St Albans

St Albans

“YOUNG WOMAN IN FRANCHISING OF THE YEAR”  2018

“BEST KID’S CLUB, GROUP OR CLASS”  2017

“BEST TOY” 2016, 2015

 “BEST NATIONAL PRE-SCHOOLER DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY” 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009.

Celebrating 40 years of Gymboree Play & Music

…40 year’s young and we’ve only just begun…

Here at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans, we run award-winning and fun-filled classes for babies and children from 0-5 years, and are based in a gorgeous brand new site in the centre of St Albans. There is something for every child here at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans! We have a full timetable of Classes and Open Gyms (free-play), with varied options so that you and your little one can make us part of your busy schedule.

Gymboree is a fantastic way to have great fun with your child and encourage learning and development through play. Based around our custom designed equipment, our sessions use music, song, dance and imaginative play to create a wonderful learning experience for all your little ones. You’ll also find that we are more than just a toddler group! Our baby play and toddler classes are structured and you’ll find each activity to be specifically tailored to a developmental goal. All classes are led by highly-trained and enthusiastic teachers.

We offer a FREE TRIAL for any of our classes, call or email us NOW!

stalbans@gymboreeclasses.co.uk  01727 831551

For regular updates and news of events happening at Gymboree in St Albans you can follow us on social media

 Gymboree St Albans Facebook Page

Gymboree St Albans Twitter Page

Gymboree St Albans Instagram Page

CREATIVITY, CONFIDENCE, FRIENDSHIP…IT ALL STARTS AT GYMBOREE

Gymboree Play & Music St Albans Timetable 2019

To book a FREE TRIAL, please call us on 01727 831 551 or at stalbans@gymboreeclasses.co.uk

STEPH

Franchisee

Gymboree St Albans staff member

Steph always knew she wanted to work with children so became a qualified Montessori Teacher specialising in child development from birth – seven years. She also has a BA in Theatre Direction.

Steph started working at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans part-time in 2012 when it opened and can’t believe how far she has come in just a short few years! In 2013 Steph was voted Semi-Finalist for “What’s on 4 little ones” prestigious award ‘Most Outstanding Activity Leader for the under 5’s (South)’. Steph took over the Franchise in December 2016 and In 2018 Steph made it to the final three of EWIF (encouraging women into franchising) for “Young woman in franchising of the year“.

Steph is also a certified Infant Massage instructor under the IAIM (International association of infant massage) and offers 5-week courses on-site or in your home/hired venue.

If you would like to contact Steph directly please email her on stephanie@gymboreeclasses.co.uk

INDIA

Play & Music Teacher/ Administrator

India studied and trained at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and is pursuing a singing career. India frequently performs original material across London.

India knew she loved working with children, applying her favourite joys in the world, singing, acting and dancing into her everyday life – Gymboree Play & Music St Albans was the perfect place!

 

 

RACHEL

Play & Music Teacher/ Administrator

Rachel is a classically trained musicial (having learnt flute from a young age and later on piano). She went on to study Musical Theatre at Edge Hill University, later realising she could combine her love of music with working with children and adults to help them discover the joys of music too.

From the age of 14 Rachel volunteered with local Rainbow and Brownie units so she could experience what it was like to run sessions for children, and is working on expanding her knowledge to include even younger years too.

 

VACANCIES:

Part Time: Play & Music Teacher/ Party Leader
We are looking for someone who is a team player, has great customer service skills and loves children (and their parents)!
The successful applicant will be organised, energetic and happy to sing in front of others!
Please note you will be required to work on a Saturday.
If this sounds like something of interest then  please email Steph with a CV and cover letter highlighting why you would suit this role.

SENSORY BABY PLAY (Newborn – 6 months)

Classes are offered to pre-mobile babies and are suitable from newborn to 6 months.  Each session is theme based and is full of exciting sensory exploration using a variety of props, musical instruments, fibre optic light shows, puppet dances, bubbles, parachute play, baby signing and more.Using Gymboree Play & Music’s specially designed apparatus, physical activities are incorporated to help develop balance, co-ordination, and neck and upper body strength.

Come bond with your baby today!

Check out this great blog on our Sensory Baby Play classes by Mama says… Gymboree “Our Favourite class”

Check out our latest blog on Why Sensory classes aren’t just for new-borns

We also offer IAIM Infant Massage courses on-site. Click on the tab for more information.

 PLAY & LEARN (6 months – 5 years)

Our Gymboree Play & Learn classes are developmentally appropriate classes featuring lots of fun activities, fantastic equipment, songs, bubbles, parachute play and much more.These classes are 45 minutes in length and will help your child build strength, balance, co-ordination, social and early language skills.

Check out our latest blog on Play A Serious learning technique or just for fun?

Check out our latest blog on play-based activities: They’re called Schemas

Classes are split into various levels to help with your little ones developmental needs.

Play & Learn, Level 2: 6 – 10 months

Acting with purpose and attention

Play & Learn, Level 3: 10 – 16 months

Becoming skilled in back and forth communication

Play & Learn, Level 4 – 16 – 22 months

Figuring out how the world works

Play & Learn, Level 5 22 – 28 months

Imaginary play: Using words and symbols to express ideas

Play & Learn, Level 6 28 – 36 months

Imaginary play: Connecting ideas using concepts and vocabulary

SING & LEARN (6 months – 5 years)

Enhance your child’s development and love of music through song, dance, movement games and instruments. Our Music classes are high energy and full of life, allowing children to express themselves freely and to move about when the mood strikes! A new musical style is explored every two weeks – from African to Classical, Jazz and Disco, R&B to Asia – introducing children to a variety of new sounds and rhythms from all over the world, from past to present!

Check out our latest blog on musical behaviour in young children: Receptive Vs Expressive learning

Classes are split into various levels to help with your little ones developmental needs.

Music I: 6 – 16 months

An early foundation of skills working towards expressive play

Music II: 16 – 28 months

Hands on exploration of musical instruments with song and dance

Family Music: 6 months – 5 years

Help build a solid foundation of music for all the family

CREATE & LEARN (18 months – 5 years)

Inspire your child’s imagination and self-expression with a world of hands-on art activities. Through painting, printing, sculpture, drawing, collage, dramatic play and more, our art classes encourage confidence and support artistic potential.  Take home two art masterpieces each week!

Read our blog on surviving an art class with your little one:How to do Art in the early years

FAMILIES (6 months – 5 years)

Bring all your children to the same class and enjoy fun, physical and cognitive learning activities created for groups of siblings and friends. With classes devoted to supporting multi-aged learning, children 0-5 years are encouraged to socially interact and learn from each other. Activities provide fun new challenges for every developmental stage!

Check out our latest blog on Attachment styles and the Adult’s role

We offer family classes in:

Play & Learn

Sing & Learn

Create & Learn

Turn your child’s special day into an unforgettable birthday celebration… Come and join the fun at Gymboree St Albans!

Voted UK’s “Best Children’s Party Entertainment” in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009.

Our dedicated teachers will create a unique and fun-filled party for you and your guests. Your magical party will include music and dancing, stories and adventures, bubbles and singing, and parents and children will have a fantastic time playing together at our beautiful site.

Let us help you have a stress-free and wonderful day to remember. You bring the food (finger food & drinks) while we provide everything from invitations, to paper plates, cups and napkins, to balloons and party bags.

We also run parties On-The-Go meaning we can come to your house or hired venue and provide 45-minute age appropriate, themed Art, Music or  Play & Learn for all to enjoy!

 Parties ON-SITE are held on Saturdays and Sundays

Gymboree Play & Music St Albans Party Brochure

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IAIM INFANT MASSAGE (newborn – 1 year)

iaim_logo

We are passionate about the importance of touch and bonding with your baby and massage is a great way to introduce this to you both! Research shows that the first 1000 days of a child’s life are highly influential on their life-long mental health, and we want to help you along that crucial journey. Our Baby Massage course consists of 5 sessions each lasting 1 hour in our beautiful studio.

We invite babies (under 1 year) and their parents along to learn all about the importance of touch and hope you will use this course as an opportunity to bond with your baby whilst learning and practicing the different massage strokes with our fully qualified IAIM instructor Steph.

IAIM Massage Brochure Gymboree Play & Music St Albans

Check out our latest blog Baby massage from a mum’s perspective

NEW COURSE DATES: 

Monday 28th January – Monday 25th February 2019

12:30pm-1:30pm

£35 (Oil, handbook and refreshments included)

 

 

NEWS & EVENTS

FEBRUARY VALENTINES PARTY

Join us on Saturday 16th February from 12:30pm – 2pm to celebrate all things LOVE with your family.

Non-members welcome, snacks provided.

Buy tickets here:Sweetheart Party Tickets

Gymboree Play & Music St Albans News!

40 Years Young & Still Having Fun!

 

  • Why Sensory classes aren’t just for your newborn!

    5. January 2019

    baby massage Written by Stephanie Gross, Director Gymboree Play & Music St Albans.

    Bubbles, colours, lights…It’s all so beautiful for our new-born’s, but what about for us?

    Although a daunting prospect, attending that 45-minute class each week can help you make friends, keep you sane and help you learn how to play with your baby.

    I remember reading Emma Barnett’s article on the BBC news app Why maternity leave can be harder and lonelier than you imagine and felt so sad for her. she said and I quote “It’s just surviving really”. Shortly after the article broke a national survey suggested that 47% of women with a new born felt lonely and 40% of women were affected by post-natal depression.

    In early 2018 researchers announced that Singing “Speeds up” recovery from post-natal depression Finally – the research we have all been waiting for!

    Here at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans our Sensory Baby Play classes are all about being calm, attentive and interested in the world around them – We help you bond with your little one through singing, signing, kisses, cuddles, parachute play and physical apparatus too – the skies the limit in our classes!

    Take the first step by booking yourself into a free trial today.

  • January Sale – 50% off!

    January Sale – 50% off!2. January 2019

    If you’ve been wondering whether to sign up to any of our classes, now’s the time, it’s our January sale!

    To celebrate the new year we have a very special offer starting on Monday 7th January 2019; we’re giving new members a huge 50% discount off their first month’s membership*.

    Gymboree Play & Music are the world leaders in early childhood development and we would love to show you why!  With classes for babies and children from newborn to age 5 we have something for everyone.

    • Sensory Baby Play- 0 – 6 months
    • Play & Learn – 6 months – 5 years
    • Gymboree Music – 6 months – 5 years
    • Gymboree Art -18 months – 5 years
    • Baby Massage courses -0 – 12 months
    • Makaton Signing for Babies courses -3 – 12 months

    (Not all branches offer all classes and courses)

    If you’ve already been for a free trial get in touch with your local Gymboree Play & Music and sign up now!

    If you haven’t, just fill in the free trial enquiry form here and we’ll get back to you asap to book you in for a free trial.

    Offer ends at close of business on Friday 11th January so get in touch soon!

    50% off first month

    50% off first month

     

     

     

    *T&Cs apply. Sale opens 7th – 11th January 2019. Participating sites only, valid for new customers only, subject to availability, not valid in conjunction with any other offer, minimum spend may apply.

  • Top Tips to surviving a birthday party

    17. December 2018

    Written by Stephanie Gross, Director, Gymboree Play & Music St Albans

    Gymboree Play & Music St Albans TOP TIPS to surviving a birthday party!

    Gymbo party

    Whether it’s your little one’s first, third or fifth birthday party, we know it can be stressful so here are our top tips to success!

    1, Book the date in advance. Here at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans we offer both On-Site and On-the-Go parties for flexibility. We also have every party type covered from Music, Play & Learn even Art – we know how to party!

    2, Don’t sweat the invitations! We provide these here at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans. Want to save on paper and time? Why not email guests with a custom e-invite with our best friend Gymbo the clown taking centre stage (other designs available).

    3, Party bags – Do we, or don’t we? If cake, balloons and stickers aren’t not enough then we offer party bags as part of our deluxe package! However, if you love a little before bed-time project then local discounted stores and amazon are great for bulk buys – get on Pinterest and enjoy yourself!

    4, WHAT? A THEME?… We cater each party with your little ones in mind! Do they love Peppa Pig? We can incorporate this into farmyard fun. Princesses and Superheroes in equal measure? We can do both! What about a baby rave or mister makers workshop… The skies the limit!

    5, What’s that sound? With playlists full of songs and ooodles of bubbles galore, we’re prepared for party fun! Have any requests, we’ll add them in for you!

    6, “’I’m hungry, I’m thirsty” …Grab a cake (and party food if you want) and we’ll set these up for you on arrival. We have the soft drinks covered but you could bring something a little stronger for those who need it! Did we mention there’s NO clean up…Now we have your attention!

    7, Remember to enjoy yourself! With a party at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans, we take care of everything and help your little one and YOU have a memorable day! With Gymboree Play & Music parties in over 700 locations in over 40 countries, why settle for less?

    Want to know more about our bespoke parties or to check availability?

    Email stalbans@gymboreeclasses.co.uk

    call us on 01727 831551

    Drop us message through our booking form at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans Birthday Parties

    Gymboree Play & Music St Albans Party Brochure

  • They’re called Schemas…

    11. December 2018

    Written by Stephanie Gross, Director, Gymboree Play & Music St Albans

    Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive development states that there are four stages in which your little one will go through.

    Sensorimotor (Birth – two years)

    Preoperational (2-4 years)

    Concrete (7-11 years)

    Formal (11-15 years)

    Focusing on the first two stages we note sub-stages called schemas. Schemas are repetitive movements that our little ones will practice and can often be described as children’s “fascinations”. There are many different types and sometimes the activities may seem a little strange or even irritating to adults, but to the child, it’s a necessary step in their understanding of the world and themselves.

    Remember, each child is different, and some may display more than one schema while others show none at all.

    Here is a little breakdown of each schema to help you identify your little ones needs:

    Orientation

    Fun at Gymboree Classes
    The urge to hang upside down. In order to ‘know’ what it is like to hang upside down or see things from a different point of view you must take yourself into those positions.  Although you and I might not hang upside down very often these days, we still ‘know’ what it feels like to hang upside down – because we have the experience – we learned what it was to hang upside down when we too had our Orientation urge kick in.

    Positioning
    Do you find yourself Positioning things neatly into alignment on your desk, ordering the books on the self, getting creative when you plate the dinner or even just tidying-up. Perhaps you see your child lining up their cars, making sure the whale is next to the cow, or turning all the cups upside down?
    The Positioning is a schema that is kept alive in us all.

    Connection
    Joining train tracks, clicking together pieces of Lego, running a string from one thing to another… the urge of Connection.
    This can mean connecting and disconnecting too, building followed by destruction, and that can mean other people’s buildings and sandcastles get destructed when the urge gets hold.

    Trajectory

    playing with scarves
    The urge to throw and drop. Some other Trajectory actions are things like climbing up and jumping off (Trajectory of one’s own body), putting your hand under running water (interacting with things that are already moving) and the classic, throwing and dropping (making it happen). It can be diagonal, vertical or horizontal… this is a multi-dimensional urge!

    Enclosure/Container
    The urge to fill up cups with water, climb into cardboard boxes or kitchen draws, build fences for the animals or to put all the animals inside the circular train track, it is the Enclosure/Container schema.

    Transporting can be the urge to carry many things on your hands at one time, in jars, in buckets and baskets, or even better containers with wheels.

    Enveloping


    To have a sheet over your head, wrapping things in fabrics or with tape and paper are all actions seen in the Enveloping schema. An extension of this is peek-a-boo, now you see it now you don’t, a concept that just keeps on amusing.

    Rotation
    Anything that goes around anything that is circular – wheels, turning lids, watching the washing machine on spin cycle, drawing circles, spinning around on the spot, being swung around. These are all experiences of the Rotation schema.

    Transformation
    The urge to Transform can come in many forms; holding all your food in your mouth for a long time to see what it turns into, mixing your juice with your fish pie, water with dirt, or helping Granny with mixing the bread dough.
    It’s only natural that once you have explored and learnt about a raw material you should want to do further testing… there is a scientist and a chef in everyone.

    Here at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans we see a lot of these schema’s in each class we offer. Come join in the fun today!

  • Get Bedtime Ready at the Groromper Roadshow

    4. October 2018

    Parents listen up! We’ve teamed up with the UK’s most trusted sleep brand The Gro Company, to bring you the Groromper Roadshow!  Come along to one of our events to wind down for bedtime at a FREE fun activity session for toddlers aged 12-36 months at a Gymboree Play & Music near you!

    Dates of Groromper Roadshow at Gymboree Play & Musics across the UK

    Contact your local site to book your place now!

    Surbiton Mon 15th Oct 4pm

    St Albans Tues 16th Oct 4.30pm

    Warwick Tues 30th Oct 4pm

    Tunbridge Wells Thurs 8th Nov 4pm

    Edinburgh Wed 21st Nov 4pm

     

    It will give parents an exclusive opportunity to meet with the experts at Gro, get some handy bedtime tips and take part in a fun filled activity session to get little one’s ready to hit the hay! Everyone taking part will also get their hands on a Gro and Gymbo goody bag so don’t miss out! The exciting events, which promise to help little ones use up all their excess energy from the day and make bedtime easier, is in each location for one day only!  Families with children aged 12-36 months are invited to sign up to the free event, but don’t waste any time as spaces are limited. Contact the relevant Gymboree Play & Music to book your place now!

  • Why Infant Massage isn’t just for mothers…

    17. August 2018

    By Stephanie Gross, Director of Gymboree Play & Music St Albans.

    Increasingly, today’s fathers want to be emotionally bonded with their babies. However, men often feel dissatisfied with their ability to form this meaningful relationship. Fathers often worry they may be disadvantaged in developing this special relationship because women appear to have more opportunities and to be better equipped through various anatomical, physiological, and psychological adaptations; However, although men generally lack these predisposing parental mechanisms, they are equally capable of potentially developing a successful parental relationship. Fathers need to know that although their relationship with the child develops through different means, it can be equally as valid as the mother’s relationship. One proposed suggestion for helping fathers develop a relationship with their very young child is using the power of touch to help foster infant–father relationships.

    Touch is our most primal sense and is associated with the largest organ in the human body—our skin. Of all the senses to develop, touch is the first and begins before the baby is born. In the first few months of life, touch is used more often than hearing, sight, or smell as a way to learn about the physical world and to develop close, meaningful relationships. Touch is a powerful communicator because it often mirrors our own feelings toward another individual. Ultimately, infants are able to sense how their parents feel about them by the manner in which they are touched.

    In situations where infants are separated from their parents, such as war or famine, the detrimental effects of touch deprivation are evident. Blackwell (2000) states that “at the beginning of the 20th century, in war-torn Germany, infant mortality in residential care was as high as 71.5%. The reported cause of death was termed hospitalism, which is described as a lack of stimulation by an adult caregiver rather than death by poor nutrition or insufficient medical care”. A more modern example where touch deprivation occurs is in the neonatal intensive care unit. Infant massage has been employed in both of these kinds of environments and has successfully mediated the potentially negative consequences (Field, 2001).

    Scholz and Samuels (1992) suggest that providing caregiving education, such as infant massage, for new fathers can greatly impact the quality of the infant–father relationship. In their study, participating fathers appeared to “thrive on the emotional and motivational or attitudinal benefits of the increased opportunity to touch their infants”. Similarly, Cullen, Field, Escalona, and Hartshorn (2000) found fathers who massaged their infants were more “expressive, warm, and accepting in their interactions with their infants”. Considering the potential benefits of infant massage for fathers, measuring perceived paternal stress is an area of research that appears to be under investigated.

    The transition to parenthood is a developmental milestone that many men and women undertake in their lifespan. Although this transition is considered normal, it is also regarded as stressful. This transition may be even more stressful for fathers as they often do not have the same support and confidence in their abilities to parent. Because fathers experience a greater desire and social shift in their involvement in infant care, they may experience even greater stress in the transition to parenthood.

    Teaching infant massage to fathers appears to improve their feelings of efficacy toward being a parent. “Learning to love is a matter of neurobiology. And it begins with meeting babies’ basic needs” Porter, 2009.

    Stephanie holds IAIM infant massage sessions on-site; her next course starts on Saturday 1st September please contact for more information:

    stalbans@gymboreeclasses.co.uk    01727 831551

    To find out more about IAIM please follow this link : http://www.iaim.org.uk/ 

    To find out more about Gymboree Play & Music please follow this link : www.gymboreeclasses.co.uk 

  • Local partnership with photographer Bailie & Belle

    20. June 2018

    BAILIE & BELLE PARTNERSHIP WITH GYMBOREE PLAY & MUSIC ST ALBANS 

    We have been very lucky to team up with the wonderful Carli at Bailie & Belle to bring you and your little one a birthday celebration like no other!

    Book your little one a party with us at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans (On-Site or On-The-GO) and receive a discount on a cake smash photo shoot!

    Carli states ” I am very fond my of birthday parties in the studio. We have cake, we get messy, we wear our best clothes and then I have a very special miniature roll top bath that your little darling can sit in, we add lots of bubbles and even blow them around and take some absolutely gorgeous images to mark this very special occasion. It is super cute and children love it!”

    Whats included?

    A mini portrait session, a cake smash (cakes can either be provided or sourced by Carli at an additional cost), and finally a splash session!

    Once your party is booked with Gymboree Play & Music St Albans contact Carli to arrange your photo shoot!

    Whats my discount?

    1, Book now and receive £100 off (current price £349) and 10 digital files for being a VIP (5 digital files for regular customers).

    2, Book now and save £250 with all of the above PLUS a canvas print of your favourite image (canvas costs usually £75)

    For more information about Carli’s cake smash’s please follow this link: Bailie & Belle Photography

     

  • Steph at St Albans makes it to the finals – EWIF 2018

    12. April 2018

    We are so happy to tell you that our St Albans franchisee Steph has made it to the finals of this years Encouraging Women Into Franchising (EWIF) Awards 2018! Steph is up for “young woman in franchising of the year 2018” with two other ladies, Fingers crossed Steph becomes the 2018 winner 

    To celebrate this huge achievement Gymboree Play & Music St Albans is offering 20% off our award winning bubble ooodles all of next week (16th-21st April) and 20% off birthday parties when booked between 16th April and 15th May (£50 deposit required, party can be booked for anytime in 2018).

    To find out more about the awards and the other finalists please follow this link: EWIF Website

  • TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS TO SURVIVE THE CLOCKS CHANGING

    28. February 2018

     sleep time babyKate Cohen is a Certified Children’s Sleep Consultant and a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants. She works with families around Hertfordshire and beyond to advise and help tackle all things sleep.

    Did you know the clocks are changing on 25th March? I obviously keep an eye on it, but I’m always surprised at how quickly it comes around! In many ways changing to British Summer Time is great, brighter mornings, lighter evenings, but for those of us with children it can be a bit of a scary thought! Are they going to wake up even earlier? How am I ever going to get them to go to be at a decent time!

    So to help you out here are my top 5 tips to survive the clocks changing! As with most things I talk about I try to keep it nice and simple and fairly easy to implement:

    • Don’t act to quickly!: Delay changing the clocks in your house until the morning of the clock change, that way you can start the day as per normal and enjoy that satisfaction of knowing that you all slept in a bit later (even though you didn’t!)
    • Get them nice and tired: On the day of the time change get your child out and about to wear them about a bit more than usual, get yourself to a Gymboree session, head to the park or go for a walk to get some fresh air.
    • Push bedtime back: From the 25th put your child to bed 30 mins later than normal so 7:30pm rather than 7pm. Continue this for the next 3 days and then on the 4th night switch back to 7pm as they should by then have switch to the new time.
    • Don’t forget the naps: If your child is napping do the same, just put each nap 30 mins later than normal for 3 days and then revert back.
    • Check your child’s windows!: Remember that it’s now going to be lighter in the morning so have a look at the window coverings in the room and if there is any light getting in consider putting up a black out blind, to avoid early rising creeping in!

    I often find that parents often dread this time of year, but if you follow this plan, your child’s sleep and yours shouldn’t be interrupted too much. Remember that any upsets should be temporary and he change in the clocks should take no longer than a week to settle down, leaving you time to enjoy the lighter mornings and evenings in no time!

    And the good news is that because we are springing forward, this shift in time should be easier for your little ones to adjust to and if you have a really early riser it may actually even help to fix that issue!

    So there you have it, if you follow these tips you should eliminate that dread creeping in and transfer into British Summer Time easily.

    If you have any sleep issues big or small then I’m here to help, I run workshops to help educate mums or mums to be on all things sleep and how to get into great habits whatever the age! (My next workshop is being held at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans on the 10th March – you can find out details here www.sleeptimebaby.co.uk/sleep-workshops/)

    I also work with families 1 on 1 to offer bespoke support on sleep issues with children aged between 0 – 6 yrs old. If you would like to know more about the work I do or to book a free 15 min call to discuss anything sleep related then have a look here www.sleeptimebaby.co.uk

  • Baby steps back into exercise

    19. December 2017

    Baby steps back into exercise.

    There are so many photos of celebrity mums on social media who have their tight toned tummies 5 minutes after giving birth, and that’s awesome, but that wasn’t me and even if we do look amazing, there could still be a lot going on inside.

    Take the time to gradually and safely get back into exercise with our 6 top tips!

    Your 6 week check.

    Normally this is the first thing we as post-natal trainers ask – ‘have you had your 6 week check?’ Quickly followed by ‘What did they do/say?’ and it’s not uncommon for us to find out that they missed a lot. Only about 60% of my fitbuggies women has their split diastasis (abdominal separation) checked at their 6 week check. You need to know, what is your separation at? How many fingers? Is that all the way down or is it different for the top/bottom abdominals? Is it really deep? If you had stitches, did they check them? Are they healing ok? Do you have any residual epidural pain? (I did for quite a while). If your midwife/health visitor does not check any of this, you CAN ask them too. They are there to look after you as well as your baby. Also this will help us to ensure that the exercises you are doing are suitable for you.

    Not so fast!

    No pre and post-natal trainer will recommend running 10k’s and going to HIIT classes straight after giving birth. You gotta take it easy! Your body has been through a lot and there should be no pressure to lose your baby weight quickly. Start by walking with your baby in your pram for 20 minutes a day and build it up slowly. This will be a great foundation for when you move onto a planned workout.

    When you do progress your workouts remember that your body is still healing and recovering from pregnancy. I’m all for a getting hot and sweat in a workout and walking away from the gym all pumped, but make sure you do this safely. If you attend yoga and pilates classes, remember that you may still have the hormone ‘relaxin’ in your body which can cause the muscles to lengthen longer than usual and can lead to injuries, so stay in your normal range of motion. If you attend step, HIIT or an aerobic classes, make sure you take the lower impact options so that you don’t put any extra pressure on your pelvic floor until you are ready. Trust me on this…..which leads to my next tip of……

    Don’t pee yourself!!

    I didn’t do any pelvic floor exercises after my oldest was born and boy did I regret it. You can begin these straight away and they need no fancy fitness equipment. A great tip to ensure you practise them often is to set a reminder on your phone or even practice them randomly whilst watching X Factor.

    If you are struggling with incontinence, speak to a womens health physio on how to ensure you are performing the exercises correctly.

    Core blimey!

    Abdominal separation (split-diastasis) is very common post-pregnancy as your abdominals separate during pregnancy to allow your baby to grow. As a general rule, you should avoid any exercise that works your abdominals like planks, sit ups and crunches. As well as core exercises, you should avoid any exercise that makes your stomach ‘dome’ (creates a rise down the middle line of the stomach). There are lots of modifications that can be made to every exercise so take it down a notch until you can perform the exercise safely.

    Find a local post-natal class.

    There are so many benefits of joining a post-natal fitness class. Not only can you workout under the guidance of a post-natal fitness expert, you can also meet and socialise with other like-minded mums. As well as being a cheaper alternative to one-to-one personal training sessions, you can also save on childcare costs by bringing your baby with you.

    Speak to someone.

    I always say that it takes 9 months to create a baby, so it can take 9 months to recover, but if you are concerned that your post-natal recovery is not progressing as you would hope, speak to someone. We are not offered extra post-natal services as standard on the NHS so if you feel something is not right or is uncomfortable, speak to your medical professional and push for more. Post-natal trainers are qualified in training post-natal women however it is not uncommon us refer an individual to a medical professional such as a doctor or women’s health physic.

    Beginning in 2013, Bump2Baby Fitness has grown from strength to strength instructing thousands of women on their pre and post-natal exercise journeys. In 2017 we launched our first activewear collection, taking inspiration from the most popular trends and fit-mums across the globe.

    Check out the website for FREE pre and post-natal exercise guides, tips and advice.

    www.bump2babyfitness.co.uk

    0330 55 55 828

 

 

 

 

 

Here are just a few of the wonderful things people say about Gymboree St Albans!

“One of the best classes in Hertfordshire! Would highly recommend to anyone wanting to develop their child in a fun, safe and clean environment. The teachers are great, make every session entertaining and interactive for the children. Also great for new mums to socialise with other parents in the area.”.

“My son has enjoyed his 3 years at Gymboree and it has been lovely to see him develop into an active child with a vivid imagination. He shares what he has been doing at Gymboree with his Dad at home and often role plays based upon the activities in the classes. Now he is ready to move on as he begins school in September”.

“My 8 month old son loves his sessions at Gymboree St. Albans and we regularly go to the free play sessions, great to burn off some energy with a change of scenery. Rachel and Steph are really friendly and accommodating.”.

“We held our daughter’s birthday party there and it was an absolute pleasure. The staff were amazing, great fun, and the children really enjoyed themselves. Our daughter was made to feel very special and she loved every minute especially because she was a member of Gymboree St Albans since she was a baby. Steph and her team of Kelsey and Niamh are fantastic!”

“The classes are really well led and I can see my child developing through them. I would want to give particular mention to the energy and enthusiasm provided by Steph and Holly who led most of the classes we attend. They have been excellent and my daughter responds to them both as they are so engaging”. 

Review us here

 

All your questions answered here!

What is ‘Play and Learn’?

Play and Learn is Gymboree’s signature, equipment-focused, physical and cognitive, child development programme; offering a wide range of classes for little ones aged 0 – 5 years. Each class is structured and teacher-led, with themes designed to support the growth of children throughout those early developmental stages.

Each theme is developmentally appropriate according to that age group, with each class an exciting fun-filled adventure, and all of this with the help of our amazing purpose-built equipment and props. Fun to be had by all!

How does membership work?

Everyone is entitled to one free trial, to see how you get on in the session and whether its right for you and your little one – There is absolutely no obligation to then join a class after.

Should you wish to join us after your free trial, you will be asked to sign our Gymboree agreement which states that we ask you to sign up for a minimum of 2 months, with a 1 month cancellation policy; notifying us of your request to cancel your membership in writing.

How do I pay for classes?

Gymboree Play & Music St Albans works on a monthly direct debit as we are open all year round!

Membership is on a rolling contract of either £35.50 for Sensory Baby Play class or £41.50 for Play and Learn – Levels 2 to 6, Art and Music. This allows you one teacher-led class per week and unlimited access to Open Gym sessions, which are completely free of charge. We offer lots of discounts for siblings, multiple classes and weekend memberships so please do get in touch if you have any further questions regarding pricing.

Do you offer Pay As You Go?

If a weekly class isn’t convenient for you we offer a “Fun Pass” which gives you flexible classes. Ask us for more information today.

What is a ‘Freeze’ of membership?

A freeze of membership allows you to take a break from Gymboree for any amount of time. With one month’s notice a freeze of membership suspends your payments and classes until you are ready to come back.

What is a ‘Makeup’ Class’?

When your little one has missed a class you are entitled to book a makeup class; this class can be booked into any class (age appropriate) with space. You have four weeks to book in this makeup class or it becomes void.

Do you offer any discounts?

Yes, we offer a number of discounts for twins/siblings and second or third classes – please check our timetable or call us on 01727 831551 for more information.

What is Open Gym?

As members, you will have unlimited access to Open Gym sessions at various times throughout each week; allowing you free play with the use of our specialised props and patented apparatus. There is no obligation to attend these sessions nor is there any extra charge, should you attend. Its an added bonus to being a member with us – You can do as many or as little as you wish, every week.

Do you have parking?

Unfortunately not however, if travelling by car there are a few parking spaces on Upper Marlborough Road which are free for 1 hour between 10am and 4pm. Alternatively there is also pay & display parking on Bricket Road, Clifton Street and Essex Street. All of these are round the corner from Gymboree and no more than a one minute walk away.

Why do i need socks but my child is bare foot?

We kindly ask that adults are in socks during classes for hygiene reasons, we then ask that children have bare feet due to health and safety.

What do I do with my buggy?

We have lots of space inside for buggies and an over flow buggy park just outside our front door, although If you can collapse your buggy or leave it at home/ in the car that would be greatly appreciated!

What do I need to do if I want to book a free trial?

There lots of ways to get in touch with us!

You can fill out a form at the top of this page, you can call us on 01727 831551 or drop us an email stalbans@gymboreeclasses.co.uk you can even pop in and say hello!

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us