PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2012, and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, it is also possible that it may contain some outdated information. Please check their website for the most current information, especially about things like schedules and pricing.
PLEASE NOTE: My Gym Glastonbury has moved to 256 Oakwood Drive in Glastonbury effective 10/28/14. Although the space will look a little different, this post will still help you get a good feel for the Gymsters Class.
Cut to the chase. Take me to the Momsense.
Waaaaaay back in January, I began my quest for indoor play places for Boo with a visit to an open play session at My Gym in Glastonbury. It was such a hit, that I knew he would really enjoy a My Gym class as well. Happily, Boo and I had an opportunity to try out the Gymsters Class this past July when we scored a super deal from Plum District. (If you have been following our blog, you may remember Mandy’s post on the Waddlers Class at My Gym in West Hartford a couple months ago.) Keep reading for all the details on this awesome class.
My Gym Glastonbury is located on New London Turnpike in Buck’s Corner Plaza. It’s very easy to find and there’s lots of parking.
Now, we’ve been to quite a few indoor play places over the past year (a couple of them even made our Top 10 List). But My Gym is not just another indoor playscape. It is filled with real, pint-sized and adapted fitness and gymnastics equipment. You know when you walk in the door that this is going to be a whole new experience for your child, especially if you are there to take a class with the amazing My Gym instructors.
We attended the Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. Gymsters Class, which happens to feature My Gym Glastonbury owner, Amy, as one of the two instructors.
Now, I know what you are thinking: Big open gym, lots of colorful things to climb on, a dozen 2-year-olds; it must be an hour of pure madness! Not the case at all. The real beauty of the My Gym classes is that they are highly structured, but cleverly crafted so the kids don’t feel like they are highly structured. My Gym accomplishes this through a fast paced routine of circle times, free plays, and structured activities. The sequence is always the same every week, but the activities are always different. Add in musical cues to help the kids learn when to switch gears, and it’s like preschool with trampolines 🙂
Class begins with a brief period of open play while everyone is arriving. There are plenty of benches for stashing your bag and shoes (kids go barefoot at My Gym; adults wear socks).
By the way, the counter also makes a handy perch for little brothers or sisters in their baby carriers 🙂
When the music turns off, it’s everyone to the middle for the opening circle time. One of the really nice things about circle time here is that if your kid gets up and makes a run for it, one of the My Gym instructors will run after your AWOL wee one and bring him or her back. That’s actually a rule! Seriously! I got to sit still while someone else helped corral Boo for a change. Awesome.
Circle time would consist of introductions, some stretching, singing/dancing, perhaps a new “skill” like rocking back on mommy or daddy’s knees and doing a somersault over their head (ladies, just a heads up, this is not the class to wear a dress or some short shorts; there is a high probability you will be rolling on the floor with your wee one 🙂 )
I should mention that the first week Boo was absolutely atrocious during circle time (boy, I wish I had a nickel for every time I have said that). Tantrums, tears, kicking, screaming, the works (and of course, all the other children were perfect little angels). But week two was significantly better and by week four, he was a fabulous little circle timer, following along and participating with the other kids. That is some serious developmental progress in just four short weeks! So don’t be discouraged if your little one has some trouble sitting in the circle at first. They will pick it up fast. Amy will tell you that many of the little kids are a tad temperamental for their first class. It’s no biggie, I promise.
After circle time, the music comes back on and it’s time for some free play. Every week the gym is set up differently, with different combinations of equipment in different parts of the room. Here are some shots of the different set-ups taken over the four weeks we attended the class.
Of course, Boo’s favorite activity was the ball tub. I think he set a new record each week for the fastest kid to locate and jump into the balls.
While the kids are free playing, there is also a special activity set up in the middle of the gym. That changes every week too. Sometimes it is a balance challenge. Sometimes it is an obstacle course. Sometimes it is a climbing activity. Sometimes it is a super fun roller coaster ride 🙂
The center activity is out for a little while. Then we said “bye bye” to it, and the instructors would break out the gymnastics stations. These would be anything from walking on a balance beam to performing a handstand to twirling on the parallel bars to rolling on a tummy skateboard. And the kids were great at it!
But each week there’s also a new featured swing. These were pretty neat.
After the gymnastics stations and the swings are finished, it’s time for another circle in the center. This time, the focus is on a new skill and there’s typically a prop involved. Some of the activities we tried were with a plastic bowling pin (picking it up with your feet, spinning it in front of you) and a bean bag (placing it on different body parts). Another week there were rings or a ball to play with.
After the second circle, it’s “Separation Time,” a blissful 10 minutes or so where the My Gym instructors bring a whole mess of toys out into the middle of the gym and tell the parents to step back and encourage the kids to play together on their own. Of course, the instructors are in there making sure no one gets clocked with a xylophone or anything. Ahhh. Heaven.
After “Separation Time,” there would be one last activity. One week they pulled out this fabulous bubble machine and let the kids go to town popping them.
Another week we had a crazy sorting race.
Our last week was particularly awesome. The little ones basically chased the adults around the circle in sequence, like a crazy adaptation of Duck, Duck, Goose. As luck would have it, my mom was with us that day so I could hang back and take some pictures, so she got to do the running 🙂
Then it’s time for “socks and shoes and stamparoos!” Which is code for: brace yourselves, now you somehow have to get your kiddo to leave the gym.
Yeah, I was usually scraping a screaming Boo off the mats while the other kids were happily getting their monkey hand stamps. But I guess that’s really a testament to how much Boo loooooved this class 🙂
ATTENTION OAAM READERS! Now through October 19th 2012, for new My Gym members, when you sign up for classes at My Gym Glastonbury and mention the Out and About Mom blog when you sign up, they will knock $50 off the one-time membership fee (normally $75). Thanks, My Gym Glastonbury!
My Gym Glastonbury
2249 New London Turnpike, South Glastonbury
Get directions here:
Schedules & Fees:
My Gym Membership:
- You must be a member to take classes at My Gym.
- One-time fee of $75 (see special discount above for OAAM readers!).
- Good at any My Gym location (so if you move to another town you will not have to pay the membership fee again to join your local My Gym).
- Members receive a $5 discount on Pay to Play (normally $10) at any My Gym location when not enrolled in classes (Pay to Play is free when enrolled in classes).
- For children ages 23 months to 2 1/2 years.
- Classes run about an hour.
- Fee is $75 for 4 weeks of classes (1 scheduled class per week plus unlimited Pay to Play). Discounts available for long-term enrollment and siblings. See website for details.
- 2-cycle minimum (you must sign up for at least 8 weeks of classes at a time).
- Admission is rolling, so you can sign up ANY TIME, so long as there is space available in the class.
- Call to schedule a FREE trial class.
- Check the website for the Fall 2012 class schedule.
Pay to Play (open gym):
- General public: $10/child (no charge for adults)
- Members: $5/child (no charge for adults)
- Members enrolled in a class: FREE
- Check the website for the Fall 2012 Pay to Play schedule
Tips & Things to Bring:
- Dress the kiddos in comfortable clothes for running, swinging, climbing and tumbling.
- This is a parent or caregiver participation class; you will be participating in all the activities with your child–definitely on the floor, sometimes running around, and potentially upside down, so dress accordingly 🙂
- Kids go barefoot at My Gym; adults must wear socks.
- You can’t really bring a stroller into the active part of the gym, but we saw many a baby carrier perched on the counter in view of all the action while mom and big sib participated in class, so you can definitely bring your baby in a carrier and be able to keep an eye on both your little ones.
- Even your really little one (6 weeks to 6 months) can get in on the action with the Little Bundles class. It’s just $5 a session. See the Fall 2012 schedule for times.
- There is a water fountain, as well as family restrooms and a changing station available at the rear of the gym.
- My Gym Glastonbury is having an enrollment night for new members to come meet the staff, see the gym and sign up for classes on Friday, August 24th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and again on October 19th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (2012). Fall classes fill up fast so don’t delay!
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