Lily and I went to a complimentary introductory class at the Little Gym in Orem. I was initially interested because I love mom & me classes, but I admit I was a little skeptical about how much Lily was going to like it. I had to Lily up from her nap after only 10 minutes in order to make it there on time, and I was a little nervous about fitting into a class where I knew no one.
From the second I got there I was glad I came. I was very impressed with the staff who called me a few times before the class to answer any questions I had and to explain what to expect. Once I got there the staff met me at the door and made me feel so welcome. The other moms there are INCREDIBLE. I was worried about not fitting in but they were all so friendly and made me feel a part of the group after only 5 minutes! Lily is usually clingy and shy around people she doesn't know but she warmed up right away. In no time she was walking around with the other kids, clapping and dancing to the music, and participating in all of the activities.
The schedule for their class is truly inspired. Lily and I attended the Birds class for 10 month olds to 19 month olds. They sing a song and do a short activity followed by a few minutes of free time for the kids to play and explore. I took a bunch of classes in college on developmentally appropriate activities for children and these guys were right on.
Some activities were gymnastics. Once we helped our kids walk on the beam and do a forward roll (a forward roll on the beam you read that right.) Once we helped our kids do a pullover around the bar. We also did a somersault into a back handspring over a circular mat. (All heavily spotted of course.) I was very surprised how much Lily loved doing all of this! After the activity was over and it was play time, Lily kept taking me back to do somersaults over and over. Soon she was helping me as she bent over, and tucking her head on her own! (They taught us how to spot them so she didn't hurt anything.)
We also did activities like running and jumping, flying through the air like an airplane, blowing bubbles, playing basketball with a mini-hoop, and playing with a parachute. Lily was squealing with delight she was having so much fun. The gym staff even took pictures of Lily and I having fun and emailed them to me following the class.
Ok, I seriously cannot express how AMAZING this place was. Like I said, I had my doubts, and when I got there and they told me it was a 45 minute class I was sure Lily wouldn't make it through due to her 10 minute nap. Believe me when I say, I have never seen Lily have so much fun. She loved it. I try take Lily to do something fun every day (some activities are repeats of course) and this was the best thing I've ever taken her to do. I cannot believe how much she learned in just 1 class, and it honestly was the best thing ever watching the excitement in her face.
There is one con - the price. Well it's probably not a con for most people, but it is for a poor stay-at-home mom with a husband who is taking 18 credits to finish his second bachelors degree and working part-time at 2 different jobs to try and pay the bills. I left fantasizing about a way to cover the cost of tuition.
To become a member at The Little Gym, you have to pay $40 membership fee once a year. I can probably do that. Then on top of that you are responsible for paying tuition on each class you take. Summer classes start May 30 and end August 13. Classes are 45 minutes each. For 11 weeks of classes the tuition is $158.00. That's cheaper than piano lessons but more expensive than my budget allows.
Fall semester starts August 15 and runs through January 14. There are 20 weeks of classes, and the tuition is $288. Again, cheaper than piano lessons but out of my budget.
No matter what your finances look like I highly recommend at least taking the first complimentary class. You can sign up for a time here. I promise you will be glad you did!
The Little Gym
150 W Center Street
Orem UT 84058