The holiday season has officially begun! And, as much as we’d all love to focus on celebrating with friends and family, and the joy of the season, we are inundated with ads for STUFF.
Families with little ones only need so many big plastic toys. They are exciting at first, but are quickly cast aside and in the way.
A Gymboree Play & Music membership keeps families (both children and adults) happy and engaged for much longer than any shiny new toy. For over 45 years, we have been supporting the physical, cognitive and social development of young children – birth to five – and building connections and community: child-to-child, adult-to-adult, family-to-family.
Give the gift of play and learning to a special little one in your life. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to enjoy the gift too!
Like many of our franchisees, Jigna Vyas was introduced to Gymboree Play & Music through her first child. They attended classes together, and both made lasting friendships. When Jigna had her second child, she realized that she wanted to step back from her demanding Engineering career, and find a business that would afford her a work-life balance. Her love of our programs made Gymboree Play & Music the perfect choice.
Jigna enjoys both sides of the business: running the day-to-day operation and managing her staff, plus building relationships with the families who attend her location.
“I have met some wonderful parents, grandparents, family members, and of course the little ones at Gymboree. It is such a joy to be part of special moments; from rolling over as a baby to taking the first few steps, or even jumping off a step box for the first time. My staff has been with me through thick and thin, and they are an asset to my business. Many of my teachers have become my close friends and I have had the pleasure of attending weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties of their kids.”
Parents at her location thank Jigna for providing a safe, clean, stress and pressure free place for their children to play, socialize and learn, and for families to connect and build a community.
Unless you are one of the lucky few who have close friends who live nearby and had their kids around the same time as you, being a new parent can be very isolating.
Making new friends as an adult is hard, especially over the past few years. It’s complicated negotiating the social landscape: trying to balance your own comfort level around the need to get out of the house and DO THINGS!
It’s almost time to “fall back”. It’s amazing how that one-hour difference can be such a difficult adjustment for everyone. But it’s especially difficult for young children!
Here are a few tips to help your little one adjust before we turn the clocks back:
Start the transition early:
Put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier (or later, in the spring) each night during the week leading up to the time change. It will allow their internal body clock to make the adjustment ahead of time. While they may not actually fall asleep earlier than usual, their bodies will be relaxing a bit earlier each day which will eventually lead to falling asleep earlier.
Develop a healthy sleep routine:
It’s important to keep your child’s routine as consistent as possible, to establish healthy sleep patterns that will support them through life:
Establish regular times to go to bed and get up in the morning, including on weekends.
Develop a before-sleep routine of quiet activities: bath, teeth brushing, story.
Avoid high-energy activities in the hours before bedtime.
Make sure your child’s room is a comfortable temp (not too hot!), quiet and dark. Use a nightlight if they are afraid of the dark.
A quiet house will help your little one relax:
Ask friends and family not to call after a certain time and keep ambient noise to a minimum, If possible. This is especially important during the transition to Daylight Savings Time since it will be lighter out when your child goes to bed.
Back to bed, little one:
If your child wakes up too early, let them know that it is not time yet. Encourage them to play quietly in their room or relax in their bed until the correct time to start the day.
Maintain their regular nap schedule:
Don’t adjust their naps after the time change. While they may not seem tired at their usual nap time, their bodies will adapt.
“I got so excited when Mommy parked the car a little while ago, because I knew we were going to my favorite place!
I get to see my best friend each week, and Mommy always has a big smile on her face too when she sees her friends here.
There’s a really nice lady who shows me and my friends so many fun things to do. Right now she has me practicing my crawling. It can be hard work, but she sings songs and blows so many bubbles that It’s all worth it! And I’ve overheard Mommy tell Grandma and Daddy that I always take a really good nap after we go to our class together.
Sometimes Daddy or Grandma ask if they can go to class with me instead of Mommy. I guess they love it too!
Tell your Mommy or Daddy to sign you up!!”
From birth to kindergarten, our classes grow with your child. Find one near you at gymboreeclasses.com
Halloween is a fun excuse to dress up your little one and show them off. But scary decorations, spooky music and big kids in creepy costumes may be overwhelming for toddlers and preschoolers.
Here are some fun, toddler-friendly ways to celebrate:
Look for organized community trick-or-treating events at your local mall or downtown shopping center. They usually take place when it’s still light out, and attract families rather than older kids and teens.
Go out early and limit the number of houses you visit. While it’s tempting to walk the entire neighborhood (because who doesn’t want everyone to “oooh” and “aaah” over their cutie?), it’s best to stick to close friends and family when your child is young.
Even if you don’t go out “trick or treating”, you can still dress your little one up and take lots of pictures! Post them using #gymboween2022.
It’s almost the weekend. Here are some fun family-friendly activities:
Go leaf peeping: if you live in an area where leaves change, it is prime leaf peeping time! Just be sure to take some breaks in your drive, to give your little one time to burn off some energy.
Take a nature walk: even if leaves aren’t changing, you can still take a walk. Whether your little one is in a carrier, a stroller, or walking on their own, it’s always fun to get out into nature and look for leaves, interesting rocks, bugs, birds, and animals. Make sure you pack snacks and water and take lots of breaks if your child is walking on their own.
Visit a pumpkin patch: if you haven’t purchased your pumpkin yet, what are you waiting for? Pumpkin patches offer great photo ops, and some offer hayrides!
Go apple picking: depending on where you are, it still may be apple picking season. It’s a fun outdoor activity, and you end up with tons of apples to make into delicious treats to share with friends and family.
Whatever you choose to do this weekend, be sure to take lots of pictures. These times spent together when your children are young will be precision memories.
Coni Ensor Goudie has seen many changes over her years as a Gymboree Play & Music franchisee, including updates to the play equipment and face lifts for our mascot, Gymbo the Clown. But what hasn’t changed is her love and enthusiasm for the business.
Coni was a young mom with a toddler back in 1983 when she happened upon an article about a children’s program in Newsweek magazine. When she discovered that the only location on the East Coast was in New York, she decided that she had to bring the program to Miami. During her first year of owning the business, she had a second child, making the flexibility of owning her own business even more important for her family.
Coni expected to run the business until her children outgrew it but, 39 years later, she has the most seniority of all our owners and her “toddler” works in the business with her.
“Gymboree has meant many things to me over the years. It afforded me the independence I needed in being a divorced mom with two kids to make the special teacher meetings and school plays. But, as the business owner, the final responsibility fell on my shoulders if a teacher called out sick, which set an example for my children about work ethic. To this day I cannot go anywhere or meet anyone in the Miami area that does not know about Gymboree, and that is because of what I built. I am overwhelmed with the pride that gives me.”
Coni has made sure to give back to the community that supports her business, setting up charitable programs and working with area hospitals.
“Getting to meet the moms and children and help them interact with their children through the program is certainly rewarding, as well as watching them grow and develop through the different stages of the classes. Some of my best friends to this day I met at Gymboree.”
Our programs support early learning from birth to kindergarten, while creating friendships and community within our locations. Come see what you’ve been missing! Gymboree Play & Music