At Gymboree Play & Music, Halloween means IMAGINATION!

By: Lauren O’Brien

halloween imagination

In honor of Halloween, this month at Gymboree Play & Music we are focusing on building confident learners through IMAGINATION!

Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Encouraging your child’s imagination fosters cognitive and social development, which helps them build their critical thinking skills — an important element of early childhood development. Imagination also builds social-emotional development by allowing children to create different resolutions, thus boosting children’s confidence, which can be used in interactions with others.1

Fortunately for parents, children often have great imaginations and creative visualization can come very easily to them; but there are still ways to help your child’s early development even further!

And, since Halloween is all about imaginary monsters, princesses and spooky creatures, it’s the perfect time of year to work on building that imagination! So, when your little one says a shark has eaten your leg or there is ice cream in that empty bowl…play along =)

Here are a few fun and easy Halloween IMAGINATION activities:

ART PROJECTS:

  • Leaf People: Collect fall materials like leaves, sticks, acorns, and pine cones and make a fall collage, a leaf-man or whatever your child’s imagination creates!
  • Pumpkin Painting: This allows your child to get a bit more imaginative than carving because there are no knives involved!
  • Pumpkin Faces: Grab some white paper plates, orange paint, black paper (for the eyes and mouth), and paint brushes to create pumpkin face masks!
  • Styrofoam Spiders: Just a styrofoam cup, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and markers to make silly (or creepy!) spider decorations.
  • Hand Print Trees: Draw your child’s handprint on some construction paper, use brown paint for the trunk and branches (wrist and fingers) and then glue some fall-colored tissue paper on for the leaves.

MUSICAL ACTIVITIES:  Turn up the stereo volume, get out some instruments and bust out those dance moves. Let your child freestyle dance and/or play some instruments (like maracas) to whatever beat they hear!

OTHER IMAGINATION ACTIVITIES:

  • Halloween Treats: Take those imaginations to the kitchen! Make some fun halloween treats.
  • Build a Fort: Turn a fort into a haunted house!
  • Dress up: Who doesn’t love some creative dress-up?
  • Free Play: Allowing your child unstructured playtime provides them time to truly use their imagination!

1. [Nurturing Creativity and Imagination For Child Development]

April At Home Activities: Simon Says, Hopscotch & Obstacles Courses!

Spring is here and, you know what that means….PLAYTIME! April is Wobble month here at Gymboree Play & Music. Balance and coordination are vital for our kiddos in their development. Let’s get our wobble on with some fun games and activities!

Best part of all? All the below activities will be taking place at your local Gymboree Play & Music!

SIMON SAYS and FOLLOW THE LEADER! Positive benefits for your little one AND they do what you say!

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 7.32.37 PMSimon Says and Follow the Leader is so much fun because your child will do anything you do!

Hop on one foot, skip, crab walk, stand on one leg…get creative with different poses and movements to help your child learn how to balance and practice coordination.

HOP, HOP TO HOPSCOTCH! There’s a reason it’s a classic. Kids love it AND it helps with balance and coordination in so many ways.

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The classic Hopscotch has so many benefits. Not only do kids love it, the game helps children master body control and the movements build body strength, balance, eye/hand coordination and more! For an extra challenge and to get even more out of this game, play it without switching feet — the more one-foot hopping, the better! This takes the skills of standing on one foot to the next level.

OBSTACLE COURSE! What’s a better (and fun) challenge than a good ‘ol obstacle course? Our child development experts and trained teachers come up with awesome obstacle courses for kiddos — way better than the pillows, blankets and boxes that we all grew up with!

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Try this at home! Stairs, hills, crawl spaces and stepping stones all challenge a toddler’s balance and coordination. Create a (safe) obstacle course for your toddler — set up pillows and boxes and have your toddler crawl around and through the boxes and step on the pillows, without touching the ground.

There are also great obstacle courses at local parks — climb the stairs up to the slide, bounce on the wobbly bridge, find a balance beam or crawl through tunnels.

April At Home Activity: Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!

Spring is here and, you know what that means….PLAYTIME! April is Wobble month here at Gymboree Play & Music. Balance and coordination are vital for our kiddos in their development. Let’s get our wobble on with some fun games and activities!

Best part of all? All the below activities will be taking place at your local Gymboree Play & Music!

BUBBLES, BUBBLES, BUBBLES! There are so many ways bubbles help kiddos with balance and coordination. And, who doesn’t love bubbles?

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Get those bubbles out at home! Bubbles help our little ones with so many skills — hand/eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, and visual tracking skills.

There’s holding the wand and bottle, understanding how to dip and blow the wand; tracking the bubbles with their eyes; and using their hands to find and pop the bubbles.

Babies are mesmerized when they see floating bubbles. Blow bubbles in the air and catch them. This will hone their focusing skills and promote their hand-eye coordination as they stretch their arms, balance and point their little fingers trying to grab a bubble!

Toddlers love an extra challenge. Have toddlers balance on one foot to catch a bubble in the air. This will promote good coordination and balance.

April At Home Activity: Play Ball!

Spring is here and, you know what that means….PLAYTIME! April is Wobble month here at Gymboree Play & Music. Balance and coordination are vital for our kiddos in their development. Let’s get our wobble on with some fun games and activities!

Best part of all? All the below activities will be taking place at your local Gymboree Play & Music!

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PLAY BALL! Throwing, rolling, kicking, catching…they all help your little one learn balance and coordination skills.

Learning to throw, roll, kick and catch a ball is a great way for little ones to work on their balance and coordination skills!

Try  rolling a large, light ball back and forth on the floor with your child or throw a balloon in the air and catch it to promote good balance skills.

Activities like kicking a ball requires balance and coordination as your little one has to shift weight to one leg, while attempting to strike the ball with the opposite leg.

Practice at home! There are so many ways balls can help with balance and coordination in your child! Simple catch is great. Or have them try to catch the ball in a basket, rather than using their hands. Kick a ball towards a target while walking or running is another simple way to improve balance for kids. You can also bring out bats or sticks and have them strike an object into a goal. The possibilities are endless!