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!

Meet Tess! GymboFams Ambassador & Children’s Author

Hello, GymboFams!  My name is Tess Kossow, and my son, Ferris, and I are Ambassadors for Gymboree Play & Music.  At the time of this article, Ferris is nine months old (born in April 2018), and we have been coming to play at Gymboree Play & Music since he was 8 weeks young!  We have been to Baby Lab, Level 1, and now are proud members of the ever-moving-and-singing Level 2 class!  We have attended two locations and have loved every minute of our experiences.

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A little about myself:  I am a mama, first and foremost.  I am also an entrepreneur / children’s picture book author.  My first book, which is also part of a series, is called I’m Very Ferris, and it talks about In Vitro Fertilization through the eyes of a child.  It is based off the true-life story of my journey through IVF to have baby Ferris.  I believe that with the many, many couples that experience infertility, there needed to be a children’s book that could explain the delicate topic of IVF in which a child can understand.  However, this book is wonderful for all families, as children will love to come along with Ferris on his little adventures as the series grows.

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Visit www.tesskossow.com for more information and to pick up your copy of I’m Very Ferris today!  Thank you, GymboFams!

Holiday Letter from Gymboree Play & Music CEO

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December 21, 2018

Dear Friends,

I want to celebrate this holiday season by thanking all of you for being a part of our Play & Music family. You have trusted us with the development of your children, you’ve shared birthdays and holidays with us, and we’ve been able to play and learn alongside you and your children. For that we are so thankful.

Since Play & Music became a stand-alone company a few years ago, independent from the Gymboree Clothing company, we’ve opened new locations all over the world. Every week we play with more than 500,000 families in more than 45 countries. We love what we do and we plan to keep doing it for the next generation of children.

My family has been a part of Gymboree Play & Music for almost 30 years as members, teachers, franchise owners, and now CEO. A lot has changed over the years – clipboards turned into IPads, shoe boxes turned into computers, equipment was upgraded, newspaper ads turned into Facebook posts. But in the classroom, children still explore everything around them, parents learn alongside their babies, and play is still the best and most enjoyable way for children to learn.

What makes our programs special are the people who deliver them every day – our teachers. They come from all over the world, but they all share a love of helping children play, explore, socialize and meet adventure head-on. Children can always come into our classes and have fun with the playscapes but our teachers enhance the experience, and create opportunities that may not be obvious, but all of a sudden are right there. We celebrate these teachers and thank them for their devotion to all of our children.

2019 is shaping up to be another great year for Gymboree Play & Music. We’ll be opening more centers on virtually every continent, upgrading our technology so our families can schedule classes from an App, increasing the size and scope of our teacher training programs and making it easier for families to connect with one another.

On behalf of all of our teachers, franchise owners and corporate staff, I’m proud to say Gymboree Play & Music will be inspiring parents and children to play together this year, next year and for many years to come. Thank you for being part of our ever-growing community of people who care about giving children the very best of early childhood.

Let’s all have a great holiday with our families, celebrating our children and keeping them close to our hearts.

Sincerely,
Danny Softness
CEO, North America
Gymboree Play & Music

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Brie

My name is Brie Donel, my family started at Gymboree Play & Music at the Westside Pavilion mall in Los Angeles back in 2012 when my first child was 13 months. Alex was (and still is!) a little boy with an endless supply of energy! When he started he was only just beginning to cruise but within a few short weeks he was walking and running! As he grew older, it became apparent he was developmentally delayed and was eventually diagnosed with Autism just before the age of 3.

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The staff at Gymboree Play & Music were so incredibly supportive of us during that difficult time and when he struggled with being at a typical preschool, he thrived at Gymboree Play & Music’s school skills. He was happy there, comfortable and knew his teachers well. When he turned 5 and had to move on it was a very emotional day for us all. After Alex graduated we stopped by our Gymboree Play & Music whenever we were at the mall so he could see his old teachers.

I had my second child, another boy, named Oliver, in 2017. I brought Oliver to the Gymboree Play & Music Baby Lab when he was 6 months old and he has been attending ever since. The best part? One of Alex’s former teachers still works at Gymboree Play & Music and is now Oliver’s teacher! Alex will come with us to watch Oliver play and to continue his bond with the teacher he has known since he was one.

Our Gymboree Play & Music holds such a special place in my heart which is why I am so excited to join the GymboFams team! I hope one day when my boys are both grown up to even work for Gymboree Play & Music myself. That is how much I love it there!

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You can follow Brie at: https://www.instagram.com/briedonelphotography/

Make A Melted Snowman!

Looking for a way to entertain the kids in December? How about creating some easy age appropriate art? Kids under 5 will love imagining a melted snowman and then sharing their creation with family and friends.

Materials:

  • Blue Construction Paper
  • White Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Googly Eyes
  • Pre-Cut Snowman Accessories (or make your own)

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Directions:

  • Give your child a piece of blue construction paper along with a paint brush and a cup of white paint. Invite them to begin painting  their “melted snowman”. Talk about how a melted snowman might look and feel.
  • While the paint is still wet have children stick the snowman parts (hat, arms, scarf, nose, eyes) directly onto their melted snowman. Talk about the shapes as you go.

Have them sign their name and enjoy!

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Kaci

Hello, I am Kaci and my son Logan has been attending Gymboree Play & Music in Forest Hills for a few months now. I honestly wish we had started earlier with him and will do so whenever we have more children!

love seeing him interacting with the others in the class, he bends down and babbles in their faces, and also his amazing ability to pick up on things so quickly. He is always learning something new and I don’t think he would be able to do this without his time at Gymboree Play & Music.


He is such an active and curious child that taking him to Open Gyms has been a lifesaver! Going to the park is fun but Logan tends to get himself into places he shouldn’t and try to run around areas with the teenagers. Open gym lets him run around, release his energy, and do so in a positive way.

Follow Kaci on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/mommyhiggs28/

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Kaitlynn

My name is Kaitlynn, but I’m better known as baby Madison’s mom at our local Gymboree Play & Music on Staten Island in NYC. Maddie is 9-months-old and has been attending classes with the amazing Miss Lucie, Miss Fran, and her new little friends the past three months. She loves Gymboree Play & Music and it’s been such a fun activity for our entire family!

My husband, Frank, and I always try to attend Maddie’s classes together as our schedules allow. The old saying “It takes a village to raise a child” holds true and is fully embraced here. We frequently see other children attending with both parents or sometimes with grandparents or other special family members in their place. We are grateful that the Gymboree Play & Music community wholeheartedly welcomes our family and other families to participate in this way, which was something important to us when finding a program that was the right fit.


Like many first time parents, Frank and I are both guilty of reading what is probably an unhealthy amount on childhood development and naturally worry about how the choices we make as parents can affect our child – despite knowing that we are taking great care of our happy, smart, funny, and beautiful little girl. I also work for a trusted health and pregnancy/parenting company and frequently see new evidence-based research being reported on this subject. The amount of varying information and opinions about what is “best” is ever increasing and because of that, it’s sometimes hard to know what is truly beneficial for our child.

One concept that has been scientifically proven countless times though is the positive effects that learning through play has on the development of the whole child, so we naturally incorporated it in our household once Maddie was born. We knew we eventually wanted her to join baby classes that were reflective of this, too. When we saw there was a Gymboree Play & Music location down the road from where we were looking at purchasing our first home, we did a little homework and discovered we loved its ideology, so we registered for a free class.


Who knew we had exactly what we were looking for so close by? Seeing Maddie with a big smile throughout the class and being incredibly engaged in this new experience was enough reason to sign up, so we did as soon as the class was over.

Being in a positive and fun setting like Gymboree Play & Music surrounded by other sweet babies was something new to our family and we felt at home right away. With Maddie being an only child and having no little ones in the family nearby, we really liked that she would have the opportunity to socialize with those around her age while further building other necessary foundational skills critical for her development. And as we went to more classes, the more we realized that the Gymboree Play & Music program and what we do at home can serve as an extension of one another.

For example, even before joining Gymboree Play & Music we would do various playful exercises with Maddie to promote physical development. One of these included placing her on top of a big blue exercise ball while firmly holding her and gently rocking side to side and back and forth to songs like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

This exercise may sound familiar to GymboFams! When joining our first play class at Gymboree Play & Music, Maddie got to ride the good ol’ air log for the first time and realized how similar it was to what we were doing at home. And of course to little Maddie, the air log was a million times bigger and better than our dinky exercise ball. The experience at Gymboree Play & Music was made even more fun because she got to participate with friends and learned new songs, which we now incorporate in our scaled down version at home.

Likewise, during a play class focused around spatial awareness we learned that some people are wired in a way where they don’t like to be in small spaces (like elevators) and were assured it is completely normal and okay if your child is one of those people. Turns out, Maddie is one of them! If it weren’t for learning this upfront at Gymboree Play & Music, I easily would’ve gone down a rabbit hole of worrying until I eventually researched to find that there is not a single thing wrong with this and it’s just how she is. Now at home, especially as we’re in the process of unpacking after moving, we’ve set up tunnels-galore out of big boxes for her to crawl through and play in. So far, she’s becoming more inclined to explore them, slowly but surely, at her own pace and comfort level as she chooses.

Each class is themed around a different area of focus, so it’s beneficial to children and parents alike. After each class, parents are able to go home and continue having fun with their children while integrating the various pieces of wisdom learned from listening in class.

We’re so grateful for the knowledge, fun, friendship, and positivity that our local Gymboree Play & Music has brought to our family and look forward to the many years ahead here!

Follow Kaitlynn on Instagram at:
https://www.instagram.com/theshoefit

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Theresa

My name is Theresa & I am the mother of a talented 11.5 year old girl named Ava & 7.5 month Girl/Boy Twins Aria/ Ace. I’m so happy to be back and Gymboree Play & Music!

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We love the music, songs and dances. I find it important to develop fine motor skills and to interact with your children daily. This not only helps them emotionally but also helps with connecting/bonding with your children.

The babies can’t get enough of the colors and activities. I’m soooo excited to be a GymboFams Ambassador and to share all the awesome things we’re doing. I’m also a working mother and I love pureeing the babies food.

You can follow Theresa at: https://www.instagram.com/triple_aaa18/