L is for LOVE!

There are a million ways to express love for your little one, whether it’s physical affection, quality time, words of affirmation, active listening…you name it. Any acts of love are supporting your child’s early development and have a huge effect on how they decide to take on life!

L “L” is for LET your little one(s) know they can take risks! When children know they are loved and safe, they build confidence and are more comfortable testing their limits and taking risks. it helps them build the confidence to take risks and try new things.

O “O” is for being ON their side! Children need fans! Your love and support lets them know that somebody is always on their side in life. Having someone cheering them on makes them excited to improve and learn new things.

V “V” is for showing they are VALUABLE! It’s great to show love and encouragement after your little one reaches a new milestone, but it’s also important to relay that your love is because of WHO they are and not only based on WHAT they’ve done.

E “E” is for EVEN when they make mistakes! Kids actually learn MORE when they fail then when they succeed. So, encourage them to keep on trying and reassure them that failure is OK! If they know they are allowed to fail, they will push themselves to try new things!

 

Show your little one(s) how much you love them at Gymboree Play & Music!

FIND A LOCATION

February Book Recommendations!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this month’s theme is LOVE! We asked our knowledgable programming team to put together a list of books recommendations around bonding, love, and affection. So, grab that cozy blanket and snuggle up with your little one for some heartwarming reads!

llamallamaLlama Llama I love You
By Anna Dewdney
What could be better than Llama Llama on Valentines Day?! We LOVE Llama Llama books! The simple rhymes support language development, and repetition helps build memory and builds your little one’s vocabulary. The sweet message is all about how to show others you care by making them something special. A sweet and simple message perfect for all ages.


kissinghandThe Kissing Hand
By Audrey Penn
The Kissing Hand, now a classic, is a sweet story about the bond of mom and baby. If you are starting to discuss leaving your little one at pre-school, with a caretaker, or camp, the Kissing Hand is a wonderfully simple story that helps with any kind of separation. We recommend this story for anytime, but especially when talking about feelings.


guesshowmuchiloveyou

Guess How Much I love You!
By Sam McBratney
A lovable story about the boundless love between a child and a parent. As Little Nutbrown Hare shows dad how much he loves him, dad shows Little Nutbrown that he loves him back just as much or more! A sweet story to snuggle up with no matter how old your child is.


lovehungrycaterpillar

LOVE from The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By Rebecca Witford and Martina Selway
A visit from a very famous little caterpillar brings LOVE to life! With colorful images and fun phrases that support language development, this book SHOWS us how special people can make us feel important and loved. A wonderful addition to your February book list!

Teacher Feature! Meet Susie from Gymboree Play & Music, Chandler, AZ

Name: Susie C.

screen shot 2019-01-21 at 4.21.31 pm

How long have you been at Gymboree? 20 years!!!!

Where did you grow-up? Havre, Montana

Favorite Gymboree Song? “Wiggle your Bones” by Parachute Express!

Do you have any pets? Tucker, our fluffy white puppy!

Some favorites… Favorite Children’s Book? “Press Here” by Tullet

Favorite Color? Green

Favorite Sport? Football 🏈

Favorite Food? Tacos 🌮

Favorite Drink? Cherry Coke 🍒

Do you have any hobbies? Listening to ALL types of music, going to concerts and playing games with my family and friends!

Meet Tess! GymboFams Ambassador & Children’s Author

Hello, GymboFams!  My name is Tess Kossow, and my son, Ferris, and I are Ambassadors for Gymboree Play & Music.  At the time of this article, Ferris is nine months old (born in April 2018), and we have been coming to play at Gymboree Play & Music since he was 8 weeks young!  We have been to Baby Lab, Level 1, and now are proud members of the ever-moving-and-singing Level 2 class!  We have attended two locations and have loved every minute of our experiences.

IMG_4221.jpg

A little about myself:  I am a mama, first and foremost.  I am also an entrepreneur / children’s picture book author.  My first book, which is also part of a series, is called I’m Very Ferris, and it talks about In Vitro Fertilization through the eyes of a child.  It is based off the true-life story of my journey through IVF to have baby Ferris.  I believe that with the many, many couples that experience infertility, there needed to be a children’s book that could explain the delicate topic of IVF in which a child can understand.  However, this book is wonderful for all families, as children will love to come along with Ferris on his little adventures as the series grows.

EBB98777-EC25-416D-AF5E-353167E85725.JPG

Visit www.tesskossow.com for more information and to pick up your copy of I’m Very Ferris today!  Thank you, GymboFams!

CLIMBING: It’s Not What it Looks Like

By Lauren O’Brien

It sounds like such a simple activity – climbing. But, when your child climbs, they are building and testing parts of themselves that will benefit them for their ENTIRE LIVES. For instance, did you know that climbing enables your child to develop parts of their brain that aid in learning how to read and write? And there are SO MANY WAYS TO CLIMB – especially at Gymboree Play & Music!

See below to see all the benefits that climbing can bring to your child’s development (for many many many years to come)!

climber pictures.png

climbing benefits

climbing benefits 2

January Book Recommendations!

This month’s theme is GET MOVING! Our amazing programming team put together a list of book recommendations that are both fun and educational, all the while promoting body movement!

head to toe bookHead to Toe
By Eric Carle
Encourages little ones to clap their hands, stomp their feet and touch their toes! Great for an active and interactive read!

 


oh! bookOH!
By Kevin Henkes
All the animals and children like to play in the snow! You can join along with all the ways the animals play in this wintry active read-a-loud!


lets play bookLet’s Play!
By Herve Tullet
Can you wiggle, slide, jump? Follow along with little yellow dot, as he explores movement and emotions. Excellent for reading aloud and repeating the actions!


little yogaLittle Yoga
By Rebecca Witford and Martina Selway
Toddlers first introduction to yoga! Beautiful illustrations model how to move into these child friendly poses! Join in on the fun!


bear hunt bookWe’re Going on a Bear Hunt
By Michael Rosen
Can’t go under it, can’t go over it, gotta go through it! This classic is an incredible book for imagination, directional vocabulary and for acting it out! Don’t let the bear catch you!

Easy Resolutions for Our Gymbo Families

By Lauren O’Brien

Happy 2019 to all of our Gymbo Families!

It’s a New Year and, for many, that often means New Year’s resolutions. But, you may have noticed that things got a tad more difficult once the little one(s) came into the picture — you know, things like wearing clean clothes. Resolutions may also change depending on your child’s age. Here are some easy resolutions our parents can make in 2019, broken down by age!

If you have an infant:

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Your life feels like it’s been flipped upside down and everything is different. But, ACTUALLY, the most common advice we hear new mom’s give is to KEEP DOING YOU! Make a resolution to keep getting out there — take your little one wherever you used to go, because, once they start walking, it’s game over!

If you have a 1 year old:  

Yay! Your little one is finally becoming an interactive little human! Around one year, children start to develop their adorable little personalities — so this is a key time to GET YOUR PLAY ON!  Encourage playtime whenever possible. And the great part of this resolution? It’s so easy…and won’t be given up on January 5th.

If you have a toddler:

Has your little one started to request that you turn into a monster or princess or animal? Your little toddler’s mind is abuzz with the many possibilities of the world. They’re starting to discover and understand the power of their imagination — and that they can recreate their favorite things in THEIR MIND! It’s difficult not to take over, but make a resolution to let them take the lead during playtime and encourage their elaborate imagination (even if it means you’re always the evil stepmother)!

With that building imagination can also come messiness. Just remember, there’s a difference between mess and filth! Stuffed animals all over the couch? That’s your child imagining that their friends need a comfortable place to sit! When encouraging your toddler’s imagination, sometimes that means accepting clutter, chaos and messiness. So, this year we say EMBRACE the imagination and the mess that comes with it!

If you have a 4-5 year old:

Your little one is out in the real world and has started school! Boundaries and rules will become a key lesson in school, which is great! But, keep in mind that unstructured or “free” play time is still important for their growing minds. That means, play time where they get to decide what THEY want to do. “Free” play time allows little ones to practice decision-making skills and discover their own interests and hobbies. So, for our parents with school-age kiddos, make a resolution to schedule UNSCHEDULED playtime!

Start your year off right! CLICK HERE TO ENROLL NOW and pay $0 Initiation Fee! 

Holiday Letter from Gymboree Play & Music CEO

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 3.09.43 PM

December 21, 2018

Dear Friends,

I want to celebrate this holiday season by thanking all of you for being a part of our Play & Music family. You have trusted us with the development of your children, you’ve shared birthdays and holidays with us, and we’ve been able to play and learn alongside you and your children. For that we are so thankful.

Since Play & Music became a stand-alone company a few years ago, independent from the Gymboree Clothing company, we’ve opened new locations all over the world. Every week we play with more than 500,000 families in more than 45 countries. We love what we do and we plan to keep doing it for the next generation of children.

My family has been a part of Gymboree Play & Music for almost 30 years as members, teachers, franchise owners, and now CEO. A lot has changed over the years – clipboards turned into IPads, shoe boxes turned into computers, equipment was upgraded, newspaper ads turned into Facebook posts. But in the classroom, children still explore everything around them, parents learn alongside their babies, and play is still the best and most enjoyable way for children to learn.

What makes our programs special are the people who deliver them every day – our teachers. They come from all over the world, but they all share a love of helping children play, explore, socialize and meet adventure head-on. Children can always come into our classes and have fun with the playscapes but our teachers enhance the experience, and create opportunities that may not be obvious, but all of a sudden are right there. We celebrate these teachers and thank them for their devotion to all of our children.

2019 is shaping up to be another great year for Gymboree Play & Music. We’ll be opening more centers on virtually every continent, upgrading our technology so our families can schedule classes from an App, increasing the size and scope of our teacher training programs and making it easier for families to connect with one another.

On behalf of all of our teachers, franchise owners and corporate staff, I’m proud to say Gymboree Play & Music will be inspiring parents and children to play together this year, next year and for many years to come. Thank you for being part of our ever-growing community of people who care about giving children the very best of early childhood.

Let’s all have a great holiday with our families, celebrating our children and keeping them close to our hearts.

Sincerely,
Danny Softness
CEO, North America
Gymboree Play & Music

Our Year in Review

By: Lauren O’Brien

Wrapping up the year always sparks some internal reflection. We took a look back on moments and milestones of the year and realized we accomplished A LOT! So, we took the liberty of doing a little math to help paint a beautiful picture of all things Gymboree Play & Music in 2018!

blog_gymbo hugs

blog_bubbles.png

blog_parachute

blog_teachers.png

blog_equipment

blog_owners

blog_gymbo.png

blog_immeasurable

*All numbers are based off of data for North America Gymobree Play & Music locations  

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Brie

My name is Brie Donel, my family started at Gymboree Play & Music at the Westside Pavilion mall in Los Angeles back in 2012 when my first child was 13 months. Alex was (and still is!) a little boy with an endless supply of energy! When he started he was only just beginning to cruise but within a few short weeks he was walking and running! As he grew older, it became apparent he was developmentally delayed and was eventually diagnosed with Autism just before the age of 3.

image2.jpeg

The staff at Gymboree Play & Music were so incredibly supportive of us during that difficult time and when he struggled with being at a typical preschool, he thrived at Gymboree Play & Music’s school skills. He was happy there, comfortable and knew his teachers well. When he turned 5 and had to move on it was a very emotional day for us all. After Alex graduated we stopped by our Gymboree Play & Music whenever we were at the mall so he could see his old teachers.

I had my second child, another boy, named Oliver, in 2017. I brought Oliver to the Gymboree Play & Music Baby Lab when he was 6 months old and he has been attending ever since. The best part? One of Alex’s former teachers still works at Gymboree Play & Music and is now Oliver’s teacher! Alex will come with us to watch Oliver play and to continue his bond with the teacher he has known since he was one.

Our Gymboree Play & Music holds such a special place in my heart which is why I am so excited to join the GymboFams team! I hope one day when my boys are both grown up to even work for Gymboree Play & Music myself. That is how much I love it there!

image7.jpeg

You can follow Brie at: https://www.instagram.com/briedonelphotography/