Franchisee Spotlight: Evergreen, CA

Like many of our franchisees, Jigna Vyas was introduced to Gymboree Play & Music through her first child. They attended classes together, and both made lasting friendships. When Jigna had her second child, she realized that she wanted to step back from her demanding Engineering career, and find a business that would afford her a work-life balance. Her love of our programs made Gymboree Play & Music the perfect choice. 

Jigna enjoys both sides of the business: running the day-to-day operation and managing her staff, plus building relationships with the families who attend her location. 

“I have met some wonderful parents, grandparents, family members, and of course the little ones at Gymboree. It is such a joy to be part of special moments; from rolling over as a baby to taking the first few steps, or even jumping off a step box for the first time. My staff has been with me through thick and thin, and they are an asset to my business. Many of my teachers have become my close friends and I have had the pleasure of attending weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties of their kids.” 

Parents at her location thank Jigna for providing a safe, clean, stress and pressure free place for their children to play, socialize and learn, and for families to connect and build a community. 

Come build your own community at a Gymboree Play & Music location near you!

Find Your People

Unless you are one of the lucky few who have close friends who live nearby and had their kids around the same time as you, being a new parent can be very isolating. 

Making new friends as an adult is hard, especially over the past few years. It’s complicated negotiating the social landscape: trying to balance your own comfort level around the need to get out of the house and DO THINGS!

And we all know how important it is to support your child’s social and emotional development.

We’re here to help! We’ve been building family connections for over 45 years: child-to-child, adult-to-adult, family-to-family. 

From birth to kindergarten, we can help you build a tribe of families all living a shared experience, supporting each other through their children’s milestones.

gymboreeclasses.com

Help Your Toddler Adjust to the End of Daylight Savings Time

It’s almost time to “fall back”.  It’s amazing how that one-hour difference can be such a difficult adjustment for everyone. But it’s especially difficult for young children!

Here are a few tips to help your little one adjust before we turn the clocks back:

Start the transition early: 

Put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier (or later, in the spring) each night during the week leading up to the time change.  It will allow their internal body clock to make the adjustment ahead of time. While they may not actually fall asleep earlier than usual, their bodies will be relaxing a bit earlier each day which will eventually lead to falling asleep earlier.

Develop a healthy sleep routine:

It’s important to keep your child’s routine as consistent as possible, to establish healthy sleep patterns that will support them through life:

  • Establish regular times to go to bed and get up in the morning, including on weekends.
  • Develop a before-sleep routine of quiet activities: bath, teeth brushing, story.
  • Avoid high-energy activities in the hours before bedtime.
  • Make sure your child’s room is a comfortable temp (not too hot!), quiet and dark. Use a nightlight if they are afraid of the dark.

A quiet house will help your little one relax:

Ask friends and family not to call after a certain time and keep ambient noise to a minimum, If possible. This is especially important during the transition to Daylight Savings Time since it will be lighter out when your child goes to bed.

Back to bed, little one:

If your child wakes up too early, let them know that it is not time yet. Encourage them to play quietly in their room or relax in their bed until the correct time to start the day.

Maintain their regular nap schedule:

Don’t adjust their naps after the time change. While they may not seem tired at their usual nap time, their bodies will adapt.

From the mouth of babes: “I love my class!”

“I got so excited when Mommy parked the car a little while ago, because I knew we were going to my favorite place!

I get to see my best friend each week, and Mommy always has a big smile on her face too when she sees her friends here.

There’s a really nice lady who shows me and my friends so many fun things to do. Right now she has me practicing my crawling. It can be hard work, but she sings songs and blows so many bubbles that It’s all worth it!  And I’ve overheard Mommy tell Grandma and Daddy that I always take a really good nap after we go to our class together.

Sometimes Daddy or Grandma ask if they can go to class with me instead of Mommy. I guess they love it too!

Tell your Mommy or Daddy to sign you up!!”

From birth to kindergarten, our classes grow with your child. Find one near you at gymboreeclasses.com

Toddler-friendly Halloween activities

Halloween is a fun excuse to dress up your little one and show them off. But scary decorations, spooky music and big kids in creepy costumes may be overwhelming for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Here are some fun, toddler-friendly ways to celebrate:

  • Look for organized community trick-or-treating events at your local mall or downtown shopping center. They usually take place when it’s still light out, and attract families rather than older kids and teens.
  • Go out early and limit the number of houses you visit. While it’s tempting to walk the entire neighborhood (because who doesn’t want everyone to “oooh” and “aaah” over their cutie?), it’s best to stick to close friends and family when your child is young.
  • Even if you don’t go out “trick or treating”, you can still dress your little one up and take lots of pictures! Post them using #gymboween2022.
  • Decorate cupcakes or pumpkin-shaped cookies.
  • Read a fun Halloween-themed book, like Five Little Pumpkins or Boo Halloween: A Peek-a-Boo Board Book. Watch a non-scary movie, like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” or “Monsters, Inc.”.

Best idea of all? Attend a Gymboween costume party! Adorable costumes, playful activities, songs and Ooodles of bubbles…nothing scary about it!!

Fall Family Fun!

It’s almost the weekend. Here are some fun family-friendly activities:

  • Go leaf peeping: if you live in an area where leaves change, it is prime leaf peeping time!  Just be sure to take some breaks in your drive, to give your little one time to burn off some energy.
  • Take a nature walk:  even if leaves aren’t changing, you can still take a walk. Whether your little one is in a carrier, a stroller, or walking on their own, it’s always fun to get out into nature and look for leaves, interesting rocks, bugs, birds, and animals.  Make sure you pack snacks and water and take lots of breaks if your child is walking on their own.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch:  if you haven’t purchased your pumpkin yet, what are you waiting for?  Pumpkin patches offer great photo ops, and some offer hayrides!
  • Go apple picking: depending on where you are, it still may be apple picking season. It’s a fun outdoor activity, and you end up with tons of apples to make into delicious treats to share with friends and family.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, be sure to take lots of pictures. These times spent together when your children are young will be precision memories.

Gymboree Play & Music National Day Of Play: Our premiere event is returning!

In 2016, while planning our 40th Anniversary celebration, we created “National Day of Play” – an event where all the Gymboree Play & Music locations in the US and Canada opened their doors to the community for a day of fun activities.  It was such a success, that it became an annual event.

The COVID pandemic forced us to pause our celebration for two summers but, finally, we can bring it back this month!

On Saturday, August 13th, US and Canadian locations will once again be opening their doors in a celebration of childhood.  Families from across North America will enjoy exploring our playscapes, playing with friends (and making new ones!) and swim in a sea of bubbles during our signature Parachute Time featuring our world-famous Bubble Ooodles.

Don’t miss out on the fun this year!  Check your local Gymboree Play & Music location’s schedule for times and details and register your little one (birth to five) for this fabulously fun event.

FIND YOUR LOCATION

5 Must-Have Books Every Family Should Have This February

The winter traditionally brings snow, hot cocoa and warm sweaters. But this year, it also bought a ton of titles that are pushing the limits to the ways children explore their environment and even learn to love themselves.

It was hard to pick just 5 books that would resonate with all of our families, but we did our best. See the books that made the list below.

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s First Winter

by Eric Carle 

There are so many ways to spend a chilly winter day. Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar and explore everything winter has to offer!

Welcome winter with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and his friends in this sensory exploration of the season. Discover the very best of this time of year: snowy days full of play, the sounds of birds chirping atop a snowman, the smell of cookies fresh from the oven, and so much more!

Hello, World! Garden Time

by Jill McDonald 

Hello, World! is a series designed to introduce first nonfiction concepts to babies and toddlers. Told in clear and easy terms (“Roots spread into the soil below, and then a shoot pushes up out of the earth”) and featuring bright, cheerful illustrations, Hello, World! makes learning fun for young children. And each sturdy page offers helpful prompts for engaging with your child. It’s a perfect way to bring science and nature into the busy world of a toddler, where learning never stops.

Friendship Is Forever 

by Patricia Hegarty  Macon, Summer 

Learning the importance of friendship is easy with this sweet board book that fosters social-emotional development..

The precious gift of friendship
is a thing to treasure.
Closeness, love, and loyalty
are things that we can’t measure.  

Learn new words while appreciating the value of quality time with this irresistibly illustrated board book that’s perfect for holidays and all year round!

Wonderful Babies

by Emily Winfield Martin 

Celebrate all kinds of babies with this original board book by Emily Winfield Martin–perfect for baby showers and fans of the New York Times Bestseller, The Wonderful Things You Will Be!

From sweet baby to wild baby, from snuggly baby to grumpy baby, this book captures the adorableness of a diverse cast of babies in all their moods. With simple text and irresistible art, this book will capture the hearts of parents and the youngest readers alike.

I Am Golden

by Eva ChenSophie Diao 

This joyful and lyrical picture book from New York Times bestselling author Eva Chen and illustrator Sophie Diao is a moving ode to the immigrant experience, as well as a manifesto of self-love for Chinese American children.

What do you see when you look in the mirror, Mei? Do you see beauty?

We see eyes that point toward the sun, that give us the warmth and joy of a thousand rays when you smile. We see hair as inky black and smooth as a peaceful night sky. We see skin brushed with gold.

Learn the Power of Play with our January Book Recommendations

Welcome to 2022! As we kick off a new year, we’re exploring the thing that makes Gymboree Play & Music unique, our commitment to Play. This month our brand channels will highlight the many ways play and imagination have a purpose in our lives.

Our booklist reflects titles that teach children how to push the limits of their mind, and explore the world unseen through play. See the books that made the list below.

 

The Year We Learned to Fly

by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López 

On a dreary, stuck-inside kind of day, a brother and sister heed their grandmother’s advice: “Use those beautiful and brilliant minds of yours.” And before they know it, their imaginations lift them up and out of their boredom. This precious skill, their grandmother tells them, harkens back to the days long before they were born, when their ancestors showed the world the strength and resilience of their beautiful and brilliant minds. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art celebrate the extraordinary ability to lift ourselves up and imagine a better world.

Ben and Emma’s Big Hit 

by Gavin Newsom , Ruby Shamir , Alexandra Thompson 


Ben loves baseball. He loves the lines of diamond-shaped field and the dome of the pitcher’s mound. What Ben doesn’t like is reading. Ben has dyslexia, which means letters and sounds get jumbled up in his brain, and then the words don’t make sense. But when Ben starts looking at reading like he likes to play baseball, he realizes that if he keeps trying, he can overcome any obstacle that comes his way.

See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book

by Roger Priddy 

There’s lots for baby to explore in See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book. This sturdy board book, with bright photographs of happy babies, is specially designed to stimulate curiosity through sensory play.

As your baby grows, See, Touch, Feel will help your child develop language recognition and motor skills, as they learn to interact with the book in new ways. With lots to explore together, See, Touch, Feel is an ideal first book to share with your baby.

We All Play

by Julie Flett 

 This wonderful book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. Beautiful illustrations show:

  • birds who chase and chirp!
  • bears who wiggle and wobble!
  • whales who swim and squirt!
  • owls who peek and peep!
  • and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same, shouting: 

We play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna

At the end of the book, animals and children gently fall asleep after a fun day of playing outside, making this book a great bedtime story.

Let’s Play! A Book About Making Friends

by Amanda McCardie and Colleen Larmour 

When Sukie’s family moves and she has to start at a new school, she feels shy and lonely at first. But soon she learns that receiving small acts of kindness—someone saying hi, or saving a hoop for her—makes her feel braver, and that passing friendliness along is a good feeling, too. Before long, Sukie, Joe, Poppy, and Stan are all becoming friends! Young readers are invited to join them as they explore meeting new people, celebrating differences, being thoughtful, and standing up for one another.