“Gym” is slang for gymnasium and gymnastic services…thank you Wiki!
So then the Little Gym must be a tiny gymnasium, right? Wrong!
Who is the Little Gym?
The Little Gym offers children from 4 months to 12 years “a place where they can develop new skills while having fun”. They have 300 centers worldwide, one of which is in our Grand Duchy and their courses for babies and toddlers use “movement to develop and stimulate perceptive and motor skills”.
They offer various classes for different age groups but we are specifically interested in the Parent/Child classes (4-36 months old). They are split into 2 groups: the “Bugs” (4-10 months) and the “Birds”(10-18 months).
Their classes are designed to get children moving, give a brain boost and introduce life skills that can empower children, like to have “confidence in groups”, “belief in themselves” (aka self confidence), respect for others and a healthy lifestyle.
But what does this mean for babies? They can’t do situps, squats, dead lifts or star jumps let alone gymnastics?
During October and November me and my partner in crime, Amelie (8 months then) went to 4 classes, presented by two different teachers of which both were very friendly, helpful and clearly quite at ease with babies.
My personal favorite was Sylvie (who is also the director). You can see, she looooves her job and tries to make each baby feel special.
All of the other staff that crossed our paths during this time were genuinely helpful and considerate and wonderfully surprisingly able to speak English! Hooray!
Sparkly clean, spacious and comfortable is all I can say. From changing area to toilet facilities.
The actual “gym” room is equipped with a soft colourful padded floor and various beams and mattresses to climb on, slide on or roll on.
The Bugs classes (4-10 months) during the September 2013 to July 2014 season are held three times a week during the day which probably makes sense given the fact that most of this market consist either of stay-at-home parents or parents on parental leave and two are in the afternoon and one in the morning, also making it possible for part time working parents to catch a session.
The class starts off with a little “chanson du bonjour” in French:
Chacun frappé dans les mains en chante avec moi,
comment ca va les petites bugs (pronounced “boug” the French way 🙂
When you book for your class you are handed a sheet with a few songs but these are also displayed visibly in the “gym”.
At our first class, I was mostly humming, a bit startled by my own French singing capabilities but by the third class I was hollering away like a proud mama because as they explain the purpose after all is for you as parent to relax and to encourage your baby to become involved, forget your inhibitions and to embrace the experience.
Each time Amelie was a bit baffled yet pleasantly surprised at the start of the class (as were most of the other babies) but the tension was quickly eased when we were given little handheld bell-shakers (if there is such a word!) to shake around after which we introduced ourselves.
The class then continues with a range of different activities, songs and interaction with the other babies and I must say there is quite a bit of variation yet some repetition in the four classes we attended. I was delighted however that one of the classes an English song featured, “row row row your boat”.
Different “props” and objects are introduced. Coloured balls, wooden sticks and one time even an inflatable “jumping castle like” mattress upon which the mamas had to roll around on with cradled (and a fit confused yet excited) babies.
Each time the props are being put away it goes along with a cute song “on va ranger les ballons x 3…dans le panier” (let’s put away the balls x 3 in the basket) though I doubt whether the babies noticed this detail.
The sessions only last about 45 min which is plenty given the attention span of the age group (the babies now of course).
Almost towards the end there is some “free time” where you and baby can play around and try out some moves,
like rolls, tumbles crawling and jumps,
But, my favourite part however was the bubbles. A gazillion tiny little bubbles are blown into the air whilst mamas and babies try to catch them!
Luxmama will do another review of the “Birds” class as soon as princess Amelie qualifies to attend but if you already fall in that category and would like to write a short review with photos for Luxmama’s blog, I can organise you one or maybe a few free sessions if you drop a post on Luxmama’s FB page.
1st trimester (September to February) €468
2nd trimester (February to July) €480
Enrollment during the semester is possible in which case the tuition fee is prorated.
The annual membership (€55) covers enrollment and admin costs as well as discounts on birthday parties and holiday camps for the whole family.
Single classes are not the norm but when asked we were told they are €24 each as well as €55 for the annual membership fee.
Definitely worth it if you are running out of options of what to do with your oh so busy baby/toddler, plus it’s a great chance also for you as mama to get out and see other mamas.
If just for the pure joy of witnessing your baby’s engagement with other babies and to experience their enjoyment and development over the course, it is definitely worth it if you can afford it.
Amelie did begin to stand more firmly on her feet and started to crawl during the period of our four classes and I believe the classes played a role.
Top Tip alert!
So thanks for those who are still reading. You will not regret it…
Come and join us at our monthly Bellies and Booties and grab yourself an uber cool special deal for Little Gym taster classes
More about the Author
As mother of two darling babies, Certified IMPI Holistic Sleep Coach, Baby Planner and Happiest Baby Educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide maternity coaching for expecting/future/new parents through Marise Hyman Maternity Coaching – setting them up for success, so they can sail into their new lives with confidence!
She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep, an edgy non-profit organisation raising awareness for green, natural & holistic parenting alternatives, birth rights and postnatal mood disorders by offering a variety of inspiring social and educational events in Luxembourg