The Little Gym Free Introductory Class: A Review

It takes all of me to just not admit the real reason for coming in for a trial class at our locally-owned franchise for The Little Gym, which boasts a class structure upon ‘three-dimensional learning.’ Hey, I’m all for social skills and learning to follow instructions for young children but my main goal for bringing my 19-month-old in is to tire him out. The rest of the benefits of a structured activity are just happenstance.

As a mother of a child who can’t sit still, I tried it all: same-age play dates, twice-daily playground trips, and the horrific story time fails (yes, plural). One thing missing was that either one was missing another important goal I wanted for my child. Play dates are impersonal, playgrounds are lonely, and story time is story time. I gave up and thought it was completely up to me to be a toddler’s BFF and deal with the weariness of chasing a spirited toddler across the yard while six months pregnant.

Searching for a solution that we knew inevitably would cost money, I schedule our first trial class at The Little Gym. It cost nothing and have a chance to go over pricing because, you know, it’s going to be spendy when the website doesn’t have a price list. I take the chance and I schedule online to get a confirmation email. To my surprise, I receive a confirmation call the same evening. The night prior comes a follow-follow-up call and then a follow-follow up email. They really want to make sure we’re going, I get it.

Tucked away in a plainly-marked business plaza behind Round Table Pizza, it can be spotted with its bright green walls from the parking lot. The front assistant/”teacher” stresses for us to “manage our expectations,” meaning Humnoy can, and is encouraged to and does, explore outside of group time and even during teacher instruction. Here’s how the Beasts (19 months – 2 1/2 years) class went:

1. Group

The class starts out with “circle time” where the teacher puts a bucket of shakers (more like toddler maracas) in the middle of the big mat. Each child and parent(s) are encouraged to grab a pair.

2. New move

Miss Teacher Lady demonstrates a New Move of the Week, if you will, and encourages the class to try it, if they’d like. (See the theme here?)

3. Introductions/Names

Group introductions of parent(s) and kids to a group song and dance.

4. Warm-up

With music, warm-up starts out as a slow walk in a circle. After the walk is running in a circle and then followed by horse-gallopping. There are random ‘freeze’ stops throughout each one, which is great for instruction. Finally, it’s time for the rainbow sheet! Kids can hold it, run on it, go under it, whatever!

5. At-home skill

Miss Teacher Lady demonstrates a move/skill that can be done at home called the Wheelbarrow, where the kids walk using their hands while Mom or Dad hold their legs.

6. Free play

Kids get to go buck wild on the facility’s awesome mini-gymnast equipment.

7. Re-group for balls and bubbles

Class is encouraged to come back to the mat and she throws out a bucket of literally a million balls. After encouraging the kids to put the balls away themselves, it’s Bubble Machine Time. Huge hit for kids and adults, no joke.

8. Cool-down and stamp

Back to group time, Miss Teacher Lady leads songs as part of the end of class. At the end, everyone is asked to wait against a wall outside of the gym space to get a stamp. Kids must love stamps because they were running.

The Little Gym was fun, active, and skillful. All the things that my little dude are. It is a great opportunity for children to take a structured and mobile approach to group interactive learning for a good hour. Great for spirited and non-spirited kids alike, the class structure is meant to encourage and never to force in a rigid schedule. Equipment is safe and well-kept. Teachers are creepily cheery at all times and extremely helpful. The facility offers a variety of payment options for classes until June 2013:

  1. One-time: full-year membership one-time payment, includes $40/annual membership fee ($19/class)
  2. Two-time: full payment split into two full payments, includes $40/annual membership fee ( ($19/class)
  3. Multi-pay: , $40 fee now, then 3 payments until March 2013 ($20/class)
  4. Installment: $42 fee now, monthly payment until April 2013 ($21/class)

At this rate, we conclude that having a family gym membership is most cost-effective and beneficial for the entire family for the same monthly cost. If a gym wasn’t family-friendly or too far, we definitely would enroll Humnoy in the Beasts class as we saw the improvement and beneficial interaction in the free introductory class.

You can find a The Little Gym near you and follow The Little Gym on Facebook or Twitter,

Have you heard of The Little Gym? What have you done as a physical alternative to play dates or story time?

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9 thoughts on “The Little Gym Free Introductory Class: A Review

  1. I’ve coached competitive gymnastics for 10 years and recently (due to Baby A) have taken over the Parent and me classes. The structure is very similar to little gym (and we had a few of those in our area also). I think gymnastics is a great outlet for children because the mats are soft, there are trampolines and basically it’s a colorful play land! Glad you liked it, I know I have a blast being the overly cheery coach.

  2. Sounds like you found just the right place for him! He sounds just like my son when he was that age. The only time he wasn’t running/climbing/jumping/acting crazy was when he was sleeping! Now he is still that way with a little more self control. Last year I was terrified for Kinder thinking I would be that parent that was called all the time or had to meet with the teacher/principal. So far so good and he is now a 1st grader with the occasional e-mail from the teacher. 🙂 Boys will be boys I guess!

    • Funny thing though is that not all boys are like our boys, honestly. They’re THAT special! 😀

      There is a boy around Humnoy’s age (same birth month/year) and he is as mellow as can be. I couldn’t believe it. My kid was jumping through puddles and resisted the Netflix-iPhone-bait too.

      • True! I do know some mellow boys. I am sure people look at me like ummm get your kid under control! And I want to say umm what you don’t know is this IS my kid under control……. hahaha. Embrace the crazy and enjoy it because they will be teens before we know it! 🙂

      • That is exactly what I tend to think so too! 😀

        GH and I were just discussing it last night how our life would not be as interesting or fun if we didn’t have a spirited toddler. It’s so true. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

  3. Pingback: Creative Outlet or Repeated Disaster? The Kid, Who Can’t Sit Still, Goes to Gymnastics | The Laotian Commotion

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