10 Best Toys for Early Childhood Development this Holiday Season

With the holidays quickly approaching, we know you’re being inundated with commercials featuring the latest toys from Lego, Disney and Hot Wheels. Before you finalize your list, we wanted to share our gift guide that includes toys that are educational and help your child or grandchild developmentally. 

We believe in the power of play, and toys that made our list will help your little one learn along the way.

From babies to toddlers to school-aged kids, here are our favorite options this season.

Best for Babies and Kids 0-5

First Bead Maze from Melissa & Doug

We’re kicking off our list with an oldie, but goodie. If you’ve been to any of our locations, then you know we carry Melissa & Doug products. We love the mission of their company and the quality of their toys. Not to mention their toys are designed for development. This is their First Bead Maze and it’s suitable for babies 12 months and up. It features brightly colored, multi-shaped beads that spin and slide along red and yellow wire pathways anchored by a strong suction cup base. It encourages color recognition, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor development through play!

Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank from Fisher Price

The Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank from Fisher Price is great for both babies and toddlers. This toy plays more than 40 songs, tunes and phrases to engage your child. This toy assists with fine motor coordination skills while putting the coins into the bank. As children get older, they can use it to count and add as well.

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog from Learning Resources

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog helps kids build fine motor skills as they restore the chunky, peg-shaped quills to the back of this friendly hedgehog as well as develop color recognition, sorting, and counting skills. It includes a hedgehog, 12 pegs and activity guide with fine motor, counting, and color activities. You can purchase it directly from them, or buy it here at Target for less.

The Symphony Croc Music Set from Haba

The Symphony Croc is perfect for families with two kids under 5 because it contains two mallets and the drum can be easily removed from the crocodile base for playtime duets.

This playful reptile fosters children’s musical development and encourages a sense of rhythm while honing fine motor skills. 

Magformers Mastermind Building Set 

Containing a wide variety of new magnetic shapes, Magformers let kids explore magnetic construction through modular creative play. This set contains 13 Basic shapes, combine these with accessories to build Vehicles, Houses and more! Perfect for STEM learning, each geometric shape contains magnets that never reject, so you’ll always hear Magformers click. This is suitable for kids three and up. We spotted it here at Target.

Little Genius Starter Kit by Osmo

This kit from Osmo splits the difference between screen time and a learning toy, since kids use hand-held pieces in conjunction with an iPad. They can use the kit to learn how to form letters, make shapes that move on the screen, and mix and match outfits for different characters. This is ideal for kids 3 and up. It’s available on Amazon here.

Crayola Color Chemistry Set

The Crayola Color Chemistry set comes with 18 science experiments that kids can do right out of the box, and then there are ideas for 32 more experiments you can do with the set and some additional, common household items. There are two sets: a basic chemistry set and a winter-themed one.

Forest Friends Discovery Tree from Fat Brain

This Discovery Tree from Fat Brain is a whole ecosystem full of sensory exploration excitement! All around and throughout this entire treetop play structure are all kinds of fascinating things and activities just waiting for your little one’s little hands to discover. Kids can spin and slide the snail, butterfly, and ladybug blocks all along the winding cutout tracks. Just on the other side, those same blocks are apples, tumbling down the branches!

Milestone Play Kits by Lovevery

Starting at only $36 a month, Lovevery offers play kits by development milestones. This is a perfect option for Grandparents or relatives who may not know what to buy that the store. You can send one by yourself, or as a family or group through their website here.

Mindware Imagination Magnets

Your little one will discover hours of entertainment with the MindWare Imagination Patterns. This fun and colorful puzzle is a great way for children to boost their fine motor and visual thinking skills. This is available at buy buy Baby, and it is suitable for kid 4 and up.

Honorable Mention

TubeLox is a life-sized STEM construction toy for all ages that allows kids to use their creativity while designing and building their own play. With this toy, fabricate anything from sizeable sturdy structures, to usable cars, homes and rocket ships. According to NAEYC, things for pretending and building—many blocks for building complex structures, transportation toys and construction sets are ideal for kids 3-6.

The only reason it didn’t make our list, is because it was so popular that they’ve already sold out for Christmas. If you don’t mind waiting until January, head over to their site to order yours.

5 Ways To Teach Children About Gratitude

Experts Agree, Thankfulness and Gratitude Lead To Happier Lives

For parents, teaching “thanks” may start by telling your child to simply say thank you, but as they grow-up instilling the larger concept of gratitude requires a little more thought.

On one hand, we can be “thankful” for the things we receive and the people who surround us, gratitude on the other hand is the sum of our appreciation for those things individually. That’s where it gets tricky for parents. Because, although most of us have our own understanding of what gratitude means for us personally, teaching children the nuances of silver linings and appreciation is a completely different story. And that, unfortunately, is where a lot of parents give up too soon or avoid any attempt to instill these values early on.

And we completely understand your frustration, but experts say it’s necessary.

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that gratitude is linked to happiness in children by age 5. This means helping your kids understand the idea of being thankful at a young age could help them grow up to be happier people.

So how exactly do you do it? Here’s 5 methods to get you started.

Share your Gratitude Each Day.

Taking five minutes during breakfast and during the bedtime routine to ask your child what they are thankful for allows them to reorient their mind and thoughts to what matters the most at the beginning and end of each day.

Don’t Force Kids to “Get Over” Things Quickly.

It’s always difficult to see your little one upset or angry, but allowing them to experience the range of emotions that comes with life experiences makes it easier for you to help them identify silver linings as they get older. If they are upset, you can ask them what they are grateful for in that moment, but don’t force them to have an answer just to please you. Let them do it in their own time.

Help Someone Less Fortunate.

Taking your child to volunteer on holidays or at special community events will not only help the child to understand that people have different life experiences, but it will also help them to see the ways that they’ve been fortunate. This can be something small like asking them to set aside a couple of dollars to donate to a cause, or taking them to pass out food or gifts during a holiday drive.

Create a Thankful Time Capsule.

A time capsule can literally just be a box that contains letters your child writes themselves at the beginning of each month or each year about the things they are thankful for. Creating this ritual can be helpful for them to understand how much their life shifts from year to year, and it can help them track their perspective around life events.

Be A Model for the Behavior Your Want to See.

It all starts at home. If you want your child to understand how to be grateful, then you need to model behavior that guides them through what gratitude should look like in day-to-day life. Give your kids a glimpse of why gratitude is important to you by openly sharing the things you’re grateful for, and why.

November Book Recommendations

Tis’ the season for gratitude and thanks. 

At Gymboree Play & Music we believe in teaching kids to see the world from a point of appreciation because we know that even in tough times, learning to look for the silver lining is a skill set that should be learned from an early age.

This month we curated our book recommendations around the concepts of gratitude and thanks to help you and your child incorporate these values into your daily lives.

See our recommendations below. 

Recommendations for Children

I Love to Gobble You Up!

By Sandra Magsamen

Take a moment to show your baby how grateful you are to have them in your life with this delightful book! Your little turkey will love the sturdy cardboard pages and soft felt feathers, and of course being “gobbled up” by your Thanksgiving cuddles!

1 2 3s of Thankfulness

By Patricia Hegarty & Summer Macon

From the same author as “ABCs of Kindness,” practice counting with your toddler as you teach them about the value of giving thanks and sharing gratitude. Together, we learn that “one little thank you can go a long, long way.”

Thank You, Mr. Panda!

By Steve Antony

Mr. Panda is so generous he is giving away gifts to all his animal friends. But his friends aren’t being particularly grateful. This heartwarming story helps teach little ones the importance of saying “thank you” and recognize it’s the thought behind the gift that counts the most. Toddlers will love Mr. Panda’s silly gifts and repeating the tag line, “It’s the thought that counts!”

Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks

By Margaret Sutherland & Sonja Lamut

What is Thanksgiving for? It’s a time for food and family, and also a time for giving thanks! There is so much to be thankful for, and this charming book will give your toddler or preschooler some ideas of what they can be thankful for too!

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

By Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac

“Otsaliheliga” is a Cherokee word used to express gratitude. Engage your preschooler in learning some Cherokee vocabulary as you read about the Cherokee traditions and celebrations that occur over the year. The book includes a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary to help you learn and pronounce the Cherokee words. See if you preschooler can repeat the words back to you as you learn together!

Zen Pig: The Art of Gratitude

By Mark Brown & Amy Lynn Larwig

Zen Pig teaches his friends about gratitude, compassion, and mindfulness in the first book of author Mark Brown’s “Zen Pig” series. It’s never too early to start learning the art of giving thanks! This book makes the concept of gratitude easier to understand for little ones. 

Recommendations for Parents

The Gratitude Diaries

by Janice Kaplan

In In this New York Times bestseller, Janice Kaplan spends a year living gratefully and transforms her marriage, family life, work and health. Her pioneering research was praised in People and Vanity Fair and hailed on TV shows including Today, The O’Reilly Factor, and CBS’s The Talk. On New Year’s Eve, journalist and former Parade Editor-in-Chief Janice Kaplan makes a promise to be grateful and look on the bright side of whatever happens. She realizes that how she feels over the next months will have less to do with the events that occur than her own attitude and perspective. Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers, she brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have.

The Little Book of Gratitude

by  Dr. Robert Emmons

Gratitude is the simple, scientifically proven way to increase happiness and encourage greater joy, love, peace, and optimism into our lives.

Through easy practices such as keeping a daily gratitude journal, writing letters of thanks, and meditating on the good we have received, we can improve our health and wellbeing, enhance our relationships, encourage healthy sleep, and heighten feelings of connectedness.

Easily accessible and available to everyone, the practice of gratitude will benefit every area of your life and generate a positive ripple effect.

Thanks A Thousand

by A.J. Jacobs

Author A.J. Jacobs discovers that his coffee—and every other item in our lives—would not be possible without hundreds of people we usually take for granted.

By thanking these people face to face, Jacobs finds some much-needed brightness in his life. Gratitude does not come naturally to Jacobs—his disposition is more Larry David than Tom Hanks—but he sets off on the journey on a dare from his son. And by the end, it’s clear to him that scientific research on gratitude is true. Gratitude’s benefits are legion: It improves compassion, heals your body, and helps battle depression.

Living Life As A Thank You

by Nina Lesowitz  (Author), Mary Beth Sammons  (Author), Lee Woodruff (Foreword) 

Whatever is given — even a difficult and challenging moment — is a gift. Living as if each day is a thank-you can help transform fear into courage, anger into forgiveness, isolation into belonging, and another’s pain into healing. Saying thank-you every day inspires feelings of love, compassion, and hope. These ideas are the basis for this timely book. Authors Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons present a simple, but comprehensive program for incorporating gratitude into one’s life, and reaping the many benefits that come from doing so.

Gratitude

by Oliver Sacks 

During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death.

“It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”

Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.

October Book Recommendations

Whether it’s standing up to the monsters under the bed, or learning how to be stronger today than we were the day before, both parents and children have to learn how to overcome their biggest fears. In a month that is known for spooky celebrations and ghost stories galore, we’ve decided to focus on overcoming our fears, and learning how to live more bravely and courageously. 

Our recommendation list features a few seasonal favorites for children, as well as some tried and true titles for parents. And as a special treat, we’ve invited authors Mark Brown and Amy Morin to join us on The Parent Pod this month, so be sure to look for our updates for the podcast release dates.

Recommendations for Children

Zen Pig : Feelings are Clouds

By Mark Brown and Anastasia Khmelevska

In the 6th book from Mark Brown’s “Zen Pig” series, Zen Pig helps his niece understand, accept and welcome her feelings. This story is the perfect tool to help teach your older toddler or preschooler how to manage overwhelming emotions or feelings of uncertainty.

Eek Halloween!

By Sandra Boynton

Uh-oh – the chickens are nervous! Strange things are happening! Babies and toddlers love Sandra Boynton board books, and they’ll love discovering what’s gotten these chickens so riled up! Relax, silly chickens – it’s only Halloween!

Go Away, Big Green Monster

By Ed Emberley

Babies, toddlers and even older children will get a kick out of this cleverly illustrated book. With each turn of the page, we see another feature added to the Big Green Monster. But once we’re ready to show this monster who’s boss, we can turn the pages to make him disappear! Toddlers and older children will love helping you turn the pages to face their fears, while babies will love the colorful visual experience.

Boo Bunny

By Kathryn O Galbraith

Your toddler will love the rhythmic rhyming text in this adorable Halloween-themes book. Halloween night can be spooky… especially for a timid little bunny! But when one bunny meets another, they join together to face their fears and celebrate the best Halloween ever!

The Dark

By Lemony Snicket & Jon Klassen

Like many preschoolers, Lazlo is afraid of the dark. The dark usually spends most of its time in the basement, where Lazlo visits it once in a while. But one night, the dark makes its way to Lazlo’s room. After spending some time with the dark, Lazlo discovers it may not be so bad after all.  Help your preschooler feel more comfortable in the dark with this  poetic and empowering story.

Recommendations for Parents

13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do

by Amy Morin

As a foster parent, psychotherapist, and expert in family and teen therapy, Amy has witnessed first-hand what works. When children have the skills they need to deal with challenges in their everyday lives, they can flourish socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and academically. With appropriate support, encouragement, and guidance from adults, kids grow stronger and become better. Drawing on her experiences and insight, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do combines case studies, practical tips, specific strategies, and concrete and proven exercises to help children of all ages—from preschoolers to teenagers—build mental muscle and develop into healthy, strong adults.

The Conscious Parent

by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Instead of being merely the receiver of the parents’ psychological and spiritual legacy, children function as ushers of the parents’ development. Parents unwittingly pass on an inheritance of psychological pain and emotional shallowness. To handle the behavior that results, traditional books on parenting abound with clever techniques for control and quick fixes for dysfunction. In Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s conscious approach to parenting, however, children serve as mirrors of their parents’ forgotten self. Those willing to look in the mirror have an opportunity to establish a relationship with their own inner state of wholeness.

Raising Good Humans

by Hunter Clarke-Fields MSAE and Carla Naumburg PhD

With this book, you’ll find powerful mindfulness skills for calming your own stress response when difficult emotions arise. You’ll also discover strategies for cultivating respectful communication, effective conflict resolution, and reflective listening. In the process, you’ll learn to examine your own unhelpful patterns and ingrained reactions that reflect the generational habits shaped by your parents, so you can break the cycle and respond to your children in more skillful ways.

The 5 Love Languages of Children

by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell 

Discover how to speak your child’s love language in a way that he or she understands. Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell help you:

  • Discover your child’s love language
  • Assist your child in successful learning
  • Use the love languages to correct and discipline more effectively
  • Build a foundation of unconditional love for your child

Discover your child’s primary language—then speak it—and you will be well on your way to a stronger relationship with your flourishing child.

The Self-Driven Child

by William Stixrud PhD and Ned Johnson 

The Self-Driven Child offers a combination of cutting-edge brain science, the latest discoveries in behavioral therapy, and case studies drawn from the thousands of kids and teens Bill and Ned have helped over the years to teach you how to set your child on the real road to success. As parents, we can only drive our kids so far. At some point, they will have to take the wheel and map out their own path. But there is a lot you can do before then to help them tackle the road ahead with resilience and imagination.

September Book Recommendations

This month as we celebrate “firsts” with our first-time parents and grandparents we are also celebrating a milestone of our own with the launch of our recommended parenting books. Scroll down to see the full recommendation list. 

Recommendations for Children

Peek-a-Boo Forest

By Lamaze

This is the perfect first book for baby! Soft pages and flaps help fine motor development, while the playful rhyming text promotes language development. Your baby will love turning the pages, pulling on the flaps to reveal different animals, and feeling all the different textures inside this interactive baby book.

First 100 Words

By Roger Priddy

Help your child learn some essential first words with this simple picture book. “First 100 Words” takes a look at the different people and objects that feature in baby’s daily life, like family, clothes, food and first concepts. This book is a great language development tool for both babies and toddlers. Younger babies can observe the pictures as you read to them. See if toddler can name some of the objects or people they see in the pictures.

Opposites

By Eric Carle

“Opposites” is the perfect book for toddlers who are developing their speech and beginning to understand contrasting ideas. Help your little one discover the differences between day and night, up and down, young and old and more! Each page features the brightly-colored collage-style illustrations by Eric Carle that toddlers love!

Lola Gets a Cat

By Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw

Has your older toddler or preschooler been asking for a pet? “Lola Gets a Cat” is the perfect book to help teach your little one how to prepare for a new furry friend, and understand the hard work that goes into caring for a pet. Lola does her research to learn all she can about caring for her new cat, and even practices with her toy kitten. She finally gets to bring home her very first pet, and after a couple days of patience and caring, the new kitten settles right in.

The Kissing Hand

By Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

 It’s the first day of school in the forest, but Chester does not want to go. To help Chester calm his nerves, his mother shares with him the family secret of “the kissing hand,” which helps him feel connected to his family while he is away at school. As we know, starting school is a big step, and many new preschoolers struggle with separation. Use this book as a tool to help your new preschooler overcome their fears. 

Recommendations for Parents

The Whole-Brain Child

by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson

In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures.

The First Forty Days

by Heng Ou

The first 40 days after the birth of a child offer an essential and fleeting period of rest and recovery for the new mother. Based on author Heng Ou’s own postpartum experience with zuo yuezi, a set period of “confinement,” in which a woman remains at home focusing on healing and bonding with her baby, The First Forty Days revives the lost art of caring for the mother after birth.

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

by Philippa Perry

Every parent wants their child to be happy and every parent wants to avoid screwing them up (the way their parents did!). But how do you do that?

In this absorbing, clever, and warm book, renowned psychotherapist Philippa Perry tells us what really matters and what behavior it is important to avoid–the vital dos and don’ts of parenting.

Cribsheet

by Emily Oster

Armed with data, Oster finds that the conventional wisdom doesn’t always hold up. She debunks myths around breastfeeding (not a panacea), sleep training (not so bad!), potty training (wait until they’re ready or possibly bribe with M&Ms), language acquisition (early talkers aren’t necessarily geniuses), and many other topics. She also shows parents how to think through freighted questions like if and how to go back to work, how to think about toddler discipline, and how to have a relationship and parent at the same time. 

The Baby Owner’s Manual

by Dr. Louis Borgenicht and Joe Borgenicht

Through step-by-step instructions and helpful schematic diagrams, The Baby Owner’s Manual explores hundreds of frequently asked questions: What’s the best way to swaddle a baby? How can I make my newborn sleep through the night? When should I bring the baby to a doctor for servicing? Whatever your concerns, you’ll find the answers here—courtesy of celebrated pediatrician Dr. Louis Borgenicht and his son, Joe Borgenicht. Together, they provide plenty of useful advice for anyone who wants to learn the basics of childcare.

Transform Your Home for Play, Life & Learning

Transitioning from an actual office, school or learning center to an at-home work and play environment has been an overwhelming shift for parents around the world.

Where homes used to have obvious and defined areas for lounging and living, the lines have become blurred to accommodate for Zoom calls, and remote,  (or “virtual”) learning, on top of day-to-day life.

We’ve gathered some of the best tips for creating a co-working, co-learning, space in your home, that won’t break the bank or require you to overload your home with tons of furniture.

Create Boundaries
Giving your play area boundaries not only helps to keep toys and objects in their proper space, but it gives your child the impression that they have a special part of your home or living room that is all theirs.

Use Containers & Cabinets to Conceal Items
Just because you aren’t likely to have company at this time, doesn’t mean you should forgo the cleaning and organizing you would typically undertake. Using a cabinet, cloth baskets or a shelf will keep things like toys, papers, work-out gear, and virtual class tools out of sight when you want to enjoy your living space.

Repurpose Everyday Items for Learning 
Believe it or not there are tons of items you can find around your home that are perfect for learning. Things like q-tips, sponges, balls, and disposable dixie cups can be used for art and science projects. 

Set Defined Working and Learning Hours for Your Space
One of the biggest hurdles that working parents and little learners have had in recent months has been how to keep a routine in what seems to be a routine-less world.

Our advice: treat your day, and your space just like you would if you were in a routine. If you are supposed to be in a class or in a meeting at a specific time, commit your space to those things at their assigned time.

Once those things would typically end, leave the space accordingly. So, for example, if you would typically be at a desk at 8am, get out of bed and sit at your desk or table at 8. If your baby has a class, get your virtual space set up, and when the class is over – put away any class related items. 

Although it appears that life won’t be back to “normal” anytime soon, at least we can find ways to make our day-to-day life more manageable. 

Hang in there, mama!

 

 

Transformations: August Book Recommendations!

August Book Graphic

This month’s book recommendation’s focus is on Transformations!

At Gymboree Play & Music, we actively foster and encourage positive attitudes towards embracing change. Transitions can be hard for your little ones, as they crave the predictability of routines.

Our August Book Recommendations focus on transformations, whether it is a new addition to the family, moving to a new home, or just simply reaching those developmental milestones.

I am Big Bro

I am a Big Brother/Sister
By Caroline Jayne Church
With the arrival of a new baby comes many transitions. Sometimes new Big Brothers and Big Sisters need a little help adjusting to a new family situation. This sweet story will help prepare little ones for the arrival of a new sibling.

A busy year

A Busy Year
By Leo Lionni
Written by four-time Caldecott Honor author-artist Leo Lionni, this story celebrates the ever-changing rhythms of nature. Two little field mice meet a tree named Woody who lives nearby, and the three quickly become friends. Month by month, throughout the whole year, the field mice visit their tree friend and discover the how nature transitions with each season.

Once I was a Pollywog

Once I Was a Pollywog
By Douglas Florian and Barbara Bakos
Once I was a pollywog, now I am a frog. Once I was a piglet, but now I am a hog. Growing up is all about transformation. Discover what each of these baby animals will become when they grow up!

Bunny Bungalow

Bunny Bungalow
By Cynthia Rylant and Nancy Hayashi
Moving to a new place can be a big transition, but there’s always a way to make your house feel like home. Follow a family of bunnies as they decorate their new bungalow, transforming it into a home that is all their own.

Pete the Cat

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
By Eric Litwin and James Dean
Pete the Cat is enjoying the day, taking a walk and wearing his brand-new white shoes. As he walks down the street, his shoes change from white to blue to brown to WET after stepping in piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other messes. But does Pete cry? Goodness no! Pete teaches us that no matter what transitions life throws at us, we can keep our cool and go with the flow.

For more story time fun, 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!

Believe in Self-Confidence

email template for July

It’s our mission at Gymboree Play & Music to encourage children to explore their world, push their boundaries, and step out of their comfort zone. So much learning takes place through mistakes, building a growth mindset that promotes self-confidence in our little ones.

Raising a confident and happy child is important. It sets a foundation for the rest of their lives and helps them learn necessary emotional and social skills. When your little ones believe in their ability to accomplish tasks on their own, they will feel empowered to take on challenges in all aspects of life.

Here are a few ways to help build self-confidence in your child:

Focus on strengths
Strengths come in all shapes and sizes. Some strengths are obvious, while others are harder to notice -such as being a good listener. By recognizing your little one’s strengths, you are helping them thrive.

Be positive
Being optimistic can go a long way. If your child makes a mistake, turn their frown upside down with an encouraging discussion that focuses on a solution and the lessons that were learned.

Allow children to make their own decisions
Empower your little ones by giving them opportunities to make their own choices. Teach good judgement and offer multiple options.

Become a supportive role model
Parents and caregivers serve as role models, through their attitudes and behaviors within the family and their community. Encourage positive interactions that contribute to your little one’s personal growth and development.

Raising confident children can be challenging. Putting trust in your little one’s abilities and seeking opportunities to challenge them will help build the self-esteem they need to grow into confident learners.

Come play with us with Gymboree Play & Music’s 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!

Signing & Singing

Support a lifetime of learning by signing and singing with your little ones!
Our featured video brings to life a classic children’s song. Through music and ASL, your little ones will learn all about farm animals.

Fostering early childhood development, sign language encourages communication, reduces frustrations, and allows your little ones to communicate vital information. Using sign language gives children an option for communicating their feelings and intent.

Other benefits of incorporating sign language into your little one’s everyday life are early language development, boosting memory, and encouraging self-confidence.

Signing can be a fun activity that allows you to bond with your child, all while providing a positive, educational experience.

Join Gymboree Play & Music as we sign and sing together in our featured video of the week.

Come play with us at the Gymboree Play & Music YouTube channel.
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!

The Fearless Parent

July Graphic_FBAs parents, you are responsible for what happens to your children, and that can feel overwhelming. We all strive to be “perfect” parents, but successful parenting is not about achieving perfection. Let’s face it, good parenting is hard work and is loaded with uncertainty. You can suddenly find yourself worrying about things you never thought about until you held your tiny one in your arms for that very first time.

Fear is a natural part of the human experience. Being a parent can be scary, and that is why we created a few tips on how to defeat those fears one step at a time.

You are enough
We have said this before, and will continue to say, that you are doing a great job. Yes, mistakes will happen, but that does not mean you’re not a great parent. Take a deep breath and give yourself a high-five. You deserve it!

Take care of yourself
It’s no surprise that taking care of yourself makes you a better parent but, in turn, it will help your little ones to be confident in their everyday life. Hydrate, get plenty of sleep, and a take a little “me time.”

Make parenting goals
While you might set goals in different areas of your life (career, health, and home), goal setting for parents is also important for modeling behavioral values and building relationships with your little ones. Write down what you want to achieve as a parent. Be consistent and positive with the goals you set for yourself.

Lead by example
Everything that you do or say rubs off on your little ones. Hold a mirror up to yourself and reflect the qualities and traits that you want your children to aspire to.

It is okay to fail
Being a parent is both rewarding and challenging. Your little ones do not come with an instruction manual, and you may fail from time to time. Parenting mistakes do not mean you are bad parent. Mistakes provide an opportunity to sharpen those parenting skills and teach your child valuable life lessons.

Come play with us with Gymboree Play & Music’s 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!