At Gymboree Play & Music, Halloween means IMAGINATION!

By: Lauren O’Brien

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.

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!

Song & Dance Make Gymboree Play & Music Classes Fun!

Today we have a guest blog post from GymboFams Ambassador Allison!

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Allison started attending Gymboree Play & Music when son, Christopher, now 4 years old, was 16 months old. She also has a daughter Annie, now 2 years old.

Walking out of a Family Gym class, I often find myself humming Dance Gymbo Dance – its catchy. My kids sing it too. When we are stuck in traffic, mini-Gymbo goes “up and down” “side to side” and “peek-a-boo” in the backseat.

My favorite though, is my kids cleaning up their toys every night, singing/yelling, “Toys away, toys away, let’s put all our toys away.”

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(Annie is always ready to help clean up in class)

Gymboree Play & Music fosters learning in a play environment. Christopher’s first word was “bubble” – I certainly wasn’t blowing bubbles at home every week. Some credit lies with hisGymboree Play & Music teachers singing “bubbles for Christopher” and all the other student in class, every week. The first complete song Annie sang to me was “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” We would sing it every week under the parachute in level 4.

Annie makes requests in class. She asks her teachers for her favorite songs: “Put Your Finger On” and “Apple Tree.” Her first year of Gymboree Play & Music was attending Christopher’s classes in a baby carrier. Before she started participating in her own classes, she would have Christopher sing her the songs.

Their new favorite is “Slippery Fish” from Family Music. It has been added to our bedtime routine. Christopher and Annie know all the words, and all the moves. They have started adding sea creatures to make the song longer (and bedtime a few minutes later). “Slippery Fish” has also been added to our “Gymbo Music” playlist (a playlist I created on my phone with our favorite songs fromGymboree Play & Music classes).

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(Christopher singing about Hammerhead Shark in Family Music)

*Mom tip* Inevitably, there will be weeks when the kids get sick, or weather keeps you from getting to class, the Gymbo Music playlist is a lifesaver. Even when we cannot see our favorite teachers, or dance with Gymbo, we have his music to calm our bodies.

Follow Allison on Instagram right here: https://www.instagram.com/typeawithtoddler/

LIFE WITH A THREENAGER

By Lauren O’Brien

You’ve made it through the baby years. You conquered the terrible twos and now your child is three! The hard part is over! WRONG. Some families get the pleasure of having a THREENAGER on their hands.

Before you read on, let us just tell you this — breathe in, breathe out. You’ll make it through!

So, what are the signs you have a three-going-on-thirteen year old in your house? Here are a few things to look out for:


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It seems like your child miraculously went to law school overnight and has perfected the art of arguing and making a deal.

 


Why

You regret teaching them the word “why” and question everything you know about everything.

 


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You suddenly feel like you live in a nudist colony, where clothes are the enemy.

 


scared

Mealtime prep evokes perpetual fear. Did you cut the sandwich diagonally like yesterday’s lunch but today it must be cut down the middle? You never know if your meal will pass the test.


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You are absolutely never, under any circumstances, allowed to sing or dance unless given permission.

 


invisible

Your voice is suddenly undetectable no matter what pitch, tone or level you use. That is, unless you say the word “candy” or “dessert.”

 


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You’re pretty convinced your child could win an academy award with the dramatics that ensue when you request simple tasks, like putting on socks.

 


Even though having a threenager can be a bit of a rollercoaster, we can all agree that there’s nothing like that moment their sweetness peaks through and you get an “I love you” or a snuggle. That makes it all worth it.

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Meet GymboFams Ambassador Crystal

I’m so excited to join this awesome club of GymboFams! My name is Crystal King and I am the Mother of Avery King. I work FT as a Creative Director and my son Avery spends most of his days with his Grandparents and little cousins.

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For months, I searched to find something for Avery that would help further develop his motor skills, foster an environment for social play and develop his sense of bravery, confidence, and curiosity.

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That’s when I stumbled upon Gymboree Play & Music. We are newbies to the program but on the very first day I knew that I had to immediately sign Avery up because I saw how much he thrived after just one class! We are now a few classes in and Avery loves sliding down the slides, swinging on the tubes, crawling through the rainbow tunnels, kissy time with Gymbo, popping bubbles, and parachute time! I’m so excited to have found Gymboree Play & Music and can’t wait to meet more parents and sweet little babes.

 

I recently started sharing stories of the adventures of Avery and I on our website: justthekings.com. I had such a crazy pregnancy and delivery that I just felt compelled to share my testimony with others. At 7 months pf pregnancy, I was forced to deliver Avery due to lack of weight gain (I only gained 7lbs my entire pregnancy y’all) and preclampaia.

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Immediately after delivering Avery, I went into kidney failure and got put on the list for a kidney transplant. I’m really just starting to regain my strength and I’m finally able to be more independent and venture out with Avery. I wish I could’ve started the website sooner but I’m slowly telling my story now. So if you guys could drop by, take a look, share any feedback or ask questions I would greatly appreciate it!

Let’s stay connected on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justthekings

I’ll be sharing more photos and stories here: www.justthekings.com

Get Artsy and…Celebrate THE PLANET FOR EARTH DAY

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Celebrate Earth Day at your local Gymboree Play & Music

We’ll be using fun techniques to help teach our little ones about helping the planet so be sure to JOIN US for…

Clean up & Sort:  “Make reusable shopping bags available.  Scatter playballs, Air Shapes and Tactile Balls around the room.  Invite everyone to help “clean” up and have fun “sorting recyclables”.

Take the Bus:  Invite everyone to ride the Airlog Bus together!

Energy Freeze:  Randomly during Open Gym, cue everyone to “freeze” each time you turn off the room lights to “save energy”.

Composting:  Dump a bucket of scarf “leaves” around the room.  Get everyone to help scoop up the leaves and put them in the Crawligator Square “Composter” lined with a Minichute.  Pull Minichute full of “compost” out.

Take the fun home too!

Looking for a fun Earth Day project to do at home? There are so many ideas…from collages to paper flowers. Try these fun projects at home!

Trash to Treasure Collage: Now is a great time to “clean up and reuse” those left over art supplies! Paper scraps, torn tissue pieces, foam shapes, feathers, pom-poms, rubber stamps, leaves, left over wrapping paper, Styrofoam noodles, newspaper strips etc. Provide colored construction paper and glue sticks and glue for children to create their own unique collage!

Earth Mosaic Collage: Precut blue “earth” paper circles. Glue stick pieces of pre-cut green craft moss, fabric scraps or even real green leaves and apply in patches to the blue “earth” circle.

Bloom & Blossom: Precut paper daisy shapes from colored construction paper. Children use stamp pad to make thumb print colors on petals. Hole-punch and add a pipe cleaner twist for stem.

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Phylicia

Hi Gymboree Family!

My name is Phylicia and I’m the mother of a lively 12 month old girl, Scout. She has been attending Gymboree Play & Music since she was six and a half months. Looking for a playdate location, we saw Gymboree Play & Music in our area and attended a free preview Baby Lab class. Needless to say, we loved our experience and we found ourselves regularly attending both the classes and open gym.

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The layout of the equipment is perfect for ambitious babies to safely explore. The music and classroom songs are added bonuses for my music loving girl. Additionally, the social exposure in Gymboree Play & Music has been great for Scout’s development. Before we knew it, we found ourselves moving up to the next level class where most of the babies were already walking. I do believe seeing the other babies walking encouraged Scout to go for it and a little before 10 months, we had a walker on our hands!

These days, her favorite activity is playing with the kids of all ages in open gym. She climbs, she runs, she socializes, but most importantly she’s having the time of her life! It’s safe to say she’s not the only family member who loves it!

Being a former educator myself and now a full-time entrepreneur and blogger/content creator, I value the quality of teachers they hire and thoughtfulness they put in their lesson plans. It has also been a great way for my husband and I to connect with other parents since moving to Denver and we look forward to connecting with many more!

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Follow Phylicia on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/askproy/

What Are The Benefits Of Gymboree Play & Music The Baby Lab Music Class?

Baby Lab provides the opportunity for very young children to experience play and learning in a fun, supportive space with their parents as their partners. The benefits of Baby Lab will follow children throughout their lives by providing the building blocks of education andy play.

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Image Credit: GymboMom Ambassador Yinqiu

What Are The Benefits Of The Baby Lab Music Class?

Music makes the world go round! Music elements build long & short term memory, support language development and create social/emotional connections for both parents and babies.

The benefits of the Baby Lab Music Class are creating multi-sensory experiences for babies through song and dance. We also work on coordination and balance through dance moves and basic movement.

The Music Lab uses playful language to spark imagination. We use the following words during Music play. Melody, tempo, loud, soft, slow, fast, pitch song, rhythm.

Find a Baby Lab Music Class near you!