Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With These Special Book Recommendations


 

September 15 – October 15th is observed in the United States as Hispanic Heritage Month. National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements in the United States. To celebrate, we curated a special book list to honor authors who have a Hispanic, Latin American background.

The titles feature a mix of bilingual books, picture books and stories that will give your family a deeper look into the lives and cultural experiences of some of the authors.

 

La Princesa and the Pea

by Susan Middleton Elya and Juana Martinez-Neal 

El príncipe knows this girl is the one for him, but, as usual, his mother doesn’t agree.

The queen has a secret test in mind to see if this girl is really a princesa, but the prince might just have a sneaky plan, too . . .

Readers will be enchanted by this Latino twist on the classic story, and captivated by the vibrant art inspired by the culture of Peru.

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

by Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael López 

In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges–and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

Alma and How She Got Her Name

by Juana Martinez-Neal

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for los Niños

by Susan Middleton Elya and Juana Martinez-Neal 

Classic favorites get a modern Latino twist

The itsy arañita
climbed up the water spout.
Down came la lluvia
and washed la araña out.

Classic Mother Goose rhymes get a Latino twist in this cozy collection. From young Juan Ramón sitting in el rincón to three little gatitos who lost their mitoncitos, readers will be delighted to see familiar characters in vibrant, luminous scenes brimming with fanciful details.

La Madre Goose will make a playful multicultural addition to every modern bookshelf.

¡Te amo, te abrazo, leo contigo!/Love you, Hug You, Read to You!

by Tish Rabe and Frank Endersby 

“There are three things I’ll always do . . . love you, hug you, read to you!” The simple promise of togetherness offered in this bilingual (Spanish and English) board book is enhanced by interactive prompts throughout, encouraging parents to engage with their child while reading. Studies show that asking questions, like the ones in this book, helps children learn to read faster than if they just listen to a story. Love and literacy are gifts we can give to our children every day!

My Papi Has a Motorcycle 

by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña 

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.

But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.

With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl’s love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.

Nosotros Means Us: Un cuento bilingüe

by Paloma Valdivia 

A moving bilingual ode to the unshakeable bond between a parent and child in the tradition of Runaway Bunny and The Wonderful Things You Will Be.

If I were a sheep, you would be a lamb.
If I were a bear, you would be a cub.
As a mother holds her toddler, they muse over the way their love would translate if they were different animals. But no matter how they change, they will always be “us.” This bilingual story is a timeless ode to the unshakable bond between parent and child.

Not a Bean

by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez and Laura Gonzalez 

With Spanish vocabulary and a clever counting concept, this poetic story shares the life cycle of a Mexican jumping bean. This curious jumping insect is actually a seedpod from a shrub called yerba de la flecha, into which a caterpillar burrows, living inside the pod until it builds a cocoon and breaks out as a moth. Perfect for preschoolers and pre-readers, this creative picture book explores the Mexican jumping bean’s daily life and eventual transformation and escape from the pod.

Cerca / Close 

by Juan Felipe Herrera and  Blanca Gómez

Some things are close — cerca. Others are far — lejos. With sweet simplicity, this charming dual-language board book and its companion volume, Lejos/Far, engage young children.

Mi cuarto está cerca de la cocina. My bedroom is close to the kitchen.

As she walks from her kitchen through a daisy-filled yard to the house next door, a little girl notices things that are close to each other — just as the little boy she goes to visit is close to her.

Carmela Full of Wishes

by Matt de la Peña and  Christian Robinson 

When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true–she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make . . .

With lyrical, stirring text and stunning, evocative artwork, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson have crafted a moving ode to family, to dreamers, and to finding hope in the most unexpected places.

10 STEAM Activities To Do With Your Pre-schooler This Fall

It’s fall and we’re going full STEAM ahead!

STEAM is an educational discipline that aims to ignite an early interest and love of math, art, and sciences in children. Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math are similar fields of study in that they all involve creative processes and none uses just one method for inquiry and investigation. 

Not only do these activities support the development of math and science skills but also provide opportunities to strengthen language skills. A study by researchers at the University of California Irvine even found that early math skills were the most consistently predictive measure of future academic success among kindergarten to fifth-grade students.

This month, as we continue our partnership with DreamWorks Animation and Netflix for Gabby’s Dollhouse, we’re focused on highlighting the STEAM activities that are in the show. Some of our locations are hosting STEAM Parties to explore Bubble Science, but just in case you can’t make it, or don’t have an event near you, we pulled 10 STEAM-themed experiments you can do at home with your pre-schooler.

1. Ice Cream in a Bag

Looking for a simple treat that’s fun to make? Try this easy recipe for making ice cream in a bag. Little ones will get to expend some energy as they shake, shake, shake to churn the ice cream. This activity is best for preschool-age children (~22 months and older).

2. Black Pepper Soap Science Experiment

Teach little ones in an abstract way why it is important to wash your hands to keep yourself and others healthy. This activity is best for Explorers and preschool-age children (~2 years and older).

3. Soap Playdough

Use this playdough recipe for a fun STEM-building challenge that your kids will love! You can use simple materials to challenge children to build, create and problem solve with this recipe.

4. Magnetic Fishing Game

Practice your hand-eye coordination with this easily-assembled fishing game. You can even talk to your little ones about how magnets work! This activity is best for Explorers and preschool-age children (~20 months and older).

5. Sensory Bin Coffee Grounds

Don’t throw out those coffee grounds just yet! Learn 3 ways to use coffee grounds for a super sensory bin! From a Spring garden to a construction site, what else can you think of to do with your coffee grounds? This activity is best for Explorers and preschool-age children (~20 months and older).

6. Toy Car Painting

Bored of your paintbrush? Try painting with a toy car instead! Afterward, you can bring out a tub of water and have a car wash. This activity is best for Runners, Explorers, and Preschool-age children (~20 months and older).

7. Slime

This slime recipe is super! Mix together water, borax, wet glue, and a bit of food coloring or paint. This activity is best for preschool-age children (~2.5 years and older). Be sure to supervise your little ones while they play with their slime!

8. Color Explosion Science

Chemistry doesn’t have to be boring—especially when you can get a cool art project out of it! This science experiment demonstrates chemical reactions. Not only is it fun to watch, but even more exciting to do.

 

9. Five Green Speckled Frogs

Enjoy this fun stop-motion version of a classic finger-play song! This activity is perfect for children of all ages!

10. Threading Practice

Let your little one practice some threading using simple supplies. Great for developing fine motor skills and preparing for tasks like lacing up shoes or stringing beads. This activity is best for Walkers, Runners, Explorers, and preschool-age children (~14 months and older). Make sure younger children are no longer mouthing and be sure to supervise them during this activity.

Foster First Foundations with our September Book Recommendations


Early childhood is a crucial time in a child’s development. 

Every experience your child has in their formative years from the places they visit regularly to the people they engage with frequently, everything becomes a  building block of your child’s brain architecture. And as a whole, these things will strongly influence your child’s ability to learn, maintain healthy habits, and support positive behavior throughout their life.

 

At Gymboree Play & Music, we believe in cultivating the whole child. So whether it’s through play in our centers, or play dates your child has with friends after class, we wanted to select books that support this area of growth beyond our doors. 

Check out our September booklist for titles that will teach you and your kids about building foundations in community, school, and life.

Recommendations for Children

All Are Welcome

by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman 

Discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated.

Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.

First Day Jitters 

by Julie Danneberg and Judy Love 

Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. This charming and familiar story will delight readers with its surprise ending.

by Peter H. Reynolds

The Word Collector

Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . . In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower.From the creator of The DotI Am Human, and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words — and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.

School is More Than a Building

by Kelley Donner 

With its delightful watercolor illustrations of school life, School is More Than a Building paints a positive picture of a school environment where children know and understand that the people who work there care and look out for their best interests. When read aloud, children are reminded that they are part of a very special community and that schools are there for them.

Sticks

by Diane Alber 

A heartwarming story about finding your place in the world. Sticks is about a Popsicle that accidentally melts and becomes just a plain stick. He has a hard time adjusting to his new normal but with the help of some new friends (who happen to be sticks too) he realizes that everything happened for a reason and that melting was part of his journey.

Sticks is a story that almost anyone can relate to. It’s about finding yourself in a situation that didn’t turn out like you expected and having your friends and family help you find he courage to pick yourself back up and persevere.

Recommendations for Parents

What Do You Say?

by William Stixrud PhD and  Ned Johnson 

William Stixrud, Ph.D., and Ned Johnson have 60 years combined experience talking to kids one-on-one, and the most common question they get when out speaking to parents and educators is: What do you say? While many adults understand the importance and power of the philosophies behind the books that dominate the parenting bestseller list, parents are often left wondering how to put those concepts into action. 

In What Do You Say?, Johnson and Stixrud show how to engage in respectful and effective dialogue, beginning with defining and demonstrating the basic principles of listening and speaking. Then they show new ways to handle specific, thorny topics of the sort that usually end in parent/kid standoffs: delivering constructive feedback to kids; discussing boundaries around technology; explaining sleep and their brains; the anxiety of current events; and family problem-solving. What Do You Say? is a manual and map that will immediately transform parents’ ability to navigate complex terrain and train their minds and hearts to communicate ever more successfully.

Parenting Right From the Start

by Vanessa Lapointe and Shefali Tsabary 

The baby and toddler years are the most important period for any child’s emotional and psychological development. Parents naturally want to do what’s best for their kids, but they often struggle to know what that is, especially when dealing with the big “battlegrounds” of sleep, feeding, and managing aggression.

The latest scientific research indicates that it is through a strong and stable sense of connection to their parents that children learn how to regulate their emotions, master social skills, and develop a sense of identity. Unfortunately, many of the currently accepted parenting practices and traditional attitudes disrupt healthy connection rather than foster it, leading to behavioral issues and emotional problems that can last into adulthood.

The Importance of Being Little

by Erika Christakis 

 In her pathbreaking book, Christakis explains what it’s like to be a young child in America today, in a world designed by and for adults, where we have confused schooling with learning. She offers real-life solutions to real-life issues, with nuance and direction that takes us far beyond the usual prescriptions for fewer tests, more play

Parenting from the Inside Out

by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell 

In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.

How Children Succeed

by Mariana Bissonnette 

Babies Build Toddlers is a unique parenting book with an innovative illustrative approach that makes child development information both accessible and actionable for everyday readers. Author, Mariana Bissonnette tells the powerful story of the child during their most essential stage of development: infancy. The first 18 months lay a critical foundation for a child’s future emotional, cognitive, physical, and social well-being.

But this early time is often the most difficult for parents! Many find themselves in “survival mode” until toddlerhood, something that overlooks the incredible potential of this early time. Babies Build Toddlers offers readers a window into the intersection of development, education and parenting through clear developmental timelines (including movement, language, eating, sleeping, hygiene, and bonding), practical suggestions for how to support that development, and illustrations from a team of illustrators who celebrate the fullness of each parent’s journey.

How to Inspire a Growth Mindset In Your Child


Whether we consciously know it or not, we all have certain beliefs about our abilities and our future potential. These beliefs form the foundation of our mindset early in life, ultimately fueling our behavior, and shaping our everyday lives.

This month we’re discussing the idea of the growth mindset, and why it can support the future success of your child. We took a deep dive into the research of Dr. Carol Dweck, which was featured in her 2014 TED talk

In her research at Stanford University, Dr. Carol Dweck identified two different types of mindsets. Read more below. 

What are the mindsets? And why do they matter?

According to Dweck, the beliefs children have about intelligence, effort, and struggle impact the choices they make about learning. Based on her research, people tend to hold one of two different beliefs about intelligence:

    • Children with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed. These students see school as a place to develop their abilities and think of challenges as opportunities to grow.
    • Children with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is fixed at birth and doesn’t change or changes very little with practice. These students see school as a place where their abilities are evaluated, they focus on looking smart over learning, and they interpret mistakes are a sign that they lack talent.

Developing the right mindset early on is crucial for a successful, happy life. When kids learn putting forth effort and using the right strategies can help them get better at things, they feel empowered, and try harder. When they know their brains are capable of growing, they are more confident, resilient, and are not afraid to fail! 

So how do we instill this simple and incredible concept to children? To start, it’s important to understand the basics.

Step 1: Build the Foundation 

Take time to talk to your child about the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to GROW? What sorts of things grow? Answers will vary. Growth means to develop, change, mature, evolve. Living things grow – plants, animals, and people. Even our brains can grow!

  2. When you think of the brain or minds, what do you think MINDSET means? Mindset is the way our brain perceives ourselves and the world. Our mindset helps us look at problems and mistakes in a positive way!

  3. Let’s put those words together: growth and mindset. When we combine them, it means something really important. What could growth mindset mean? A growth mindset is believing in the power of yourself and your brain! We know our intellect and abilities develop when we try difficult things, use the right strategies, and don’t give up. So a growth mindset is when we know, with practice, we will get better at something.

  4. If fixed is the opposite of growth, what does it mean to have a FIXED mindset? A fixed mindset means you think you can’t get better at things, even if you practice. Wanting to quit, give up, or deciding we’re just not good at something are all clues we have a fixed mindset.

Step 2: Share Examples from Your Life

Share a personal story about when you were stuck and used hard work and/or help from others to overcome a challenge. 

Ask your child to share similar examples from their lives. You can encourage other caretakers like grandparents, babysitters or siblings to do this with your child as well. 

Step 3: Practice Switching from a Fixed to Growth Mindset

Ask your child/class to think of some FIXED mindset phrases commonly used at home or anywhere else (“I am not good at this”, “I can’t do anything right”), and write them down.

Next, create a list of alternate phrases that reflect a growth mindset (“I’m not good at this yet”). Above the fixed mindset column, write “Instead of” and on the Growth mindset column, “I Can Say…”

Ask your children how they can change each statement from negative to empowering. For example, you could ask, “What is a better way of looking at a situation?”

Step 4: Use the Power of Yet

With one simple word, any fixed mindset phrase can be transformed into a statement of hope. “I can’t do this…yet.” It’s all about the FUTURE, and not giving up until we get there.

Make a “YET” bulletin board or designate a wall at home for all the things you can’t do…yet!

Step 5: Encourage Productive Struggle & Reframe Mistakes

In the safe environment of your home or class, give children time to think through their challenges, brainstorm solutions, and seek help if needed. Grappling with a problem builds resilience, so give kids time for reflection before jumping in to help or “save” them.

Get excited when opportunities for growth occur! In a challenging moment, say things like, “This seems like an opportunity to grow our brains!” Create  
an environment where setbacks are expected and even celebrated

Content appearing from this blog was originally published on TED, and Big Life Journal

 

Support Your Growth Mindset with our August Book Recommendations


When it comes to mindset, we’re often encouraged to “be positive” and
“think outside the box.” If we’re up against a challenging situation. But what’s not often explained is why this is necessary and what happens when we don’t.

This month Gymboree Play & Music is leaning into the concept of the growth mindset in an effort to educate kids and families on the possibilities that become available to us when we persevere and allow ourselves to “grow” through various situations instead of “go” through these circumstances.

Check out our August booklist for titles that will teach you and your kids about the growth mindset.

Recommendations for Children

Three Little Engines

by Bob McKinnon , Lou FancherSteve Johnson 

Graduation day is finally here! The Little Blue Engine, the Yellow Passenger Engine, and the Red Freight Engine are excited to take their final test of Engine School: making their first solo trip over the mountain. But each engine encounters different challenges and obstacles on their journey. Gorgeous illustrations by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson combine with a poignant story told by Bob McKinnon to remind a new generation of readers to “think they can.”

Beautiful Oops

by Barney Saltzberg

An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

by JoAnn Deak Ph.D.Sarah Ackerley 

Educator and psychologist Dr. JoAnn Deak offers a fun and engaging introduction to the anatomy and functions of the brain that will empower each young reader to S-T-R-E-T-C-H and grow their fantastic, elastic brain! 

The Book of Mistakes

by Corinna Luyken 

As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle

by Chris Raschka 

Learning to ride a bike is one of the most important milestones of childhood, and no one captures the emotional ups and downs of the experience better than Chris Raschka, who won the 2012 Caldecott Medal for A Ball for Daisy. In this simple yet emotionally rich “guide,” a father takes his daughter through all the steps in the process—from choosing the perfect bicycle to that triumphant first successful ride. Using very few words and lots of expressive pictures, here is a picture book that not only shows kids how to learn to ride, but captures what it feels like to fall . . . get up . . . fall again . . . and finally “by luck, grace, and determination” ride a bicycle!

Recommendations for Parents

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

by Carol S. Dweck 

In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.

Grit for Kids

by Lee David Daniels 

Your kids are the most important people in your lives. In this increasingly competitive and confusing world they need you to help them be their best. They need you to guide them in developing traits for success and happiness. Grit for Kids will teach you how to help your child to develop their own grit in just 16 easy-to-follow chapters.

Helping Children Succeed

by Paul Tough 

In How Children Succeed, Paul Tough introduced us to research showing that personal qualities like perseverance, self-control, and conscientiousness play a critical role in children’s success.
      Now, in Helping Children Succeed, Tough takes on a new set of pressing questions: What does growing up with economic and other stresses do to children’s mental and physical development? How does adversity at home affect their success in the classroom, from preschool to high school? And what practical steps can the adults who are responsible for them take to improve their chances for a positive future?

by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson 

In The Yes Brain, the authors give parents skills, scripts, and activities to bring kids of all ages into the beneficial “yes” state. You’ll learn

Big Little Breakthroughs

by Josh Linkner 

Instead of shooting for a $10-billion payday or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus on Big Little Breakthroughs—small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By cultivating daily micro-innovations, individuals and organizations are better equipped to tackle tough challenges and seize transformational opportunities.

How Children Succeed

by Paul Tough 

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories—and the stories of the children they are trying to help—Tough traces the links between childhood stress and life success. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to help children growing up in poverty.

Encourage Independence In Your Child With These 4 Tips


We all know our children will eventually take their place in the world, but long before they become Olympians, doctors, and teachers, they are just little tykes who are looking to us to understand the basics of life. Whether it’s confidence, grit, or independence, our small cues help them better understand how to approach these things and how to practically leverage them in their environment. Below are some proven tips to help you support your child develop their own independence as they grow. 

 

Give Them Tasks

One way to help your child understand independence is to give them tasks to complete on their own. Research supports that small tasks and chores for children are a way to building a sense of responsibility, teaching collaborative skills and nurturing empathy. Not only does it give the child the opportunity the finish things on their own, but it’s a subtle way to help them understand your expectations. Some simple tasks to try are: 

  • Putting away toys.
  • Let them select the bedtime story.
  • Let them determine their daily snack, get it out of the fridge and clean up.
  • Help make bed.
  • Select clothes for the day.

Ask Questions 

As parents, it’s common to step in and make decisions that we feel is in the best interest of our kids. But what’s not so common is to ask the child if they agree with what we’ve selected and why. By asking questions we get a sense of their preferences, and we help them think critically about what they prefer and why. Some simple questions to ask are: 

  • What kinds of snacks should we buy?
  • What kinds of shows do you want to see?
  • What kinds of places do you want to visit?

Let Them Struggle (A little)

No one likes to see their child struggle. But when it comes to their long-term success, sometimes allowing them to struggle temporarily is a good thing. Let your child to try things that are difficult (for them) to solve on their own. When children are first learning to walk, we let them fall. When they try something that’s spicy (that we told them not to), we wait for the tears and offer something to quell the burn. Leave room for your child to feel discomfort, learn and try again from their own learned experience.

 

Give Positive Feedback

It goes without saying that we should always support a job well done. But what’s important when it comes to independence, is to support all of the attempts and failures. Children need to know that their progress is a step in the right direction. When you provide the cue that some failure is normal, and they will get it right, they will thrive through those hiccups. 

 

Instill Independence in Your Child With Our July Book Recommendations


As parents, we love coddling our children.

For example, when our kids want to try the high slide alone, we hold their hands all the way down.

When they insist on dressing themselves, we step in to help them go faster. 

When they want to pour their own milk, we grab it and do it for them.

But when our overdoing becomes more than coddling, we inadvertently prevent our children from gaining a sense of independence. So how do we encourage kids to develop this skillset, while we also gain a better understanding the limitations of our “parenting”?

We read. 

Check out our July booklist for titles that will teach you and your kids about self-esteem, failure, success, and confidence. 

 

Recommendations for Children

Flight School

by Lita Judge 

A persevering penguin is determined to fly in this adorably inspiring picture book from the creator of Red Hat and Red Sled.

Although little Penguin has the soul of an eagle, his body wasn’t built to soar. But Penguin has an irrepressible spirit, and he adamantly follows his dreams to flip, flap, fly! Even if he needs a little help with the technical parts, this penguin is ready to live on the wind.

 The Most Magnificent Thing 

by Ashley Spires 

Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. “She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. For the early grades’ exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity.

Ladybug Girl Series

by David Soman and Jacky Davis 

In the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series, which encourages independence and creative play, and celebrates imagination for every preschool child!
 
When Lulu puts on her ladybug costume, she becomes Ladybug Girl, a superhero who uses her imagination to have adventures right in her own backyard. Her dog, Bingo the basset hound, is always by her side and the two prove that they are not too little to explore nature, build forts, and make their own big fun.

I Don’t Want To Go To School

by Lula Bell and Brian Fitzgerald 

It’s Mouse’s first day of school. It’s Dinosaur’s first day of school. As each of them get ready for the first day of school, they definitely DON’T want to go! But when class begins, there is a very big surprise! A reassuring tale for those first-day-of-school jitters.

It’s Mouse’s first day of school, and she is so nervous. She can’t eat her cereal, and she wonders what the children will be like. And it’s Dinosaur’s first day of school, too! He is so nervous that he can’t eat his toast. He is afraid that the teacher won’t like him. And the school looks so scary! But when Mouse and Dinosaur arrive at school, they’re both in for a big, happy surprise!

A Little SPOT of Confidence

by Diane Alber 

Confidence plays an important role in a child’s future happiness, health, and success. Confident children are better equipped to deal with peer pressure, challenges, and negative emotions. A little SPOT of Confidence is a story that uses an orange spot to help a child visual there confidence spot growing or shrinking. It shows a child real-world situations on how they can grow their confidence SPOT.

Recommendations for Parents

How to Raise Successful People

by Esther Wojcicki 

The godmother of Silicon Valley, legendary teacher, and mother of a superfamily shares her tried-and-tested methods for raising happy, healthy, successful children using trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness: TRICK. Wojcicki’s methods are the opposite of helicopter parenting. As we face an epidemic of parental anxiety, Woj is here to say: relax. Talk to infants as if they are adults. Allow teenagers to pick projects that relate to the real world and their own passions, and let them figure out how to complete them. Above all, let your child lead. 

Social Skills for Kids

by Keri K. Powers 

In Social Skills for Kids, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how social skills develop in children and what you can do to support their growth. In this book, you’ll find games to encourage them in group settings, activities that you (or another caregiver) can do alone with your child, and ways to make the most of virtual interactions for social skill development.

The Gift of Failure

by Jessica Lahey 

Modern parenting is defined by an unprecedented level of overprotectiveness: parents who rush to school at the whim of a phone call to deliver forgotten assignments, who challenge teachers on report card disappointments, mastermind children’s friendships, and interfere on the playing field. As teacher and writer Jessica Lahey explains, even though these parents see themselves as being highly responsive to their children’s well-being, they aren’t giving them the chance to experience failure—or the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems.

The Yes Brain

by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson 

In The Yes Brain, the authors give parents skills, scripts, and activities to bring kids of all ages into the beneficial “yes” state. You’ll learn

• the four fundamentals of the Yes Brain—balance, resilience, insight, and empathy—and how to strengthen them
• the key to knowing when kids need a gentle push out of a comfort zone vs. needing the “cushion” of safety and familiarity
• strategies for navigating away from negative behavioral and emotional states (aggression and withdrawal) and expanding your child’s capacity for positivity

The Yes Brain is an essential tool for nurturing positive potential and keeping your child’s inner spark glowing and growing strong.

The 4 Habits of Raising Joy-Filled Kids

by Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey 

Joy-filled kids aren’t always happy kids, but they do know how to work for and wait for what is truly satisfying in life. In The Four Habits of Raising Joy-Filled Kids you will discover a tool box full of skills that you can use with your children to help them grow in maturity and live with greater joy.

These tools help your kids, from infants to teens, build skills like:

Regulating upset emotions so they can return to joy.
Forming a stable identity that doesn’t change with each new emotion.
Developing discernment to distinguish between what is satisfying and what is only temporarily pleasurable.
Discovering heart values and not just living to please others.
Building “joy bonds” rather than “fear bonds.”

March Book Recommendations!

This month we’re paying homage to the greatest rhymer of them all – Dr. Seuss!

Not only does rhyming and wordplay help with early literacy development, it’s a lot of fun! Remember that regular reading is important for your little one so let’s get to rhyming!

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

By Dr. Seuss

Nonsense rhymes with silly words create for an entertaining read-aloud with this classic Dr. Seuss favorite!

 

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Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom

By Bil Martin Jr and John Archambault

This classic alphabet rhyming book creates a fun read-aloud that children will want to hear again and again! The rhymes are quick and fun and easy for little ones to remember!

 

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Is Your Mamma a Llama?

By Deborah Guarino

A wonderful rhyming story where children can finish the rhymes! Beautiful illustrations and the rhyming text supports teaching children how to make predictions.

brown bear Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? 

By Bill Martin Jr

Simply a classic! A “singsongy” text will capture children of all ages, while bright simple pictures will delight babies, toddlers, and preschoolers alike!

 

peekawhoPeek-a Who?

By Nina Laden

Cut out images add to the anticipation of who is peeking through! An interactive rhyming book that supports making predictions and teaches children how language works!

Become A Gymboree Play & Music Franchisee!

Thank you for visiting the Gymboree Play & Music booth at the recent Franchise Expo at the Meadowlands Event Center in New Jersey!

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If you weren’t able to attend our event, or would like more information about new Gymboree Play & Music market opportunities for NJ and NY (or local resale centers), please visit our website at: GymboreePlayFranchise.com

or call us at 415-604-3093.

We look forward to supporting your interest in the serious business of PLAY!

Teacher Feature! Meet Susie from Gymboree Play & Music, Chandler, AZ

Name: Susie C.

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How long have you been at Gymboree? 20 years!!!!

Where did you grow-up? Havre, Montana

Favorite Gymboree Song? “Wiggle your Bones” by Parachute Express!

Do you have any pets? Tucker, our fluffy white puppy!

Some favorites… Favorite Children’s Book? “Press Here” by Tullet

Favorite Color? Green

Favorite Sport? Football 🏈

Favorite Food? Tacos 🌮

Favorite Drink? Cherry Coke 🍒

Do you have any hobbies? Listening to ALL types of music, going to concerts and playing games with my family and friends!