Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baby Class Reviews: Bubbles Academy -- Music for Crawlers

I will be rating baby classes on a 5 star (*) scale.  I will also review price, age, size, length, cleanliness, space, parking, open play toys, instructor, content, Henry’s opinion, mom’s opinion, other moms, music, make-ups and activity.  Some of the classes are exclusive to Chicago, and some are national/international chains.  For a stay-at-home mom in the winter, baby classes are part of a survival guide.  A baby class introduces you to other moms with babies of the same age, and gets you out of the house.  Plus, baby gets to interact with others his age, which is great for his socialization and development.   

Bubbles Academy
1504 N Fremont St
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 944-7677

*****FIVE STARS *****

Price:  Drop in:  $25 (call for reservation)  $184 for 8 week session; $230 for 10 week session (depending on holidays) – Bonus:  If you sign up for a session you can attend the open play sessions for free – otherwise it’s $10.

Age:  Crawlers

Size:  Medium/Large.  Around 15-20 moms/babies 

Length:  45 minutes

Convenience: Easy to sign-up online.  Staff is friendly and helpful. 

Cleanliness:  Very clean.  The toys are cleaned after each session, I think, but they are strewn about for songs and kids exchange toys.  Usually the toys are returned for cleaning after each song.  The open play part of the class has lots of climbing toys and balls that are shared.  There is an antibacterial station with wipes and sanitizer.  No shoes in the playroom.  (Scale: Super, Very, Kind of, Not at all)

Space:  Amazing.  The Meadow Room is a gigantic loft enclosed room.  There is green plush carpeting, murals on the walls, a sloped wall, and butterfly cutouts and lanterns that hang from the ceiling.

Parking:  Parking lot – FREE - across the street with Bubbles Academy permit.

Open Play Toys:  Lots of different toys are put out for each song, and during the open play part of the class it is wonderland of climbing stairs, rolling balls, instruments, giant drums, mirrors, see saws, etc. 

Instructor:  Kim has a peppy disposition and a cutesy singing voice.  She plays the guitar with the songs.  Henry is mesmerized by her.

Content:  Caregivers and babies sit in a circle at the beginning, but as the class moves along we walk in circles, spin around, run to the middle with baby rocket ships, bounce baby on our laps, put baby in laundry baskets and push them around the room like train cars.  We also learn some signs.  The first sign song we learned was “I like to eat apples and bananas.”  The class is actually a workout.  Wear short sleeves!  Certain songs include baby musical instruments and toys, which are returned for cleaning.  There’s also a bit of socializing with music in the background.  Kim usually walks around blowing bubbles for babies.  Most moms sing along.  After the structured music part of class, there is a short open play period.  Moms help Kim bring out large soft climbing obstacles, see saws, balls, etc.  Babies and caregivers socialize.  During the entire class babies are encouraged to crawl around and play with other babies.  Some babies crawl all over the entire room without paying attention to the class or other kids.

Henry’s Opinion:  H loves the freedom.  He can crawl all over and there are lots of kids to play with.  He also loves climbing on the open play toys, and on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, if Chris works late, we go to the free open play session from 5:30-6:30. 

Mom’s Opinion:  I love Bubbles for the huge room, the laid back atmosphere and great open play toys.  The music is great.  They put the words up via projector on the giant wall with picture. 

Other Moms:  The other moms are very friendly.  Although, the class can sometimes be quite large, it is good because you have a large group to pick from.  Generally, the moms are easy going, not germophobic, and let the kids wander around.  It’s a great free atmosphere.    

Music:  A-: Cute baby music – some songs I know, and I like that Kim plays the guitar. 

Make-ups:  Call to schedule a make-up class.  An absence is logged onto your account, and you can select any age appropriate class that week to substitute.  No limit.

Activity:  Tons of activity:  crawling, dancing, singing, playing, climbing, signing, etc.

See other Baby Class Reviews.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I just wanted to say that my son and I are huge fans of Bubbles. The teachers are great very friendly and fun. Plus, a great deal for indoor playground for the winter.