Indiana Gymboree Play & Music Hosts Local Sleep Safe Event For Parents

WRTV6 & Fox59 stopped by the Gymboree Play & Music, Greenwood location on November 6th for the Sleep Safety event they hosted.

Riley Hospital recommends following the ABC’s of safe sleep.

  • A – Alone: That means no blankets, toys, pillow or parents in the bed with baby. Pacifiers are okay, but only if they’re plain with no attachments.
    Riley experts say the clips that attach to baby’s shirts or stuffed animals attached to a pacifier can cause accidental suffocation. So, it’s best to just have a plain one with your baby.
    While they recommend parents not sleep with baby, they do say the baby should sleep in the same room as the parents. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, room sharing decreased the risk of SIDS by nearly 50%.
  • B – Back: They recommend laying baby on his or her back when they go to sleep. Statistics show infants have a higher risk of dying from SIDS if they sleep on their stomachs.
  • C – Crib: Your baby should be sleeping on a flat surface. They recommend a crib, bassinet or pack and play.

Riley and the Ronald McDonald House want to make sure no parent loses their child because of unsafe sleep, so they’re holding a safe sleep class to educate parents. – You can read about safe sleep here.

“There are a lot of things that parents may have questions about,” says Casie Smith with Gymboree Play & Music in Greenwood. “As a new parent, nobody really tells you all of these things, so you’re learning all of these things all at once which is terrifying.”

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Gymboree Play & Music, Greenwood is all about community and support and we hope we can be that for you and your family. Through events like this, we hope to partner more with the community so parents have access to resources they need to be the best parents possible.

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Nicolette

My name is Nicolette and my boyfriend is Cosimo, together we have a beautiful baby girl named Valentina. When I was a child I went to Gymboree Play & Music from the time I was about 6 months old. I loved Gymboree Play & Music and remember it as some of the best childhood memories I ever had.

I wanted my daughter to have the same experiences as I did, so we started bringing her around 6 months old.  The most special part of bringing Valentina is that she has the same amazing teachers that I did.

Our Gymboree Play & Music teachers are the most nurturing and caring women I have ever met.Gymboree Play & Music has become a second home to us, and I am forever grateful ♥️

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You can follow Nicolette at: https://www.instagram.com/valentinaguardavaccaro/

 

Finger Paint A Fall Tree

Relish the season by creating a super easy work of art! Grab some Fall paint shades like red, orange, brown and yellow and let your kids create their own colorful tree with their own fingers.

Educational Element: Painting stimulates your child’s senses and encourages cognitive development. 

Hang the finished work of art on the fridge or have your kids sign their names and give to grandma or grandpa!

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Meet GymboFams Ambassador Tihon

Hi! My name is Tihon and I’m mom to two amazing kids. My oldest is 9 and I wish I had found Gymboree Play & Music when she was younger. I’ve been taking my youngest since he was 7 months old and we’ve loved it since day one!

 

Little Donnie loves playing and exploring. I love having a fun and kid-friendly place to bring him where he gets to interact with other children and develop amazing social skills. Donnie has made friends and we absolutely adore Ms. Nathaly and the rest of the Gymboree Play & Music staff. Donnie is now walking at just 11 months old and our Gymbo Fam has been there to see it all!

 

You can follow Tihon at:

https://www.instagram.com/itsmetihon/

 

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!”

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Tess

Hello! My name is Tess Kossow, my husband’s name is Dan, and our son’s name is Ferris. He is our one and only child, as he is a rainbow baby conceived via IVF. Ferris is my every heartbeat, and I want him involved and to explore the world every chance he can get. Ferris and I joined Gymboree Play & Music Baby Lab when he was 8 weeks old, and we have been going to classes, now at two different locations, ever since.

I love to see how Ferris progresses week by week with all the different activities and socialization skills that come into play through the different experiences at Gymboree Play & Music . The interaction with other caretakers and babies is what makes this time so special for the two of us (three when Dan or Grandma can make it). We even have several of theGymboree Play & Music toys (and bubbles) at home in Ferris’ playroom to keep the fun going even after class is over!

Seeing my son smile and bond with others makes me smile but having the one-on-one time doing 45 minutes of play and music geared around his wants and needs is a time that I absolutely cherish. I look forward to sharing these moments with others and encouraging families of all sizes and stories to highly considerGymboree Play & Music for their little one.

You can Follow Tess at:
https://www.instagram.com/beautybabyboss/
http://www.beautybabyboss.com/

At Gymboree Play & Music, Halloween means IMAGINATION!

By: Lauren O’Brien

halloween imagination

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.1

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!

1. [Nurturing Creativity and Imagination For Child Development]

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Maritza

My name is Maritza, I am the mother of a 1-year-old baby named Nicholas. Nicholas is an only child and the only baby on both sides of the family. He has no cousins so unfortunately, he doesn’t have much interaction with other children. We were afraid of him becoming anti-social in the future and we wanted him to break out of his shell as he tends to be very shy around others.

We were looking for an environment were Nicholas could have fun as well as develop new skills. We are so glad we found Gymboree Play & Music.  In such a short time, we can already see his development. He now waves hello to others and claps when he hears the music being played in class. We cannot wait to see how much more he will develop while attending Gymboree Play & Music. We are excited to become a part of GymboFams and spread the word about this amazing place.

This is a great experience for both babies and their parents, I wish more people would take the time to check it out. It is a great investment for our children, I wish we had discovered Gymboree Play & Music sooner.

Follow Maritza on Instagram right here: https://www.instagram.com/ritzy_xo/

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/