It’s Slime Time

Support a lifetime of learning by introducing your little ones to science at an early age.

Tactile activities such as making slime (yes slime) have many benefits for children’s cognitive and physical development. Slime is a type of sensory and messy play that encourages the imagination to explore and create.

Making slime is a relaxing activity that you and your little one can do together at home. This hands-on science experiment blends different substances together, and supports sensory play through movements such as pouring, mixing, measuring, and even cleaning. Children will have fun stirring and stretching the slime, as well as exploring the texture. Your little one will also learn colors and color combinations.

What you will need:
Water
Borax
Glue (Elmer’s School Glue)
Food coloring to add color to the slime (Optional)

How to:
Take 1 cup of water
Add 1 teaspoon of Borax to the cup of water, stir until dissolved and set aside
Put ½ cup of water and ½ cup of glue in a big bowl
Add a few drops of food coloring to the big bowl of ingredients
Stir glue, water, and food coloring together
Add the cup of water and Borax to the big bowl and stir some more

Now your little one is ready to be sticky and slimy!

 

Visit our Gymboree Play & Music YouTube channel where our teachers will take you on different adventures such as:
Story Time, Play Time Fun, and Art & Music Activities!
Through these videos your little one will be engaged in play, building crucial skills to support a lifetime of learning! 

Get your daily dose of fun!

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!

 

 

Make A Tambourine At Home!

This week is about musical play!

Support a lifetime of learning by teaching children about music at an early age! Playing with a tambourine provides a sensory experience that exposes your little learner to improvisation and creative thinking. It also encourages curiosity and movement. Making your very own musical instruments at home is a great way to not only bond with your child, but it will also keep them entertained for hours!

DIY Music tambourines are easy to construct using items that can be found around your house.

What your will need:
Two paper plates
A hole puncher
Dried beans, beads, Cereal, or anything that will make a noise
Ribbon, String, or yarn
Crayons or paint

Step One:
Decorate your paper plates

Step Two:
Sandwich your plates together

Step Three:
Use a hole punch to create holes around the plates that are about two inches apart

Step Four:
Slip the ribbon through the lined-up holes of both plates

Step Five:
Before tying up the last hole, don’t forget to add your noise material (dried beans, beads, etc.)

Step Six:
Tie up the last hole

Now your little one is ready to tap, shake, jingle, and move!

Jive on over to our Gymboree Play & Music YouTube channel where our teachers will take you on different adventures such as:
Story Time, Play Time Fun, and Art & Music Activities!
Through these videos your little one will be engaged in play, building crucial skills to support a lifetime of learning! 

Get your daily dose of fun!

Bonding With Your Baby

Happy Spring

Here at Gymboree Play & Music, we just love Spring! There are puddles to splash in and blooming flowers can be found everywhere.

Spring is known for being the season of early development and in the month of March we are recognizing the importance of child development that encompasses physical, emotional, and cognitive elements in little one’s between the ages of 0 to 3. In these early years, building bonds with parents and caregivers can promote healthy brain development that is critical for learning.

Sometimes bonding with your baby happens naturally and other times it takes a bit longer for that bond to occur. Strong attachments will help your tiny ones learn and connect with others easier by continuing to build and grow these bonds.

Here are six ways you can promote bonding with your baby:

1. Put Your Phone Away
Don’t miss out on all the precious moments your tiny one is experiencing for the first time. Family and loved ones will understand if you don’t respond to messages and calls right away.

2. Keep A Journal of Baby’s First Years
The first few years of your tiny one’s development will fly by. Record all those precious moments you are creating together to preserve those memories.

3. Skin to Skin Contact
Skin-to-skin contact enables you to learn your baby’s signals sooner. It improves communication and assists with boosting maternal confidence that develops a sense of trust and security within your tiny one.

4. Play
It’s no secret that the best types of learning happen through play! In early development, play comes in many forms, from singing songs to your tiny one, to looking in the mirror together. These simple acts encourage the exploration of sound and sight when babies start to recognize voices and facial expressions. At Gymboree Play & Music we are all about the Tummy Time activity! Tummy Time is a type of play that is not only fun and engaging but promotes movement and strengthens muscles.

5. Don’t Stress the Milestones
Every baby develops at their own pace. It is hard not to compare or obsess about where your tiny one should be at each stage of development. Try to enjoy the moment and know that your baby will reach those milestones when they are ready.

6. You Are Enough
By meeting your tiny one’s daily needs, you have already begun to bond with your baby. Be proud of your super mom achievements and know that you are enough!

 

Spring into action and continue to bond with your baby!

The Benefits of Dr. Seuss

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March is all about the importance of early child development here at Gymboree Play & Music. In honor of this day (March 2), we recognize Dr. Seuss who was known for writing and illustrating 45 children’s books. Not only are the books Dr. Seuss created fun and entertaining, they offer an added benefit for your little one to develop their language skills!
Tongue twisting rhymes, made-up animals, repeated sounds, and engaging story lines are all recipes for your child to connect words and concepts together.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Below are a few benefits to why reading Dr. Seuss to your little one is important:

Rhythm
Rhythm is an integral tool for babies to understand when phrases begin and end. It is their first step in learning the language that assists in developing motor patterns. Rhythm also aides in the planning and executing of simple movements like reaching for a toy or crawling.

Appreciation for Words
The nonsensical words that Dr. Seuss created throughout his book, mirror the way children naturally speak. The combination of rhythms and funny made-up phrases inspires your child to learn real words and invites them to experiment with language.

Dr. Seuss Quote

Learning is Fun
While Dr. Seuss’s characters are always colorful and entertaining, his stories included meaningful life lessons about kindness, friendship, acceptance, and independence.

Memory Development
Reading Dr. Seuss’s short rhythmic passages to your little one repetitively, allows them to commit these stories to memory and recite the story aloud or pretend to read along. This instills confidence, assists in developing social skills, and ignites a love of literacy at a young age.

Come Celebrate Dr. Seuss at Gymboree Play & Music!

Discover Your Mom Tribe

February is all about bonding and connection and all about you-The Mom! We know it takes a village to raise a child and it is important for moms to know they are not alone. Finding a tribe of moms, builds community support and strengthens the bond between you and your little one!

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Let’s face it, finding a mom tribe isn’t easy. Friendships take work. Often, moms feel socially isolated after they have had their first baby, or they are overwhelmed with the new obstacles to overcome.

At Gymboree Play & Music we don’t just help your child reach new milestones, we also provide a welcoming community where moms just like you can navigate the world of motherhood together. Here are a few ways you can be a part of your very own mom tribe!

Build a connection
It is easier to be on the same parenting page as others in your tribe. While your little ones do not need to be the exact age, sharing similar experiences certainly helps. There might not be an instant connection, but don’t give up, friendships take time to build.

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Exchange contact information after a Gymboree Play & Music class for there might not be another opportunity to reconnect. Follow-up shortly after the interaction to nurture the friendship so those you meet don’t forget you.

Make an effort
When you are tied to a little one’s schedule there are all kinds of reasons why you would need to cancel plans. The good news is having other mom friends with similar aged children will understand. Manage your schedule so you can take time for yourself to engage in these social interactions. Listen, as a supportive ear, and allow yourself to be open to your new tribe of moms by providing personal insights about who you are.

Come find your tribe of moms today at Gymboree Play & Music!

Happy Make a Friend Day!

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The month of February is all about Bonding and Connection here at Gymboree Play & Music. In celebration of Make a Friend Day (February 11), we have compiled a few fun friend facts on why it’s important for your little one to bond with others at an early age.

Friends help us learn
Friendship contributes to the development of social skills. These connections made with other children give and receive emotional support. It can provide an opportunity for your little one to learn problem-solving skills, develop empathy, and learn to play cooperatively.

Baby’s first friend
Parents and teachers lay the groundwork for future friendships. Little actions such as imitating facial expressions with your little one is a great way to introduce engaging them with person to person interactions.

Routines build strong bonds
A routine gives your child a sense of security and helps them develop self-discipline. When there are opportunities to connect with other children through weekly play dates and attending Gymboree Play & Music classes, your little one is more likely to cooperate and will begin to look forward to these activities.

The power of waiting
Conflict skills are developed at an early age through interactions with siblings and other children. It’s is challenging not to intervene when we see our little ones struggling or experiencing emotional outbursts. Interventions can prevent children from learning to resolve conflict for themselves. Take a moment before moving in and allow your little one to resolve the problem in their own way.

Come Make A Friend At Gymboree Play & Music!

 

 

Growing With Gymboree Play & Music

It’s a new year with new milestones for our little ones! Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move (crawling, walking, climbing, etc.). At Gymboree Play & Music, we encourage exploration and self-expression through activities where your little ones will learn to conquer new challenges and reach developmental milestones.

Everything we do is about building confidence here at Gymboree Play & Music. So, here are ways we help your child reach their milestones!

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Sharing
While sharing doesn’t actively happen until the pre-school age, engaging your tiny one in a class environment helps them adapt to different faces and people. At this age, they might not be sharing specific objects with each other just yet, but they are learning to share a space with others outside of the family environment.

Repetition & Routine
Some of the many wonderful class activities we offer such as singing songs, parachute time, and blowing bubbles, helps to sharpen your child’s memory and master new skills. Having a routine improves speed, increases confidence, and strengthens the connections in the brain that help your little one learn.

Trial and Error
When it comes to early development, failure and making mistakes leads to learning and success. It’s our mission at Gymboree Play & Music to encourage children to explore their boundaries and step out of their comfort zone. Mistakes can build resilience and encourages confidence.

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Making Choices
Decision-making is an important aspect of building confidence. Having pure freedom of our innovative playscapes provides your little one the opportunity to develop those keen decision-making skills. The playscapes equipment is specifically designed for multiple choices of use. Your child can choose to stand on top of the bridge, or to crawl underneath it. They can explore sliding down the slide or to climb it. The possibilities of exploration are endless as there is no wrong way to play!

Gymboree Play & Music is the perfect place to reach those early milestones! Come play with us today!

Making Community Connections

‘Tis the season for celebrating peace, joy, and our wonderful community this December! Building relationships between parents, other children, and teachers is an important part of your little one’s development. The power of community can have a positive impact that supports social and cognitive advancement.  Gymboree Play & MusicThrough relationships, children discover the world around them. Building and strengthening personal connections provide an opportunity for your child to develop social skills, communicate confidently, and develop a sense of understanding of themselves and others.

Here are a few ways you can help your child connect with family, friends, teachers, and people in your neighborhood:

Engage in role play by means of dress-up, and fantasy play. These types of play not only spark your child’s imagination, but your little one also learns the importance of taking turns, sharing, and functioning in communities outside of the family environment.

Make connections by sharing personal stories. Building bonds through storytelling improves listening skills, peaks curiosities, and enhances personal connections.

Practice social skills by teaching the importance of sharing, listening, cooperating, using manners, and respecting personal space. Instilling these social skills at an early age will help reduce stress in group environments while fostering positive interactions with peers.

Get Involved in community events as a family. Volunteering and participating in class activities provides an opportunity for your little one to connect with people who are working and playing together.

When children have a sense of belonging and security, they have the confidence to play, explore and learn.

Come develop and grow your child’s community with Gymboree Play and Music!

 

 

How to Teach a Little Kindness

G24.jpgIn the thanksgiving spirit, we are celebrating kindness this November. We know as parents you have A LOT on your plate raising that tiny little human — just getting them fed and clothed can feel like a doozy on some days. Sometimes we forget that our little one is watching our every move! When you take the time to pause and say thank you to your barista for that delicious cup of coffee, your little one takes note. Why is this important? Well, those little moments accumulate in your child’s mind and help teach them about how to treat others. To the surprise of many, emotional intelligence actually does not always come naturally to all children. Often it is necessary for parents to take the initiative to help teach their child about understanding others’ emotions and about putting oneself in other people’s shoes.

Parents from What To Expect have put together a list of suggestions that we think are perfect for helping parents raise kind humans and teaching a little kindness!

Practice manners. The first baby sign language words both of our children learned were “please” and “thank you.” We remind our kids even before they can speak, that using manners is commonplace and expected. Our kids have brightened the day for countless cashiers and restaurant servers by signing “thank you” to them before they could even speak.

Introduce empathy. It is never too early to help guide children into recognizing other people’s feelings. We start this lesson through playtime with their siblings and friends. Our rule simply goes that if their playmate starts to cry or says “no” while playing, our kids should immediately stop what they are doing and ask, “Are you okay?” We remind them that we first check to see if they are okay before resuming playtime — and if not, they should get help.

Assist in our works of kindness. Our kids may not be old enough to participate entirely when our charity opportunities arise during the year; however, they are always aware of our plans and eager to help with tasks to prepare for the main event. Our toddler and preschooler help bake cookies for the local fire department, choose toys for our annual Adopt-A-Family through the Salvation Army, and raise money at Halloween with Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.

Encourage waving and smiling. Sometimes a smile and a wave can be the difference in a bad day. We encourage our kids to smile and wave to people around us, like our neighbors, the garbage man, and the grocery bagger. Having a friendly face toward others is a small but impactful way to be kind.

Teach conversation prompts. In our house, we practice saying phrases during particular situations that will help our kids feel confident while also being kind and caring towards others. We teach our kids to ask, “How is your day?” after saying hello to someone, and “Have a great day!” after saying goodbye. We also practice asking things like, “How is your dinner?” and mentioning, “I am glad to see you.” These simple phrases are mini-kindness boosts while speaking to others.

Practice before doing. Many times in public places, children can unfortunately be the root of frustration for other people. Although not necessarily fair, it is a truth, so we attempt to combat this unpleasantness by simply practicing appropriate behavior before doing new things in public. We have set up our own trial runs at home for the airport security line and appropriate knocking and response for trick-or-treat night. The benefits have been two-fold as our kids’ worries about a new situation have been greatly subdued by getting a chance to experience it first at home, but also for the people we have come in contact with during the real thing.

Approach frustration with patience. When we come upon a potentially frustrating situation, we speak aloud to our kids about what might be the reason for the circumstance and how we might be able to help. For example, if we come up to construction on the road where we have to sit and wait unexpectedly, I’ll say something like, “Looks like they are working hard on the road to keep us safe, huh?” I explain that we need to wait for our turn so that everyone can be careful while others work hard for, ultimately, our benefit. Sometimes patience and kindness are the same exact thing.

Be the example. No matter what you practice and teach your kids, it will rarely be as strong as the example that you show them each day in your own actions. If you speak kindly about others in your home and have patience in difficult situations, you will see your child mimic the same behavior and words in their own actions. Our kids notice when they see someone being kind to a stranger, and I have seen their smiles and manners literally change the frown on a person’s face to a surprised smile.

We cover ALL the above! Find the Gymboree Play & Music near you!