City Guide 2014 Jun. 2014 - Page 11

Gymboree Play & Music (locations on the North Shore and Coquitlam) Both of my boys have learned many gross motor skills at Gymboree, from crawling and walking to more complex activities such as climbing and jumping. I love that I’m able to give them more freedom to push their limits in a more secure (padded!) environment. Even at 4.5, it’s still a favourite place to play for my eldest son, who has grown up running and jumping and setting up pretend worlds in the ever-changing layouts of the play environment at Gymboree since he was 6 months old. The people who work at Gymboree do more than just teach classes and observe, they truly take an interest in knowing your children and for us, have become a part of our extended family. My children have grown up feeling celebrated each time they walk in those doors. It’s no wonder they love it so much! Arieanna, North Shore Music Together (several Lower Mainland locations) My daughter (now 4) has been involved with Music Together since she was six months old. When you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she’ll proudly proclaim, “a firefighter, song-writer!” Both ambitions were fostered by her early experiences, the former a pre-school trip to the firehall and the latter, weekly Music Together classes with Heidi (McCurdy). Lucy became “musically empowered” through her Music Together experience. The family participation and class environment that highlights kids’ freedom to enjoy music how they choose allowed Lucy, sometimes anxious in new environments, to feel comfortable to be herself and have fun with music, much better than some of the more prescriptive classes we have attended. Heidi’s positive reinforcement and acknowledgement of her successes helped Lucy feel attached and connected to her teacher and eager to participate and continue to learn. My son, Huxley, (now 2) has been attending Music Together classes since birth. If offered an option of toys, Huxley is immediately drawn to musical instruments. He will happily strum a guitar (in rhythm too) and sing songs for minutes on end. Focusing on any activity for more than 30 seconds is a note-worthy achievement for a two-year-old in my books!. He loves the “instrument time” during Music Together classes! Both kids remember the words to the songs long after we have completed a Music Together class and this has saved the day on many a road trip as well. My husband and I enjoy coming to classes where we can share in the fun and see our children grow and learn first hand. Thanks to Heidi for bringing music and song-writing into our home on a daily basis. Marla Coulas, South Surrey | VANCOUVER | A RESOURCE GUIDE | 2014 • 11