L is for LOVE!

There are a million ways to express love for your little one, whether it’s physical affection, quality time, words of affirmation, active listening…you name it. Any acts of love are supporting your child’s early development and have a huge effect on how they decide to take on life!

L “L” is for LET your little one(s) know they can take risks! When children know they are loved and safe, they build confidence and are more comfortable testing their limits and taking risks. it helps them build the confidence to take risks and try new things.

O “O” is for being ON their side! Children need fans! Your love and support lets them know that somebody is always on their side in life. Having someone cheering them on makes them excited to improve and learn new things.

V “V” is for showing they are VALUABLE! It’s great to show love and encouragement after your little one reaches a new milestone, but it’s also important to relay that your love is because of WHO they are and not only based on WHAT they’ve done.

E “E” is for EVEN when they make mistakes! Kids actually learn MORE when they fail then when they succeed. So, encourage them to keep on trying and reassure them that failure is OK! If they know they are allowed to fail, they will push themselves to try new things!

 

Show your little one(s) how much you love them at Gymboree Play & Music!

FIND A LOCATION

February Book Recommendations!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this month’s theme is LOVE! We asked our knowledgable programming team to put together a list of books recommendations around bonding, love, and affection. So, grab that cozy blanket and snuggle up with your little one for some heartwarming reads!

llamallamaLlama Llama I love You
By Anna Dewdney
What could be better than Llama Llama on Valentines Day?! We LOVE Llama Llama books! The simple rhymes support language development, and repetition helps build memory and builds your little one’s vocabulary. The sweet message is all about how to show others you care by making them something special. A sweet and simple message perfect for all ages.


kissinghandThe Kissing Hand
By Audrey Penn
The Kissing Hand, now a classic, is a sweet story about the bond of mom and baby. If you are starting to discuss leaving your little one at pre-school, with a caretaker, or camp, the Kissing Hand is a wonderfully simple story that helps with any kind of separation. We recommend this story for anytime, but especially when talking about feelings.


guesshowmuchiloveyou

Guess How Much I love You!
By Sam McBratney
A lovable story about the boundless love between a child and a parent. As Little Nutbrown Hare shows dad how much he loves him, dad shows Little Nutbrown that he loves him back just as much or more! A sweet story to snuggle up with no matter how old your child is.


lovehungrycaterpillar

LOVE from The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By Rebecca Witford and Martina Selway
A visit from a very famous little caterpillar brings LOVE to life! With colorful images and fun phrases that support language development, this book SHOWS us how special people can make us feel important and loved. A wonderful addition to your February book list!

CLIMBING: It’s Not What it Looks Like

By Lauren O’Brien

It sounds like such a simple activity – climbing. But, when your child climbs, they are building and testing parts of themselves that will benefit them for their ENTIRE LIVES. For instance, did you know that climbing enables your child to develop parts of their brain that aid in learning how to read and write? And there are SO MANY WAYS TO CLIMB – especially at Gymboree Play & Music!

See below to see all the benefits that climbing can bring to your child’s development (for many many many years to come)!

climber pictures.png

climbing benefits

climbing benefits 2

January Book Recommendations!

This month’s theme is GET MOVING! Our amazing programming team put together a list of book recommendations that are both fun and educational, all the while promoting body movement!

head to toe bookHead to Toe
By Eric Carle
Encourages little ones to clap their hands, stomp their feet and touch their toes! Great for an active and interactive read!

 


oh! bookOH!
By Kevin Henkes
All the animals and children like to play in the snow! You can join along with all the ways the animals play in this wintry active read-a-loud!


lets play bookLet’s Play!
By Herve Tullet
Can you wiggle, slide, jump? Follow along with little yellow dot, as he explores movement and emotions. Excellent for reading aloud and repeating the actions!


little yogaLittle Yoga
By Rebecca Witford and Martina Selway
Toddlers first introduction to yoga! Beautiful illustrations model how to move into these child friendly poses! Join in on the fun!


bear hunt bookWe’re Going on a Bear Hunt
By Michael Rosen
Can’t go under it, can’t go over it, gotta go through it! This classic is an incredible book for imagination, directional vocabulary and for acting it out! Don’t let the bear catch you!

Easy Resolutions for Our Gymbo Families

By Lauren O’Brien

Happy 2019 to all of our Gymbo Families!

It’s a New Year and, for many, that often means New Year’s resolutions. But, you may have noticed that things got a tad more difficult once the little one(s) came into the picture — you know, things like wearing clean clothes. Resolutions may also change depending on your child’s age. Here are some easy resolutions our parents can make in 2019, broken down by age!

If you have an infant:

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Your life feels like it’s been flipped upside down and everything is different. But, ACTUALLY, the most common advice we hear new mom’s give is to KEEP DOING YOU! Make a resolution to keep getting out there — take your little one wherever you used to go, because, once they start walking, it’s game over!

If you have a 1 year old:  

Yay! Your little one is finally becoming an interactive little human! Around one year, children start to develop their adorable little personalities — so this is a key time to GET YOUR PLAY ON!  Encourage playtime whenever possible. And the great part of this resolution? It’s so easy…and won’t be given up on January 5th.

If you have a toddler:

Has your little one started to request that you turn into a monster or princess or animal? Your little toddler’s mind is abuzz with the many possibilities of the world. They’re starting to discover and understand the power of their imagination — and that they can recreate their favorite things in THEIR MIND! It’s difficult not to take over, but make a resolution to let them take the lead during playtime and encourage their elaborate imagination (even if it means you’re always the evil stepmother)!

With that building imagination can also come messiness. Just remember, there’s a difference between mess and filth! Stuffed animals all over the couch? That’s your child imagining that their friends need a comfortable place to sit! When encouraging your toddler’s imagination, sometimes that means accepting clutter, chaos and messiness. So, this year we say EMBRACE the imagination and the mess that comes with it!

If you have a 4-5 year old:

Your little one is out in the real world and has started school! Boundaries and rules will become a key lesson in school, which is great! But, keep in mind that unstructured or “free” play time is still important for their growing minds. That means, play time where they get to decide what THEY want to do. “Free” play time allows little ones to practice decision-making skills and discover their own interests and hobbies. So, for our parents with school-age kiddos, make a resolution to schedule UNSCHEDULED playtime!

Start your year off right! CLICK HERE TO ENROLL NOW and pay $0 Initiation Fee! 

Some Relatable Holiday Memes to Get Us Through the Greatest Time of the Year!

We know the holidays can be both joyous and nightmarish for parents. So, to help get you through the season, we’ve scoured the internet for some hilarious memes. Enjoy!

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way…nothing is going to be how you envisioned or planned…

With holiday pictures…

expectation vs reality holiday

And maybe that cute holiday treat you found on Pinterest that looked so easy to make…

Just remember that you’re not alone…

So, take the advice of flight attendants – take care of yourself before others…

Because, for a lot of you, December 1st means Elf on the Shelf!

At first you might get really creative…

Eventually you might start using it for evil…

View this post on Instagram

This. Is. The. Truth! 🙌

A post shared by Sharyn Kauffman Brigantic (@sharynbrigantic) on

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM EVERYONE AT GYMBOREE PLAY & MUSIC! 

We’re Thankful for the Little Things in Life

By Lauren O’Brien

It’s November, the season of giving and reflecting on what we are thankful for in our lives. Here at Gymboree Play & Music, we want to highlight the small luxuries in life that parents are thankful for… you know, the things we didn’t realize were luxuries until we had our wonderful, beautiful children (who we love!)…

11.18 thankful .
11.19 thankful

11.21 thankful

strong immune system

        And, the most important thanks of all…

11.20 thankful

WE’RE THANKFUL FOR OUR GYMBO FAMILIES! 

EVERY DAY WE GET TO CELEBRATE MILESTONES AND BUILD CONFIDENT LEARNERS!

Laughter and Early Childhood Development…+ Giggle Tips!

By: Lauren O’Brien

Nothing fills our hearts more than our child’s giggles. But, did you know that laughter and having a sense of humor plays an important role in developing self-esteem, learning to problem solve, and honing social skills?

To develop that sense of humor in our children, we have to have a good sense of humor too! And, it’s easy! You wouldn’t know it, but silly things like poking fun of yourself when you spill milk sends a message that it’s ok to make mistakes — and it’s ok to laugh at those mistakes. If you can laugh when you make a mistake, it also demonstrates that you can accept imperfection. This makes the idea of getting up and trying again less intimidating for your little one, and more likely that they’ll keep trying if it’s ok to fail. And, as you know, we encourage failure because that sparks learning!

Kids also provide plenty of opportunities for laughter (sometimes unknowingly!). It’s important to encourage that and be the best audience possible by responding to their attempt at humor. You may not think it’s hilarious to bang into the wall but, hey, if that makes them squeal with laughter, run with it (or into it!).

So, let’s encourage those funny faces and  sounds…and bust out some jokes. Let’s face it, your children will only think you’re hilarious for so long! 

Here are some of our favorite ways to get those giggles going in our little ones:

Infant

  • Funny faces: Open your eyes wide, puff out your cheeks, stick out your tongue. At first your child’s laughter will be in response to you, but they will eventually try to copy you.
  • Surprise game: Change your facial expression every time you say “Boo!”. After about 4 months, babies love the element of surprise!
  • Silly sounds: Make up your own or copy your child’s noises while smiling and laughing to reinforce that the behavior is funny.
  • Playful songs: This Little Piggy with tickles and song always gets a laugh. There’s also The Happy Song — scientifically written and designed to make babies laugh!

Toddler

  • Surprise tickles: Raspberries on the tummy never get old!
  • Funny rhymes: “See ya later, Alligator!” “Give me a hug, ladybug!”  “Out the door, dinosaur!”
  • The unexpected funny: Pick up their foot and pretend to make a silly phone call. Put a bowl on your head and say it’s a hat.
  • Silly songs: I Like to Eat (who eats ay-ples and ba-nay-nays…that’s silly!), The Hokey Pokey (silly dancing and body movements always get a giggle), Slippery Fish (using funny voices makes this one a real toddler-pleaser)

Preschool

  • Goofy voices: While reading to your child, change voices for each character. The sillier the voice, the better!
  • Silly songs: An old time favorite is Slippery Fish! Any song with silly voices and hand movements (maybe even some tickles) always gets laughs.
  • Crazy dress up: Encourage your child to put on your clothes and pretend to put on theirs — they’ll think it’s hilarious that you even try to fit into their clothes.
  • Funny food: Make your child’s food funny, such as smiley face pancakes! Or get a giggle by turning your sandwich into a talking mouth!
  • Cracking Jokes: One of our favorites is “What comes before part B? Part-AY!”

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:


objection gif

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.

 


streaking

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.


no.gif

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.”

 


crying

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.

full house

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.

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 3.41.30 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 3.40.01 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 3.40.50 PM.png

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