St Albans

St Albans

Finalist “Best Children’s activity class” & “Best Party Venue” 2021 Little Ankle Biters Herts

Finalist “FRANCHISEE OF THE YEAR”  2020 clubhub UK

Winner “BEST PRE-SCHOOL CLASS”  2019 Raring2Go!

Finalist “BEST PARTY VENUE”  2019 Raring2Go!

Runner-up “BEST FOR CREATIVE FUN”  2019  Hoop

Finalist “YOUNG WOMAN IN FRANCHISING OF THE YEAR”  2018 EWIF

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!

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

Gymboree Play & Music St Albans timetable 2021

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

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STEPH

Franchisee

Steph always knew she wanted to work with children so became a qualified Montessori Teacher specializing in child development from birth – seven years. She also has a degree in Theatre Direction and certificates in Child Psychology and Child attachment.

She 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“. In 2019 the company won “Best Pre-school class” at the Raring2Go! awards and in 2020 Steph made the final 5 for “Franchisee of the year” at the ClubHubUK awards.

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

ASLIHAN

Play & Music Teacher

Aslihan has a degree in Drama which has equipped her with the skills for leading workshops and exploring Lecoq’s concept that all theatre is essentially play.

Aslihan has developed a knowledge of sensory needs in the early years through working with puppets and projection during her degree.

Aslihan has also worked as a tutor, teaching Drama, Music and English lessons to children from KS1-4.

Fascinated by the impact that language has on early development, Aslihan is currently learning Turkish, Korean and British Sign Language.

WERONIKA

Play & Music Teacher

Weronika has always enjoyed working with children and has nannied from a young age. Growing up in Poland, she worked as a children’s party entertainer where one of her specialties was balloon animals!

This was a family run business with her two sisters who also entertained, and looked after children at weddings and other events!

Weronika made the move to England just under four years ago and has worked with many local families since arriving; Weronika knew she wanted to work more within the child development and education sector making Gymboree Play & Music the perfect job!

 

 

 

 

AIMEE

Play & Music Teacher/ Party Leader

Aimee is currently in her second year of A-levels in which she studies psychology, business and graphic art.

From the age of 2, Aimee has been attending ballet, tap and modern lessons in which she has made her way through the grades and is now coming to the end of them. Ballet is such an important factor in Aimee’s life that she has been furthering her knowledge by teaching children the skill she loves to the next generation of ballerinas.

As well as ballet, Aimee has had a strong background in performing arts which landed her a place in Fame and Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat; performing in both the Milton Keynes Theatre and the Alban Arena.

 

 

 

 

JACK

Play & Music Teacher/ Party Leader

Having previously studied Drama, Psychology and English for A-levels at Dame Alice Owen’s school, Jack is now attending the University of West London in which he is further exploring his greatest passion, acting.

Jack’s passion extends beyond acting however, as he strive’s to improve the social development of children through drama. In the time between leaving Dame Alice Owen’s and starting drama school, Jack has returned to school in order to direct their winter shows, as well as starting a drama department at his primary school. Gymboree for Jack, is a new and exciting way of preparing the young minds of today for the world ahead; Jack is looking forward to taking that journey with them!

 

 

LEAH

Administrator/Marketing Manager

Leah, a mum of two boys (5 and 3) lives in Exeter, Devon and is a qualified beautician.

Leah took a career break when raising her little ones and re-trained in marketing after realising she had spent a lot of time on social media throughout the years!

Leah’s newfound confidence encouraged her to study business at Exeter College with distinctions!

Leah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, catching up on soaps and trying out the local cuisines!

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!  Why Sensory Baby Play at Gymboree Play & Music

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.

IAIM INFANT MASSAGE (newborn – 10 months)

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.

Course dates: Friday 2nd – 30th July, 2-3pm 

 

PLAY & LEARN (6 months – 5 years)

Fun at Gymboree Classes Encourage learning and development with our unique apparatus-based classes, designed to support your child’s growth at his or her own individual pace. Our fun and energetic Play & Learn classes are structured and curriculum-based, yet flexible enough to allow children to explore and express themselves fully. From imaginary play to games and storytelling, our classes use play-based activities to stretch the body and mind

Read our latest blog here: Play: A serious learning technique or just for fun?

Read our latest blog here: They’re called schemas

 

Play & Learn classes are split into developmental goals.

Level 2 Play & Learn (6 – 10 months)

Acting with purpose and intention 

Level 3 Play & Learn (10 – 16 months)

Becoming skills in back and forth communication 

Level 4 Play & Learn (16 – 22 months)

Figuring out how the world works 

Level 5 Play & Learn (22 – 28 months)

Imaginary play: Using words and symbols to express ideas 

Level 6 Play & Learn (28 – 42 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 three 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, and from past to present!

Read our latest blog here: mamadoit: Gymboree Play & Music

Read our latest blog here: The importance of song and music in learning

 

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 finished art masterpieces each week.

Read our latest blog here: How to do art in the Early Years without getting messy!

 

DROP-OFF THEATRE ARTS (3 – 6 years)

5yr_boy_puppet_green

We are pleased to offer Drop off Theatre Arts Workshops this SUMMER for children aged 3 to 6 years.

Our 4-day workshops, based on a chosen theme, help develop confidence, self-expression, concentration and interaction with others by using Drama, Music, Art and Dancing.

Plus, you get to enjoy watching your child in a short performance at the end of the week!

Tuesday 3rd – Friday 6th August: Dear Zoo

Tuesday 9.15 Wednesday 12.30 Thursday 12.30 Friday 10.30

Monday 9th – Thursday 12th August: ZOG

Monday 3.00 Tuesday 9.15 Wednesday 12.30 Thursday 12.30

Tuesday 17th – Friday 20th August:  3 Little Pigs

Tuesday 9.15 Wednesday 12.30 Thursday 12.30 Friday 10.30

In both Key Stages 1 and 2 of the UK Schools’ National Curriculum, music, dance and drama are seen as a way to develop control, coordination, poise, expression of feelings, expression of moods, expression of ideas and response to music. Our Drop-Off Theatre Arts programme develops all of these important skills and in doing so promotes independence and school readiness.

4 -day workshop costs just £65 (£85 for twins/siblings)

Places are limited and will be offered on a first come first served basis.

For more information or to book your place email stalbans@gymboreeclasses.co.uk or call 01727 831 551

FAQ:

How long does each class last?

Each class is one hour-fifteen minutes long and the course lasts for 4 days.

What’s included in the price?

Each class offers Create, Play and Sing & Learn – We also provide water for each child as well as free play and visits to Gymbo’s Garden! All creations made on-site will be taken home and a certificate and balloon will be presented after their final performance.

What should my little one wear?

Anything they are comfortable in. Please note we will also be using paint and other materials during the sessions so please dress appropriately. Little ones will be asked to take their shoes and socks off.

How long does the show last and can more than one person come to watch it?

Our performance’s last around 15/20 minutes. We only have limited seating so can offer up to 2 seats per child.

Can I take photos?

With prior permission from other parents/carers of course you can.

We don’t know which themed week to choose?

Choose them all! – it really doesn’t matter too much, over the 4 days your little one will become extremely familiar with the theme even if they have never read the book before.

How do I book?

Drop us an email, give us a call or pop in to reserve your little one a space. The courses fill up quite quickly and spaces are limited!

 

 

PARTIES

At Gymboree Play & Music St Albans, no two children – or Gymboree Play & Music parties are exactly the same. Allow us to turn your child’s passion into an unforgettable birthday party guaranteed to be a celebration of fun. Let us know your child’s favourite games, songs and activities and we’ll create a custom made party you can call your own.

Guaranteed to be 100% fun with zero clean up!

Choose from a wide range of parties here: Gymboree Play & Music St Albans party brochure

Gymboree Play & Music parties are also suitable for those looking for wedding, christening, baby shower or corporate entertainment!

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GYMBOREE PLAY & MUSIC ST ALBANS EVENTS

Keep up-to-date with whats going on at Gymboree Play & Music St Albans by heading over to our Facebook page “GymboreeClassesStalbans”

  • 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
  • FINALIST Little Ankle Biters Awards Herts 2021

    2. February 2021

    We have made the finals of this years Little Ankle Biters Herts awards 2021!

    We have been nominated in TWO categories and need your help.

    *Best Children’s Activity Class*

    Best Children’s Activity Class in Hertfordshire – Finalists Voting – Little Ankle Biters Herts (ankle-biters.co.uk)

    *Best Children’s Party Venue*

    Best Party Venue in Hertfordshire – Finalists Voting – Little Ankle Biters Herts (ankle-biters.co.uk)

    Please use the links above to cast your vote, it would mean the absolute world to us!

    Voting closes on Sunday 28th February 2021

  • 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!

  • Benefits of our Rainbow Barrel

    27. January 2021
    benefits picture

    Introducing Gymboree Play & Music’s famous Rainbow Barrel!

    This large, soft, tactile tunnel is used in our classes for pushing, rolling, rocking, crawling in, sitting in.

    The Benefits

    • Sense of balance
      • Our exciting Rainbow Barrel can be used to help develop your child’s balance from a very young age. We can place little babies on their tummy supporting them around their torsos. As they grow we can progress this to sitting with support, to eventually being able to do so independently. Balance is a key part of your little one’s development and they will need it in all areas of life, for example standing on one leg to dress themselves, or climbing up and down stairs with no railing.
    • Core strength
      •  Core strength is the development of the torso muscles that stabilise, centre, and move the trunk of the body. Lack of core strength can contribute to things such as poor posture which in turn can affect gross motor and fine motor skills. We use our Rainbow Barrel to encourage little babies to do tummy time, then progress to sitting, then they use it as a giant walker, before finally pushing it using their core strength from one side of the room to to the other!
    • Sense of safety
      • Our Rainbow Barrel is a very sturdy piece of equipment with a smooth vinyl finish. It can take up to two children on top plus little ones inside, and it doesn’t dip in the middle, it maintains its shape. This allows your little one to feel safe whether they are rocking on top, climbing inside, or rolling it with friends. Having a sense of safety whilst playing will allow your little one to build self confidence and new skills in each class they attend.
    • Depth perception
      • The development of depth perception helps your child learn to gain confidence in their body. Our Rainbow Barrel is perfect for this as it can be used up against a slide allowing a child to drop something from a height, landing inside – we call this ‘problem solving’. You may find your child likes to drop things from a height in their highchair once we have explored the game at Gymboree Play & Music!
    • Dynamic balance
      • Our Rainbow Barrel can be used to work on your child’s dynamic balance by using it as a giant walker. Your child will walk with their feet and push with their hands and you can stand behind to support them.
    • Sense of space
      • Our Rainbow Barrel creates a fantastic tunnel that your little one can crawl though to develop their sense of space. We can also make it more challenging for our older ones by attaching a cloth tunnel to one side so that the space gets longer and then shorter.  Another way of working on this is rolling a ball though or placing a child’s favourite toy inside to encourage them to take the challenge. It can be daunting for little ones so always start by just placing their head slightly inside and make sure they can see you from the other end, that will give them confidence.
    • Colour perception
      • As little babies can only initially see in black and white our Rainbow Barrel is an excellent piece of equipment for them to use as they start to view life in colour.  It’s also excellent for our little ones as they grow throughout the programme and can start to put the correct names to the colours.
    • Hand-feet co-ordination
      • Hand and feet co-ordination is a staple part of your child’s development. We can use our Rainbow barrel to develop this with tummy time for little babies, placing a small toy in front so they can reach out and grab it, crawling inside once they get moving. Then using it as a walker to co ordinate the hands and feet at different times, and also tapping on the outside and stamping our feet to the beat of music.
    • Co-operation
      • We often use our Rainbow Barrel in group activities such as collecting objects and placing them inside. Or working together to push it on its side. And for little ones working with a partner to roll it across the mats. Learning co-operative play from a young age is such a key skill and it will serve your little one well as they move into the next stages of their education.
    • Sense of achievement
      • Learning to make it to the other side of a tunnel for a little baby can be a huge challenge so it may take weeks to achieve. But once they do make it through the sense of achievement will feel great. We always encourage a big celebration on the small wins to really build your little one’s confidence from a young age. Older ones will finally master jumping inside our Rainbow Barrel from the end of the Airlog.  There are so many elements to this activity and once they complete it your child will feel a huge sense of achievement.

    Back to the Wavy Wavy Slide. Next up our Short Slide!

  • Benefits of our Wavy Wavy Slide

    26. January 2021
    benefits picture

    Introducing Gymboree Play & Music’s Wavy Wavy Slide!

    This smooth, bumpy, wooden slide is used for climbing and sliding, on bottoms, tummies, head first and feet first.

    The Benefits

    • Body control
      • We use our wavy slide for newborns up to pre-school to work on our little ones’ body control. In sensory class we may put little ones on their tummies and let them use the waves in the slide to support their upper body.  Our older toddlers can enhance this skill by using the slide at different speeds or in different directions all the while making sure they make it safely to the top and the bottom.
    • Hand-feet co-ordination
      • Little ones work on their hand and feet co-ordination when they use the wavy slide as a bridge or climber, whether they are just starting to crawl, cruise around the edge, or run to the very top!
    • Gross Motor Development
      •  Gross motor skills are important for major body movement such as walking, maintaining balance, and co-ordination. We can adjust the angle of the slide, so it can go from steep to flat like a bridge, so this increases the ways in which it can be used for climbing, balancing, and walking.
    • Sense of Balance
      • Your 6 month old can work on their sense of balance while being gently pulled down on a slide ride working to stay seated and balanced. Later on your toddler is building on this skill whilst climbing it and holding two play balls.
    • Bilateral co-ordination
      • Bilateral co-ordination refers to the ability to co-ordinate both sides of the body at the same time. Our Wavy Wavy Slide is an excellent piece of equipment to use to work on this development goal. For young babies we will place them on a blanket and parents fully support them, then as they gain more strength and confidence they will start to master the process independently with the support of their grown-up and teacher.
    • Sense of achievement
      • Celebrating the achievements of your little ones is so vital as it builds confidence and self esteem. The wavy slide is an excellent way to work on this with your little one. The process of getting to the top, letting themselves go, and then reaching the bottom gives them a clear route to success, and a big well done from their grown up and teacher once they achieve it.  The waves in this slide and the ability to make it higher or lower can add continual challenges for your little ones.
    • Imagination
      • As your little ones grow throughout our programme we work on building their imaginations. Our wavy slide has endless uses from being an elephant’s trunk to a kitchen table, or sitting up high to go fishing in the ocean. With our lessons changing every two weeks you will see this wavy slide in many different forms!
    • Sense of space
      • When a child is developing their spatial awareness they begin to become aware of their placement in relation to the things around them. We not only use our slide for the obvious up and down motion but also for activities such as rolling a ball up and down to a friend or parent. We may even add a cloth tunnel on top for an extra challenge, all the while working on developing your little one’s sense of space.

     

    Back to our Handle Ball. Next up the Rainbow Barrel!

 

 

We are hiring!

Are you an energetic and enthusiastic person who enjoys working with children and their families? Do you know someone who is?

If the answer is YES then Gymboree Play and Music St Albans want to hear from you!

Gymboree provides award winning classes for children aged 0-5 years. Our classes utilise a unique combination of music, movement, props, imaginary play and developmental psychology to create a fun and magical world where children learn, thrive and most importantly have fun.

Teachers will receive full training, ongoing support and competitive rates of pay.

Role: Play & Music Teacher, Full-Time!

Hours: Monday- Friday (9-6pm)

 

Role: Play & Music Teacher/Party Leader, Part-time! 

Hours: Saturday – Sunday (9-6pm)

Please apply by sending a cover letter and CV to stephanie@gymboreeclasses.co.uk