Big Muscles for Little Babies in Park Slope
Teddy and I had a great time at Kidville Park Slope’s Big Muscles for Little Babies. As a parent, I appreciated that the space was stroller accessible (elevator to the 2nd floor), that there was ample stroller parking, and that it was generally thoughtfully designed for families with young children. Check-in was very easy and we were able to quickly enter the gym area where class was held.
The class was led by Debbie and it seems that the class sizes are kept small (we had 6 babies plus parents/caregivers) so that it isn’t overwhelming and allows for individual attention. The class began with Circle Time with some songs and stretching. Afterwards, the caregiver-child duos were encouraged to explore various areas/apparatus around the gym. Debbie had arranged various toys around the space to encourage the babies to move and challenge their little bodies, for example through climbing foam stairs, rolling down a wedge, cruising along a balance beam, and challenging their balance/core. She moved around during this time to provide individual attention. Afterwards, we circled back up for another song and to practice a new skill and then the babies were allowed to get on the trampoline and/or swing.
Finally, everyone circled up again for bubbles and a final song. Teddy definitely enjoyed all of the new sights and challenges and wore himself out over the course of the class. As a parent, it was neat to see him try out different skills and play with new little friends. There was a particularly adorable moment where all of the babies were lined up looking out the window (instead of hanging out on the trampoline). His enjoyment and the opportunity to get some wiggles out, especially on a blustery day, are clearly the most important things.
Debbie was very gentle and sweet with Teddy and the other children, but she had lower energy than a lot of the teachers we usually work with and the class itself was largely self-directed. There was a lot of “time to explore” and little coaching or instruction. Other gym classes we’ve attended have been more structured/directive while still offering “free” time to parent/child duos. I imagine that this setup works well for regular attendees (it seems that families sign up for consecutive sessions) who are more familiar with the different stations and apparatus, but it was not as ideal for drop-ins. All in all, we certainly enjoyed ourselves and would be interested in returning.
Submitted by @kaykayerin