When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
Groupon Asks: What inspired you to run this business?
"After all my years in gymnastics, what I have come to realize is that this sport is an incredible medium for teaching and learning life skills. It can help children learn responsibility, teamwork, self-discipline, tenacity, goal setting, and success principles. Regardless of the level of gymnastics the child is working, he or she has many opportunities to set goals, work hard, and achieve them, and the intrinsic rewards from this process is invaluable. At MEG we want to provide as many opportunities as possible for children to say, “I did it!” And to me, that is the greatest gift."
-Mazeika’s Elite Gymnastics Manager
The instructors of Lobo Gymnastics build a positive foundation for little ones to grow athletically, socially, and emotionally during dance classes, gymnastics, and afterschool activities. Across the enormous, bi-level gym, little leapers clamber through obstacle courses, spring across trampolines and into pits full of foam blocks, dangle from a rope swing, and whoosh down a two-level slide that resembles a giant yellow curly fry. As children and their burning desire for trophies grow, they can enter more structured tumbling and dance classes or join a gymnastics team led by former Chinese Olympic team coach Jian Hua Xiao.