As y’all know, we are looking for a baby gym for Hudson as I believe it would be beneficial for the socialization and skills they work on because they are constructive for his development. Today we tried Great Play and it was absolutely amazing (Besides some grumpiness from Hudson due to some teething)
My first impression was amazing. It’s in a wonderful neighborhood and the facility was very large! The facility was clean and not too bright – Which I really liked because it was less stimulation. When we walked in we were so pleasantly greeted by the owner Sanjana. After some chit-chat it was our time on the play floor and Hudson was SO excited!
The first 10 minutes were free play so he could get used to his environment and the activities and he had a BALL.. Literally, all he wanted to do was throw balls! 🙂
Free play ended and the class (Which was only 5 other kiddos, made for a very personal experience for Hudson, which I loved) sat around in a circle and we made introductions. All of the kids were the same age which was WONDERFUL and different from our past gym experience where ages were scattered and didn’t seem focused on a specific skill-set for a specific age.
We were introduced to the three amazing Coaches Orlando, Lexi and Kayla. They were all so very friendly and passionate, you could tell they loved what they did and cared for the children. We did their Welcome Song, started with some baby stretches and began some skill activities! Hudson wasn’t a fan, again with the teething pain, but they had some very interactive stations for them to work at. One was throwing, where you can practice your targeting by throwing a sticky ball at a velcro mat.. An amazing idea but Hudson just wanted to play with the balls.. Haha!
I really like how often they changed the activities as it gives the children a variety of new things to learn in such a short amount of time and challenges them to continuously change their attention and work on their problem solving skills.
Hudson got very Mommy needy after trying a few new things (Which is why I find these gyms so useful as they challenge him to socialize and learn without Mommy) so we went solo for a few minutes and played in a tunnel which was great. I told him how proud I was of him because he was so apprehensive of the closed space at first but braved it to get his ball!
They really involve their mascot “Buddy” in their activities as they change the projections on the walls and come up with stories on what we’re doing next with what Buddy is doing! My favorite was Caveman Buddy! They had activities that involved climbing and being physical, like a caveman! Hudson actually LOVED it! He did EVERY single activity and had a blast!
I was so proud.. He was being so brave, was learning and having fun all at the same time!
Hudson’s favorite part of this class was the stacking and building blocks. He is in such a huge stacking phase that he had a blast building his own towers and knocking over the coaches creations. And they were so fun about it! (Which is why I love that these classes are so age specific because tons of the other toddlers were enjoying the blocks as well)
We ended the class with Underwater Buddy.. Where an “ocean like” station was made with a bubble machine and tons of buckets and colorful scarves. Hudson was apprehensive because of the close quarters (Which they said they were specifically doing to help children become more comfortable with them) but quickly got comfortable when he realized other kids were enjoying it and saw the bubbles.
The staff was incredible. The facility was BEAUTIFUL. And Hudson really seemed to be getting comfortable because they were all so engaging and genuinely caring. I only have one more gym to try but I’ll tell you what, I don’t know how you can top this place. It was truly a unique experience and seemed like it was really worth what you pay for when you have so many skill building activities. It was more structured and that’s how I believe it should be. You can take your kid to a park for free and have socialization – But they wont get the same kind of focus on developmental skills that will give them an edge down the road.