*****THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED: JENNIE DOBSON IS OUR WINNER *****
We asked our Smarty friends at Gymboree Play & Music – Ballantyne for tips on how to get the most out of ANY free trial class (we think these tips are great for kids’ classes as well as any adult fitness class!). Here’s their advice plus an amazing giveaway – one year of free classes at Gymboree Play & Music – Ballantyne. That’s an $850 value! Read on and enter today!
Most kids’ programs (including Gymboree Play & Music) offer a free “trial class” for families to try out a specific class or type of class. There are many ways that parents can make sure that they get the most out of their free class. Here are some tips:
– Have realistic expectations and be kind to yourself and your child. Most of the time, you will be doing a trial class in a class that is on-going, and everyone else will probably know the routine and what comes next, etc. Remember that first-time jitters are just that, and the class will feel comfortable to you in no time!
– See the class as a wonderful opportunity to learn about your child. Parents are often FAR too focused on whether their child “liked it” or whether their child followed the teacher’s directions, etc. Rarely does a child just saunter in and participate like a veteran. Let your child explore at his or her own pace.
– Think about what things make you like or dislike the experience you have in the class. Every group has its own personality. If you love a class, think about what it is that makes it feel perfect. If you find yourself feeling negative about a class, ask the same question. It might just take attending class on a different day with a different set of people to make it the perfect fit.
– Check the organization’s fit with your parenting style/objectives. Every place that offers programs for children should be able to tell you what their teaching/learning philosophy is. At Gymboree, we are very clear that we believe that children learn through play, and we believe parents should “follow the child” in our classes. This means that we are comfortable with a child choosing NOT to join into the circle or opting out of a particular activity (remember, our students are often 18mo or 2 years old!). Join a place that has a similar philosophy to that of your family, or you may find yourself frustrated with either the facility or the other families attending.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for a second free class. If you finish your trial class and still don’t think you have a good read on whether the class will be a good fit for your child, it is absolutely okay to ask if you can attend a second trial class.
– Don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics. Of course, every place you try would like you to sign-up for their classes! But, they should also want you to find the place that is right for your family. Most places will offer an incentive if you sign-up on the day of your trial class. If you can’t decide if it’s the right fit for your family, ask if the incentive can be extended in a very specific way (for example, “until 5:00 tomorrow afternoon).
– Ask about the “fine print” (make-ups, exit strategy, etc.) – Make-up policies vary wildly across companies, and you want to make sure that you are choosing a place that has a liberal, family-friendly make-up policy (restrictive make-up policies encourage parents to bring sick children to class!). Also, make sure you know how you can cancel your membership – in the age of electronic billing, a company should be able to stop you from being billed if you give them reasonable notice (24 – 48 hours should be sufficient).
Free trial classes can be fun and can introduce you to new possible activities for your little one and your family. But, they also have the potential be stressful and frustrating, either for parent or child! These tips will help you – and your child! – get the most out of your free trial experience and maximize the chances that it is an enjoyable and educational time for both of you!
Smarty Giveaway: One Year of Free Classes at Gymboree Ballantyne – valued at $850!
You heard that right – one lucky Smarty will win one year of free classes at Gymboree Ballantyne for all age-appropriate kids in the immediate family. That’s a value of $850 – or more, depending on the number of kids!! Entering is easy. Simply do the following:
1. Follow CSP and Gymboree Play & Music – Ballantyne on Facebook.
2. Share this post on your newsfeed and tag three friends.
3. In the comment section below, tell us why your child would LOVE a class at Gymboree Play & Music.