can be found at Babyin Babyout and also on the Facebook page. Please get in touch with me on roz@babyin-babyout.co.uk to book a space.’

 

Gymbo At Home…

We have had so much fun creating our Gymbo At Home classes and we have had some incredible feedback! Thank you to everyone who joined us on this journey. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Charity…

This year we are sponsoring the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity which seeks to support families with terminally ill children through support workers. Keep an eye out for all our charity events coming up this year! In 2019 we managed to raise an amazing £1361.81 for them through our Halloween and Winter Wonderland parties so let’s aim high in 2021 and see if we can do even better!

rainbow trust logo

 

  • Gymboree Play & Music and Gabby’s Dollhouse

    26. July 2021

    We’re delighted to be able to announce that we’re working with DreamWorks’ Gabby’s Dollhouse, now streaming on Netflix!

    With a little magic and a daily dolls house delivery, Gabby’s Dollhouse leads pre-schoolers room to room through a fantastical dolls house with mini-worlds, irresistible kitty characters, and delightfully quirky adventures.  It’s the ultimate in dolls house wish fulfilment, shrinking down and playing inside your own magical dolls house world.  Gabby is a positive and determined 11-year-old girl who embraces imperfection and turns mistakes into growth. Her best friend Pandy Paws is always by her side, ready for any adventure with a snack and a smile. Gabby and the other cats delight in play, craft, and dance, and discover new things every day!

    Gabby’s Dollhouse and Gymboree Play & Music are the purrfect match!  We’ve been fostering creativity and confidence in pre-schoolers for 45 years, incorporating imaginative play, music, and art into age appropriate classes.

    At Gymboree Play & Music we’re celebrating Season 2 of Gabby’s Dollhouse which launches in the UK on Netflix on 10th August.

    Many of our centres will be running special events, as well as offering Gabby’s Dollhouse themed birthday parties.  Furthermore we’ll be launching a massive prize draw across social media to win a huge themed prize!

    Watch this space for more information coming soon…

  • Back to Normal

    15. July 2021

    Now that restrictions are being lifted across the country from 19th July we will slowly move back to normal.

    We understand that some of you will still feel cautious.  We understand that others are sick of the restrictions and just want it to be like it was before.  However we pride ourselves on our centres being the safest places to play so will do our best to bring back the best of Gymboree Play & Music whilst still keeping you and our teams safe.  Please bear with us during these continued tricky times as we move back to normal.

    As a result, we’re removing any reference to Covid Policy and reverting back to our previous Play Policy, with a few minor tweaks.pic of girl on airlog

    • Adults wear socks, children barefoot
    • Stay within a hug’s reach of your child
    • It’s playtime! No calls or texts in class please.
    • Camera use with prior permission only.
    • Food and drinks are not allowed in class.
    • Temperature checks will stop.
    • No social distancing required in England, however in Scotland it’s reduced to 1m inside.
    • You no longer need to wear a face covering in England (they remain mandatory inside in Scotland), but of course you are welcome to if you want to.
    • We will still ask you and your little one to sanitise your hands at the beginning and end of your class.
    • We will take the register so we can continue to co-operate with NHS Test and Trace if we have a positive case.
    • We will continue with an increased cleaning regime, please make sure you put mouthed toys into the cleaning basket.
    • Some of the activities previously avoided will now be back – blowing bubbles, singing, etc.

    And most importantly of all, please continue to err on the side of caution and stay at home if your little one is unwell.  We offer a flexible make up policy so you won’t miss out on any classes.

    Our centres will be moving back to normal at their own pace, so please get in touch with your local centre if you have any questions or concerns.

    England Government guidance

    Scotland Government guidance

     

     

     

     

  • Please vote for us in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2021!

    12. July 2021
    pic of baby saying vote now!

    Voting is open for the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2021!

    What’s on 4 Kids Awards recognise and reward the most loved children’s activities in the UK, and have been doing so since 2006.  We’ve been nominated by you, our members, and that’s what makes these awards so special.

    It’s been such a difficult 12 months so it means a lot to be recognised by you, despite our centres being closed for so much of the year.  We launched Gymbo @ Home last March to offer you a version of our classes during Lockdown. This was a combination of short live-action and pre-recorded interactive videos delivered via closed Facebook Groups.  Do you remember Gymbo’s Big Tea Party, Gymbo on Holiday, Gymbo’s Sports Day, and our all-day extravaganza Gymbo Fest?!  We hope we managed to keep you just a little bit busy and entertained during those long sunny days!

    It was such a relief to be able to open again in autumn last year, and again in April.  We welcomed so many of you back to our centres, and so many new families who had missed out on the opportunity of learning and playing with other new parents and little ones.  Thank you for showing your support and filling our (smaller) classes when we opened.

    Amazingly, we’re nominated in 5 categories at the What’s On 4 Kids Awards:

    Please vote for us now!

    https://whatson4kids.co.uk/awards/vote

    Plus if that wasn’t enough excitement, if you’re a member of What’s On 4 Kids your vote will enter you into an amazing prize draw to win a family ticket to Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter!

  • 45 years of Gymboree Play & Music

    28. May 2021

    In a month where we’re celebrating 45 years, we feel it’s important now more than ever, to take a look back at just how far we’ve come.

    In the Beginning

    Long before Gymboree Play & Music was launched in 1976, Joan Barnes, in her early 20s, had taught modern dance to children in New York City before organising a children’s recreation programme for the Jewish Community Centre in California.

    She was serving as the recreation administrator at that centre when, in 1975, she came up with the notion of offering exercise classes for babies with their parents. The idea stemmed partly from her personal desire to share physical fitness playtime with her own daughter.

    Her baby exercise classes were such a hit that parents lined up to bring their babies and toddlers to attend the exercise sessions. Recognising the commercial potential of her idea, Barnes left her job with the Jewish Community Centre and opened her first commercial children’s workout centre in 1976.

    And thus Gymboree Play & Music was born.

    1980’s

    By 1984, 125 Gymboree franchises were operating in 20 US states. The franchises were typically operated by women, many of whom had training in occupational therapy or education. Classes were usually held in church halls and community buildings, and parents were charged only $4 to $8 per 45-minute session.

    Our early classes varied to accommodate children ranging from three months to four years in age. Typical sessions included the children hanging from bars to build up arm muscles, popping soap bubbles to develop eye-hand coordination, or walking on inflated logs to improve balance.

    By 1987, our chain had grown to include more than 350 centres throughout the United States and in several other countries. Aside from the rapid sales growth, it was all too evident that by the mid-to-late 80’s, Gymboree Play & Music had become an established and respected brand by parents around the world.

    1990’s

    Over the next 5 years, the Gymboree brand continued to build a global reputation by opening its first retail store in 1989.  We expanded our play centres into countries like Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Mexico before going public in 1993, pushing the brand further into the global spotlight. By the end of the 1990’s our Play & Music programs allowed master franchisees to open here in the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, and Ireland.

    2000’s

    Throughout the early to mid 2000’s the Gymboree Play & Music brand underwent several changes, but ultimately thrived as parents around the world found resonance with its innovative approach to early childhood development, education and music.

    While the retail component of the business fluctuated, the demand for play based education continued to increase, allowing Gymboree Play & Music to become its own company in 2016.

    Today

    Today, after 45 years of our commitment to families and learning, Gymboree Play & Music has more than 700 locations globally that have supported the growth of hundreds of thousands of children around the world.

    If you are interested in learning more about our classes, and our franchise opportunities, please get in touch, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

  • New Play & Learn Classes!

    13. May 2021

    Over the next few months all our centres will be moving to new Play & Learn class groupings with improved lesson plans, just perfect for your little ones!

    Gymboree Play & Music’s new play classes are uniquely and intentionally designed around your child’s early development, which happens organically and differently for every child.  Because of this, Gymboree Play & Music’s new class groupings are not designed by age, but rather by milestone to give our parents more flexibility and the opportunity to choose the class that is right for their child!

    Babies: 0-8 months

    Where they are: Just getting comfortable being out of the house and beginning to explore!

    What to expect in class:  You’ll learn a variety of ways to play with your newest little bundle of joy.  Newborns 0-8 months are exposed to sensory play, songs, and the beginnings of social play.  Meet like-minded parents while our expert teachers lead you through nurturing exercises and activities that stimulate your baby’s brain development.

     

    Crawlers: 6-14 months

    Where they are: Crawling, cruising, rolling, sitting, ready to explore anything and everything.

    What to expect in class: We boogie down with our babies, give them baby massages, sing them songs, and explore new physical challenges every week through teacher-lead activities on the equipment.  Play as a group and socialise with others! Sing songs, learn a routine, and PLAY!

     

    Walkers: 10-18 months

    Where they are: Your little one is walking! They might not be steady, but they’ve taken their first few steps!

    What to expect in class: We’ll explore new physical challenges every week through teacher-lead activities, with a focus on different ways to use each piece of our equipment. Crawl through tunnels, explore different textures, slide down slides (or climb up slides!), toddle over bridges, or take a ride in a swing!  We’ll also practice social skills and memory building through singalongs and group play.

     

    Runners: 16-26 months

    Where they are: They’re on the move! Your little one is communicating, running, and showing interest in friends!

    What to expect in class: It’s all about opposites!  Loud and quiet, fast and slow, up and down! Contrasting themes help your child learn better ways to communicate. Learn how to control body movements and how to use the body to navigate and problem solve. We’ll also practice repetition and routine with regular parachute and bubble activities.

     

    Explorers: 22-28 months

    Where they are: Your little one is communicating, sharing opinions and showing interest in their first friends!

    What to expect in class: We’ll use creativity and imagination in all activities. Throw a pretend party, imagine a wild trip to outer space, or pretend to be an ant in a bug’s world… we’ll transform our playscape into a whole new world!

     

    Explorers Plus: 28 months – 3 years

    Where they are: Jumping, climbing, crawling, and dancing!

    What to expect in class: Our play floor comes to life with a live construction site, dinosaur adventures, jungle fun, and even a trip to the fire station!  We’ll be improving balance and co-ordination skills along with building strong muscles and bones.

     

    Explorers Advanced: 3-5 years

    Where they are: They’re learning to play independently and as a team.

    What to expect in class: Lots of co-operative games and imaginary adventures designed to build self confidence and promote the important personal and social skills needed for a successful transition into school.

     

    Family Class: 6 months – 5 years

    Where they are: Crawling, walking, running, or exploring! Everyone is welcome! Participating in a diverse class of physical, social, and cognitive developmental skills creates a dynamic class, where younger children benefit from watching older children and older children benefit from being leaders. Great for siblings too!

    What to expect in class: More adventures come to life through imaginary play in this multi-age play class. A perfect opportunity for siblings to experience class together, or for children to practise more diverse social skills like leadership and peer modelling.

    Find out more about our other programmes including music, art, school readiness, and more.

     

  • National Weaning Weak

    7. May 2021
    Child eating in a highchair

    One minute you’re in the delivery room and the next, before you know it, your little terror is reaching for your dinner plate. When did that happen? Well, don’t panic! Our friends at Piccolo have put together a list of the best kit that you can get while weaning, which will help to make your journey as easy and enjoyable as possible.   They’re also offering you 45% off their Ultimate Starter Weaning Bundle if you’re quick!

    Making the switch to solid foods will be an adventure and probably a pretty messy one. You’ve now got a little food critic on your hands who when they love something, they’ll really love it, and when they don’t, they’re probably going to fling it across the room.

    Just know this — perseverance is key. When they’re finally enjoying your healthy home-cooked grub, it feels just like getting Greg’s approval on Masterchef, we promise. So, as you start prepping for weaning, here are the things that can help you to get set up.

    • Tupperware

    For those of you who haven’t fully discovered the joys of tupperware, these will take your organisation skills through the roof. These plastic containers are, without question, ware it’s at…hoho! Sorry about that.

    From snacks on-the-go, to leftover storage, to freezing your extra batches of delicious baby food. Tupperware are a great help all round.

    Just remember not to de-frost and freeze again.

    • Food Processor or hand blender

    If you’re planning on flexing your culinary skills in the kitchen and blending your own baby food,  you’re going to need a food processor. The good news is that they can be used for almost anything, from making sauces, soups, dips, smoothies, and even ice-creams – so you can whizz up your own lunch as well as your little one’s!

    As long as it purees it’s perfect.

    • Wipes or muslins                                            

    Muslins and wipes are a parent’s best friend. But, of course, you already know that ;)

    • High Chair                      

    Your baby is going to need to sit somewhere to eat and your knee isn’t always going to be free. Plus, if you are already weaning your baby, they should already be able to sit up all by themselves.

    High chairs make life a lot easier, allowing your baby to be safe and secure when they explore their food.

    An added bonus is that your little one can eat at the table with their family and start learning about food culture, or ignore everyone and just throw some food around.

    • Mess Mats and Table Mats

    There’s going to be mess, let’s not pretend there isn’t going to be. So, unless your favourite hobby is mopping up food debris (we know ours isn’t), then you may want to look into putting a messy mat or splash mat, or even just some newspaper, under their highchair.

    This’ll make the clean up after meal times a lot easier and pain-free.

    FYI, as a bonus, if you do get one of these mats, it’ll be invaluable for painting, water play, and any other messy baby activities. Easy to wipe down and no curious stains on the carpet. Win-win!

    • Bibs and Coveralls

    Now that you are weaning, the food no longer goes straight from bottle-to-mouth. This means it has the potential to go absolutely everywhere. Welcome to a whole new world of mess.

    You’ll probably need to step it up from the towelled bibs and muslins you’ve been using. Opt for an easy-wipe latex or silicone bib with a pouch at the front to catch those wayward mouthfuls.

    We also recommend sleeved bibs or coverall bibs because they have more surface area to catch any flying food and have a pouch to catch any crumbs.

    • Bowls, plates & spoons                        

    Metal forks and spoons could hurt your baby’s mouth. And your nice plates? They’re best saved for those dinner parties you’ll have… once you find the time.

    Plastic crockery is soft on your baby’s gums, won’t shatter into a million pieces when dropped and doesn’t retain heat, making it the perfect material for baby bowls, plates & spoons. Get them used to eating with durable ‘if it gets thrown across the room, it will not break’ cutlery and tableware. Bamboo or silicone are also perf materials for crockery used for that kind of activity.

    Piccolo have recently launched an exclusive weaning bundle that will get you started on this adventure and for this week only you can enjoy 45% OFF!

    Get your Piccolo Ultimate Starter Weaning Bundle here!

  • You call that a mess?

    10. March 2021
    Nimble and Gymboree Play & Music

    You call that a mess?

    We’re super excited to share that we have teamed up with Nimble, safe and effective plant-based cleaning products inspired by the messy moments parents face every day.

    Founded by a chemist and a dad, Nimble make a range of cleaning products to reduce stress around mess for every parent.  Their powerful and safe solutions use precise, gentle chemistry, no animal testing, and are 100% vegan.  Just the exact ingredients you need for an effective clean, and plant-based power you can count on.

    messy children

    We’re both all about creating safe environments for your little ones to play, learn and explore in and we know only too well that this often ends up in a whole lot of messiness.

    We have some exciting activities planned together but to start we wanted to celebrate the chaotic mess that only our little ones can make as they start to explore the world, express themselves, and build their confidence.  Whether that’s splashing in some puddles, or trying a new food or hands-on art activity, let’s make some mess this March!

    Share a snap of your little one at their messiest best for a chance to win plant-based cleaning bundles from Nimble (to clean up after the fun) or one month’s membership at your local Gymboree Play & Music.

    Just hop over to Instagram to get involved.  After all, it’s the messy moments that make a big life!

    #youcallthatamess

  • Fingers crossed for 12th April!

    3. March 2021
    light at the end of the tunnel image

    UPDATE – it’s go go go for Monday 12th April so get in touch with your local centre to book your little one in!

    So if everything goes to plan we should be re-opening our doors in England on 12th April – fingers crossed!  Hopefully our centres in Scotland should be able to open around the same time, but no specific dates have been published yet.

    It’s been such a roller coaster of a ride over the last year and we’ve missed seeing you and your little ones so much, but we hope you’ve kept safe and well at home.  Lots of our centres are still offering Gymbo @ Home so do get in touch with your local branch to find out more about our short, pre-recorded and live action videos delivered via Facebook.  We’ve also been running a series called Practise @ Home on our main Facebook and Instagram accounts showing you how you can practise key movement skills in the safety of your own home, so do look out for that!

    When we do re-open we’ll be sticking with our new play policies including face coverings, social distancing, smaller class sizes, and lots of cleaning, so we can continue to keep our staff and members safe.  We hope you’ll feel happy to come back to class when we do open.  But if last time is anything to go by demand will be high and our classes will fill up quickly, so if you’re an existing member do get in touch with your local centre very soon to reserve your place in class.  And if you’re yet to come to a Gymboree Play & Music class and want to know what all the fuss is about enquire now and get booked in for a trial class!

    Fingers crossed 🤞

    not long to go graphic
  • Benefits of the Tubee

    29. January 2021
    benefits picture

    Introducing Gymboree Play & Music’s famous Tubee!

    This firm air-filled ring is used in our classes for tummy time, sitting in, jumping in and out, crawling through, and peek-a-boo!

    The Benefits

    • Sense of space
      • Developing a sense of space is a vital component for any baby or toddler so they can confidently move through their many milestones. Our Tubee is an excellent piece of equipment for this from birth to age five. It can be used in the early stages for sitting inside and feeling the space around them, we can then turn it on its side to create a tunnel, or for older ones use it to jump inside from a distance. Learning the size of the space will enable little ones to explore freely and succeed at completing different tasks!Tubee
    • Body control
      • Body control is vital for all stages of life and to start from birth with developing this skill really will give your baby the best start in life. We help little ones develop their body control with tummy time, by placing baby on the edge and encouraging them to hold up their head. You can also place a toy inside it and encourage them to reach and grab. For our older ones they may lift the Tubee above their head or dive through the centre of it, both of these activities require the body control learnt at a younger age.
    • Object permanence
      • Object permanence is the understanding that objects can continue to exist even when they are out if sight. A great example of this would be to show your little one a ball then place it inside the Tubee. The height of it will make it seem as if the ball has disappeared. The game can continue as your little ones begin to explore inside of the Tubee for what they can no longer see.
    • Imagination
      • As your little one continues to grow throughout their Gymboree Play & Music journey we will start to work on building their imagination play.  The best bit of this is you get to play too, after all parents are always their favourite playmate! Our Tubee may be a watering hole in the jungle, a giant cup of tea to dunk our biscuits in, or even a bath tub! The possibilities are endless.
    • Confidence
      • Confidence is one of the biggest and most important lessons we aim to teach at Gymboree Play & Music as it’s the foundation for your little one to always try new things. With a Tubee we can do this by sitting baby on the edge and bouncing them up high letting them feel the motion and be confident their grown-up has them safe. A toddler may throw a bean bag from a distance miss a few times but when they achieve it their confidence will grow.Drawing of the Tubee
    • Sense of touch
      • Touch is such a vital part of little ones’ development. Little ones can touch the Tubee and feel the smooth vinyl cover, and how firm it is because it’s air-filled. We can use it to hold lots of different tactile objects and young babies placed around the edge can reach in and explore. With older ones we can ask them to distinguish the difference eg. fill it with hard playballs or spiky playballs, asking them to use their sense of touch to spot the difference.
    • Depth perception
      • Depth perception is an important skill to learn in order to keep themselves safe, for example when identifying edges and drops. This will start by baby sitting inside the Tubee crawling through then eventually jumping in and knowing the depth is safe for them to do so.
    • Upper body strength
      • This skill is vital for little ones to develop so they can at first crawl, pull themselves up, and roll over. Then to cruising around the edges of equipment before mastering tough tasks such as climbing to big heights or the monkey bars.  Little ones can use the edge of the Tubee to lift up their heads and for tummy time, then pushing off of it to stand. Older ones can work with a friend to roll it across the playfloor, build high in a tower, or even lift it above their heads!

    That’s the end of this series, the Benefits of our Equipment, we hope you’ve found it useful and interesting. We’d love to hear about your little ones’ favourites in the comments below.  If you’re not already a member and have felt inspired to come along, get in touch with your local centre to find out more!

    Back to the Short Slide.

  • Benefits of our Short Slide

    28. January 2021
    benefits picture

    Introducing Gymboree Play & Music’s Short Slide!

    This short, smooth, wooden ramp is used in our classes for climbing, balancing on, cruising around, and obvious sliding down.

    The Benefits

    • Sense of balance
      • Balance is a staple part of your child’s development, it refers to the ability to keep a controlled position or posture when completing a task. This could be sitting, walking, and of course climbing. Our short slide allows babies from newborn up to pre-schoolers to practice these skills by sitting on it, climbing on or even across it as it as it also doubles up as a bridge. short slide as a bridge
    • Body control
      • Our short slide is excellent for working on body control for your little ones. In our sensory class we will lie little one on a soft blanket and gently pull them down whilst supporting their torso. As they get older they’ll sit with support, then ultimately they’ll slide independently. We will also explore tummy time and climbing up it to improve body control. Using a piece of equipment such as our short slide is so important in early life as it supports baby gaining the strength to hold their head up. It’s the foundation on which the development of all your baby’s other movement is based.
    • Hand-feet co-ordination
      • Really young non-mobile babies can work on their hand and feet co-ordination when we place them on top of the slide and hold a favourite toy just out of reach and encourage them to move gently towards it. When they start crawling they can move up the slide or use it as a bridge.  When they get to their feet they can also cruise around the edge or our short slide.  With older ones we can also encourage stomping and clapping at the same time as they slide or climb. Having good hand and feet co ordination is vital for your little one to reach all their milestones and our short slide is an excellent starting point.
    • Gross motor development
      • To develop gross motor skills your little one needs to engage in activates that involve movements of the large muscles of the arms, legs and their torso. Our short slide is excellent for this for little ones of all ages, and we can always increase the challenge by adding a mat for speed or adjusting the height higher or lower.
    • Bilateral co-ordinationDrawing of our Short Slide
      • Bilateral co-ordination refers to the ability to co-ordinate both sides of the body at the same time, for example crawling and walking. Most little ones begin to master the art of walking from roughly a year onwards but in fact we encourage crawling for all ages on our short slide regardless if they are walking or not as crawling helps to develop the foundations necessary for future activities such as reading, writing, and physical activities.
    • Sense of touch
      • Touch is one of your baby’s key senses, especially in the early weeks of their lives.  We use the short slide as a platform for sensory stations, adding on various textures and sensory objects so little ones can really start to explore with them. As your little one grows throughout the programme we may add in questioning such as ‘can you pick out the spiky ball?’ or ‘where’s the soft duck?’ so they start to distinguish the difference between objects.

    Back to our Rainbow Barrel.  Next up it’s our Tubee!