The Parent's Guide to Play


170 Gymboree® activities that help parents discover new ways to play with their babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Gymboree — The Parent's Guide to Play combines the best baby and toddler activities into one book that offers hours of fun for parents and their little ones. These kid-tested activities also provide children with a solid foundation for the skills they will need in preschool.

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170 Gymboree® activities that help parents discover new ways to play with their babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Gymboree — The Parent's Guide to Play combines the best baby and toddler activities into one book that offers hours of fun for parents and their little ones. These kid-tested activities also provide children with a solid foundation for the skills they will need in preschool.

With activities designed to stimulate imagination, expand vocabulary and build skills, the book features:

  • Skill Spotlights, describing each activity's benefits
  • Parental Tips and Research Reports, explaining how a child develops
  • Tips for using materials at home
  • Words and clapping rhythms to songs.

Organized by age, activities range from quiet observation and singing to boisterous climbing games and music-making. From interacting with a newborn, to engaging a toddler, to exploring the world with a preschooler, this book makes excellent use of the experience, wisdom and imagination that have made Gymboree® a famous brand name around the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
If your active toddler is ready to go to the park before he's finished playing hide-and-seek — always ready for the next activity — Gymboree has the answer for you.
Parents Express (Philadelphia)
Designed to match key states in child development. The directions are clear and how the activity benefits the child is shown through easy to understand charts.
Success Through Play Magazine
What is so special about this book is that you won't be required to go and buy a host of expensive "developmental toys" but instead, the activities presented use every day items that you have around your house.... A terrific Baby Shower Gift that will empower parents to take active role in playing with their baby and provide many hours of fun for everyone.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554072057
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/14/2006
  • Series: Gymboree Parent's Guide Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Wendy S. Masi is a developmental psychologist who has designed programs for preschools. An early childhood professional for 25 years, she is dean of the Mailman Segal Institute at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.

Dr. Roni Cohen Leiderman is a developmental psychologist with 25 years of experience. She is associate dean of the Mailman Segal Institute at Nova Southeastern University.

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Table of Contents

Types of Activities
Playing with Your Baby
Playing with Your Toddler

From Birth and Up

  • Swaying, Swaying
  • Pom-Pom Play
  • Infant Massage
  • Facial Expressions
  • Lullabies
  • Hankie Wave
  • PARENTAL TIP: Crying and Colic
  • Who Is That?
  • Airplane Baby
  • Tickle-Me Textures
  • Cradle Songs
  • PARENTAL TIP: Getting Organized
  • Rippling Ribbons
  • Sound Spots
  • Eyes on Track
  • Rock the Baby
  • Beach-Ball Balance
  • Noisemakers
  • Little Bird Watchers
  • Babycycle
3 Months and Up
  • Stretching Out
  • Swat the Toy
  • Target Practice
  • Peekaboo Games
  • Babbling With Baby
  • PARENTAL TIP: Sleeping Through the Night
  • Tummy Bolster
  • Friendly Faces
  • Mirror Play
  • Tummy Talk
  • PARENTAL TIP: Getting Others Involved
  • Pinwheel Magic
  • Tick-Tock
  • Just Out of Reach
  • Belly Roll
  • Kitchen Fun
  • Knee Rides
  • Way High
  • Baby's First Books
  • Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Toes
  • What's Squeaking?
  • Bubbles for Baby
  • Big Bouncing Ball
  • Jack-in-the-Box
6 Months and Up
  • Pushing Game
  • Surprises Inside
  • Shake, Rattle, and Roll
  • Dumping Delights
  • PARENTAL TIP: Babyproofing
  • Switching Game
  • Play Ball
  • Music Maker
  • Totally Tubular
  • Clapping Songs
  • Little Drummer Baby
  • Fingerpuppet Fun
  • Magic Scarves
  • Stop the Top
  • Busy Boxes
  • PARENTAL TIP: Separation Anxiety
  • Roly-Poly
  • Little Folks' Songs
  • Where's the Toy?
  • Baby's Cupboard
  • I'm Gonna Get
  • Bottle Roll
9 Months and Up
  • How Puzzling!
  • Sound Stage
  • PARENTAL TIP: Traveling with Baby
  • Riding High
  • Let's Explore
  • Searchlight
  • Obstacle Course
  • I Can Do It, Too!
  • Zany Xylophones
  • Pouring Practice
  • Animal Songs
  • Activity Book
  • Knockdown
  • Stacking Rings
  • PARENTAL TIP: Public Etiquette
  • Uh-Oh!
  • Boxed Set
  • Ball Drop
  • Tunnel Time
  • Sing About Me
  • Push Me, Pull You
  • Monkey See
  • Upstairs,
12 Months and Up
  • Pass the Ball
  • The Finger Band
  • Parachute Play
  • Bubble Busters
  • Clap, Clap, Clap
  • PARENTAL TIP: At Their Own Pace
  • Itsy-Bitsy Spider
  • The Pillow Course
  • Hats On!
  • Freeze Dance
  • Twinkle, Twinkle
  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • Band on the Run
  • Peekaboo Boxes
  • Funny Feet
  • Picture This
  • PARENTAL PLAY: Repetition in Play
  • Fun-Filled Jars
  • Silly Lap Songs
  • I Have a Little Duck
  • Just Like Me
  • A Star is Born
  • Mirror, Mirror
  • Hey, Mr. Knickerbocker
18 Months and Up
  • Paper-Bag Blocks
  • Size Wise
  • Hide Your Eyes
  • Shake It Up, Baby!
  • Sand Skills
  • PARENTAL TIP: The Magic of Music
  • Tambourine Time
  • Crayon Creations
  • Count With Me
  • Cereal Challenge
  • Shape to Fit
  • Point Out the Parts
  • Nature Art
  • Water the Plants
  • Surprise!
  • Rhythm Time
  • Toddler Parade
  • PARENTAL TIP: Playing with Siblings
  • Baby Basketball
  • The Noble Duke of York
  • Tube
  • The Choo-Choo Train
  • Tantalizing Textures
  • Open Shut Them!
24 Months and Up
  • Beach-Ball Catch
  • Balancing Act
  • Puppet Play
  • Train Trips
  • PARENTAL TIP: The "No" Stage
  • Pony Rides
  • Head to Toes
  • Circle Songs
  • Scarf Tricks
  • Ring-a-Ling
  • Beanbag Bowling
  • Who Are We?
  • Footstep Fun
  • Bath Time for Baby
  • Care for Animals
  • PARENTAL TIPS: The Many Forms of Play
  • Magic Cups
  • Beep, Beep
  • Drive the Fire Truck
  • Purse Treasures
  • Touch and Tell
  • Play With Clay
  • It the Shoe Fits
  • Mystery Sounds
  • Doll Talk
  • Color Clusters
30 Months and Up
  • Water Targets
  • Flashlight Fun
  • PARENTAL TIP: Nature vs Nurture
  • Hey Mr. Jumping Jack
  • Up It Goes!
  • Paper Puzzle
  • Common Scents
  • Teddy Bear Tunes
  • On Target!
  • Colorful Collages
  • Beautiful Box
  • Turn Around
  • Mini Mimes
  • Car Capers
  • Funny Faces
  • PARENTAL TIP: Toddler Talk
  • Mighty
  • Ribbon Rings
  • Magnify Matters
  • Count and Seek
  • Leaf Lineup
  • Copycat

Skills Index

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We have spent more than thirty years researching infancy and child development, playing with babies and toddlers, and talking with their parents-and we have loved every minute of it. Between us we have raised six children, making us keenly aware of the challenges and the incredible joy and pride of parenthood. We have learned that most parents want the same thing for their children: a happy and fulfilling life. And we have learned there are many paths leading to that goal.

We firmly believe in the power of nurturing and a positive, playful approach to parenting. This belief is reconfirmed daily by newly released scientific research demonstrating that brain development is strongly influenced by the kinds of early experiences our children receive. A newborn's brain is only 25 percent developed, but by the time your child is three, more than 90 percent of her brain development will be complete.

To achieve his or her greatest potential, your child needs you to provide a variety of interesting learning experiences. Gymboree, America's foremost provider of parent-and-child play programs, developed its "play with a purpose" philosophy to teach parents that the most important way for young children to learn is through play. Through active, hands-on play, your child will learn language, develop problem-solving skills, and master social relationships. Of course, parents benefit from play, too. What can compare to the elation you experience when your baby mimics you and claps for the first time, or your toddler sings and dances to songs?

This book, created by the Gymboree Play and Music experts, is a wonderful resource for parents, a compilation of activities and songs to inspire you to interact with your child on a whole new level. The interchanges you share will support your child's physical, emotional, and cognitive development, and will help establish a loving, joyful connection. You are your child's first and most important teacher, treasured companion, and playmate. Rejoice in her every discovery and celebrate each remarkable achievement.

Have fun with your child and enjoy these incredible years. You know you are getting your child off to a great start.

Dr. Wendy S. Masi
Dr. Roni Cohen Leiderman

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