Engage In Play At Home

April 16

There is nothing more fun than spending quality time with family and loved ones! But during these uncertain times of staying in place and social distancing, finding activities for your little ones to do at home can be challenging.

We at Gymboree Play & Music are committed to taking care of our community. We recognize how hard it can be to come up with creative ideas for every moment of the day. That’s why we have compiled a list of activities encouraging exploration and self-expression that will keep your little one engaged in play from the comfort of your own home.

Create a Daily Routine
A routine creates a sense of security for your little one and will provide a calmer family environment. Our friends at HOMER have created a “build your own learning routine” that focuses on movement, story time, and so much more. Check out their colorful routine that can be applied to ages 10 and under.

Click the image to view all the routines.

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Play Dress Up
We have mentioned before that dressing up and costume play has tons of developmental benefits that encourages problem solving, empathy, and builds confidence. Get the scoop on all the benefits of engaging in dress up play by reading our past blog–10 Benefits of Dress Up Play

Bubble Ooodles
Everyone loves bubbles and your little one will stay safe with bubble play! Children learn and develop from early sensory experiences. Bubble Ooodles use touch and movement to engage the senses. Not only that, but Bubble Ooodles are non-toxic and are an easy clean-up activity. 

Build a Fort
Introducing fort play has many benefits to early development that includes problem solving skills, planning, and creativity. Building a fort can be as simple as throwing a blanket over a table. Not to mention it’s fun!

Get Outside
If you have a yard, your little one will have fun exploring the world around them. A bit of sunshine can certainly turn those frowns upside down. Outdoor play improves physical development that is important for growth and movement of the body.

Messy Play
Messy play is essential to your little one’s cognitive and physical development. Messy play activities such as finger painting and shaving cream sensory bins can provide your child with hours of messy fun. Read our seven tips to “Keeping Messy Play Clean”.

Gymboree Play & Music Video Library
If you need to schedule some screen time for your little one, check out our Gymboree Play & Music YouTube channel where we offer playful videos that support a lifetime of learning. Our teachers will guide you on different adventures such as Story Time, Play Time Fun, and Art & Music Activities.

 

Engage in play at home with even more Gymboree Play & Music activities!

 

 

3 Reasons To Use Gymboree Play & Music Bubble Ooodles At Home!

You can now bring home the Gymboree Play & Music fun and learning with Bubble Ooodles! Our world famous bubbles have been entertaining children for decades. Here’s 3 reasons that Bubble Ooodles can benefit your child in the comfort of your own home.

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  1. Bubble Ooodles create a sensory experience at home – Babies learn and develop from early sensory experiences. Bubble Ooodles engage texture (touch) and movement (sight) to engage the senses.
  2. Familiarity and practice – Children use Bubble Ooodles in our Gymboree Play & Music classes and using Bubble Ooodles at home allows children to practice their gross/fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. They also feel the familiarity that comes with a common task that they are doing both at school and at home.
  3. Bubble Ooodles are non-toxic and easy to clean up! – Moms love the ease of use that comes with using Bubble Ooodles which is safe on indoor fabrics!

Buy Gymboree Play & Music Bubble Ooodles from Gymbo’s Bubble Shop — you can choose from three different bubble products: Bubble Ooodles Refill (8oz or 16oz) or Bubble Ooodles with Wand and Tray.

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From one of our Gymboree Play & Music teachers – “I highly recommend the bubbles not only for children but for pets as well; what makes them so fabulous & original is that they last so long on surfaces!!

 

 

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!