As our son’s first birthday approached, my husband and I found ourselves chasing an eager to walk, cruising baby. Hoping to encourage him to move as much as possible, we set up a safe, engaging environment at home.
When I heard about The Little Gym, through my local mom’s group, I was thrilled at the idea of finding a new place that our little guy could fully explore without the risk of too many goose eggs.
Nestled in a small retail shopping plaza, The Little Gym offers a variety of programs for children aged 4 months to 12 years. My son and I were welcomed by smiling faces as we entered the bright, spacious facility (with room for a stroller and all our baby gear — always a plus!). The gym area was equally bright and inviting; the type of fun environment that encourages play and discovery.
Our parent-child class started off with a welcome song to introduce everyone to the group. This mama was impressed from the beginning when the instructor emphasized that every child was welcome to explore the gym and no one was forced to stay within the circle.
Where: Mississauga, ON
Who: The Little Gym
Ages: 10-19 months
When: Year round
Activities: Strength and muscle control, fine and gross motor skill development, coordination, balance
Prices: Annual Family Membership is $33.90 / Tuition for 5 weeks of classes: $104.53 / 15% Sibling Discount available
Each class focuses on a specific theme related to physical activity. This week’s theme was locomotion, where the young ones were introduced to different ways of walking, running, and moving. During the introductory circle, parents were encouraged to walk with their children backwards, forwards, and sideways. Even for those children, like my son, who don’t yet walk, the instructor emphasized the importance of showing the children what these skills looked like.
As the class continued, the easy-going instructor stayed focused on the theme of locomotion but not on following directions or staying rigidly within the schedule of the class. I really appreciated when, during the free time portion of the class, the instructor made a point to walk around and speak to the parents about ways to help our little ones with physical development skills. She also took the time to help the children with climbing, somersaults, and balancing. As an Early Childhood Educator, I loved the approach of finding a learning opportunity in everyday child’s play.
There were things to climb, music to groove to, and toys to play with; by the end of the class, I was feeling pretty sold on The Little Gym. The best part, though, was the way my son beamed and giggled throughout the entire 45 minutes. I was thrilled to see him play and develop important skills, all with a big smile on his face.
For those looking for an engaging, fun, welcoming, and non-competitive environment for your kids, The Little Gym is a fantastic place to go.
Find a location near you to try a free introductory class and let us know how you and your children liked it in the comments below!