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Playgyms

All-round development for baby through music, exercise and fun


Posted: 10 July 2005
by ThinkBaby

Playgym classes are usually fairly active for babies and toddlers and pretty exhausting for parents too! At their core, playgyms are designed to improve your baby’s strength, balance, agility and coordination, and of course, create healthy and positive associations with exercise. But the aim of the classes is also to work on your child’s sensory and social development – and not just the physical – so the gyms use colourful equipment, music and group activities alongside the playmats, balls and ladders that you might expect.

Most playgyms offer a range of different classes and activities to suit different stages of development, with some starting from as early as four months and others continuing to classes for three-year-olds where parents no longer need to be as involved. They might be held at a local gym, church hall, community centre or private premises.

As your child gets older, classes should become more physically challenging. The activities will incorporate a mixture of familiar equipment - ladders or slides - with added dimensions, such as a trampoline or stepping stones, a tunnel to crawl through or a beam along the floor to balance on. Activities may also include catching and throwing soft balls, skipping and jumping.

At Crêchendo Playgyms in London, the 45-minute class starts off with everyone gathered in a circle to sing and do the actions to renditions of popular songs and nursery rhymes. You and your child then move onto the play equipment where your baby can practice skills such as climbing up ladders and through tunnels, kicking and throwing balls and negotiating various obstacles. Finally, its time for a skit – my favourite part of the class!

The very friendly staff members, who have backgrounds in either teaching, childcare, sports or drama, dress up and put on a lively skit. These generally involve a goofy character that wakes up each morning and sets off on a wild adventure! Highly entertaining for both mum and baby! The classes are run in 10 different centres across London.

Contacts:
Crêchendo Playgyms
Address: 6 Grange Mills, Weir Rd, London, SW12 1
Telephone: 020 8772 8120
Web Address: www.crechendo.co.uk

Tumble Tots
Address: Bluebird Park, Bromsgrove Rd, Hunnington, Halesowen, West Midlands, B62 OTT
Telephone: 44 (0) 121 585 7003
Web Address: www.tumbletots.com
(Go to the website to find a class near you).


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