Early childhood education is a fundamental part of a child’s development, setting the stage for their future learning and growth. In Chicago, one renowned institution that has significantly contributed to this field is Gymboree. This piece delves into how Gymboree has revolutionized early childhood education in Chicago with its innovative approach and commitment to bettering the lives of children in the community.

A Brief History of Gymboree

Founded in 1976 by Joan Barnes, Gymboree began as a platform for parents and children to play and learn together in a fun, safe, and engaging environment. Over the years, it expanded its services to include music, art, and school skills classes. Now, Gymboree operates in over 40 countries and has over 700 locations worldwide.

Gymboree’s Impact on Early Childhood Education

Gymboree’s educational strategy emphasizes learning through play – a significant shift from traditional educational methods that often relied on rote memorization. By integrating play into their learning framework, Gymboree offers an environment in which children can grow organically and holistically, harnessing their natural curiosity and imagination.

One of Gymboree’s significant contributions to early childhood education in Chicago and beyond is their belief in the intrinsic power of play. They understand that play is not just an activity but a crucial part of children’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development. By combining play with structured learning, Gymboree aspires to develop children’s curiosity, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and empathy.

Gymboree Outlets in America

Gymboree operates numerous centers across America, including metros like New York, Los Angeles, and of course, Chicago. Each center is designed to provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to explore, play, and learn, complete with custom-designed play equipment, music and art studios, and classrooms.


Gymboree is undeniably a game-changer in early childhood education. Their innovative child-centred approach, highlighting the crucial role of play, has set them apart in the field. It is evident that Gymboree will continue to shape the future of early childhood education in Chicago and internationally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What age group does Gymboree cater to?
A: Gymboree offers programs for children aged 0-5 years old.

Q: What are some of the programs offered at Gymboree?
A: Some of the programs include play & learn, music, art, and school skills classes.

Q: How is learning at Gymboree different from traditional early education?
A: Gymboree emphasizes learning through play, believing that play is an essential part of children’s overall development.



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