Taking care of her full-time has definitely been a challenge. Trying to make sure that she's stimulated mentally and physically is hard, what with thinking of age-appropriate activities and shows that she can be allowed to do and see. One thing I noticed, though, since she really has not much kids her own age for playmates (only us stuffy "adults" here with her at home), I find she has grown to be slightly shy when among other people (whatever the age).
And since school, for her, is still a year away, the Husband and I decided to enroll her in a Gymboree Play & Learn class for the meantime to get her to come out of her shell a bit.
|Gymboree Play & Learn in Sofitel (Source: Gymboree website)|
The Gymboree Play & Learn class a 4-session, 1-hour class suitable for kids aged 0 to 5 years (kids are grouped in 7 levels based on age). It's a class that encourages learning through imaginative play and thinking (it's actually their most popular offering). And since the Little One will be among other kids her age, she'll also be able to socialize as well.
Level 6 (the group suitable for the Little One's age) is scheduled every Friday at 3:00 p.m. at Gymboree's Sofitel branch (the nearest one to our place).
And while waiting for her other "classmates", Gymboree was kind enough to provide her with unlimited play access at the premises every Friday (yes, we're such early birds).
She can slide, go through various obstacles and just plain be physically active without me having to worry about accidents caused by dangerous objects. The play area is ensured to be 100% kid-friendly.
Classes are pretty intimate and for her age group, requires at least a parent or guardian attending and participating in the class with their kids as well. It helps the young ones be more comfortable and open during the session.
And like any other class, a teacher is also present, one who tells stories and actively encourages the kids to play around and use their imaginations.
|With teacher Blanche, digging for "bones" like a puppy|
Classes follow a certain theme (i.e. baby animals, cooking, etc.), which directs the types of activities they do and stories they read each session. Themes change every two weeks to ensure that your kids are exposed to different activities during each class.
|Looking for missing "bones"|
The Little One was really shy at the beginning. She mostly observed whatever was going on during the first few minutes. Later on, though, she warmed up to her teacher and classmates and soon was enjoying herself immensely.
|Parachute activity -- popping "popcorn" balls|
Succeeding classes saw her opening up more and more, even voicing out her opinions and answers louder each time. I was even surprised when eventually she was the one urging her new classmates on to join up with them. Guess it really does work.
The Little One enjoyed the classes so much that we're thinking of enrolling her in another type of Gymboree class. Maybe Arts and Crafts? J
|Look at that happy mug|
Gymboree Play & Learn classes cost Php3,600 for a 4-session, once a week hourly class. Kids need to be members first (Php2,000 for an annual membership; Php4,000 for lifetime) before they can enroll in any of the classes offered.
Membership comes with a few perks and freebies too.
Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Plaza Level, CCP Complex
T +63 2 551 5555 local 7088
Please visit the Gymboree website (click here for the site) for more information on available classes, services, and branch locations.