The diverse team of instructors at Key Element Learning are serious about catering to each of their students' unique interests, strengths, and needs, whether they're still in diapers or entering middle school. That's why their educational programs are so eclectic—the classes range from academic subjects such as reading and science to the more creative topics of art and cooking to ensure kids will find a class to spark their curiosity. In order to give students the best lessons possible, they also pull from popular, time-honored educational franchises such as The Language Workshop for Children, where native speakers immerse children in foreign languages through games, songs, and colorful visual aids. And Music Together instills babies, toddlers, and preschoolers with skills for singing in tune and keeping a beat, helping them build confidence at school or become the first infant drummer for U2.
Babies are grownups in training, meaning they need help eating without slobbering, speaking without babbling, and moving around without getting hurt. Romparoo helps out with the latter, with an indoor play space for kids aged 6 months to 3 years. The entire room, from floor to about child height, is padded, so kids can practice crawling, creeping, and toddling without bruising themselves or getting a ticket for jaywalking. Mommy-and-Me classes use music to transition between activities that help develop motor skills as well as socialization, and parents of toddlers aged 18 months to 3 years drop their brood off for two-hour classes that give them the independence to transition to preschool.
Stray Boots is an interactive tour that sets friends and family members loose on an exhilarating, knowledge-fueled undertaking guided by clues, trivia, and riddles. They operate in cities across the country, dividing them into special themed tours that contain the historical sites, local areas of interest, or eccentric child mayors unique to each city. During the explorations, clues point the way to cultural hot spots, which Stray Boots communicates via their official mobile app. At least one player on the team will need an iPhone or Android phone to receive clues, and none of the self-guided tours require previous knowledge of the city. Adventurers play at their own pace—most tours take two to three hours to finish—which allows them to spend more time learning about the city and photographing vibrant fire hydrants for aquacentric scrapbooks.
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting?it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children?s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.