Friday, May 27, 2016

Parenting Pointers: PlayFull Parenting

Gymboree Play & Music is launching the PlayFull Parenting movement in support of parents’ quest for more play and in celebration of its 40th Anniversary!

A study conducted on behalf of Gymboree Play & Music, found that nearly all moms need more play in their lives. In light of this, the PlayFull Parenting movement will help modern moms attain more play, with less pressure. Gymboree Play & Music is offering parents a free class at participating centers nationwide. For even more play ideas, Gymboree Play & Music also released 40 Ways to Add More Play Into Everyday – a stack of play cards with 40 unique ideas to incorporate fun into each moment. 

I had a chance to interview two Gymboree Play & Music team members to learn more.
·         Jill Johnston – Vice President and General Manager of Gymboree Play & Music Division
·         Gena Segno – Manager of Brand Experience for Gymboree Play & Music
1.       Why is play so important for kids?
Gena Segno:
Play is a muscle-builder, brain expander and a friend-maker. Its helps shape how a child will approach learning for the rest of their lives. It’s the one thing that simultaneously develops all aspects of human development for children; social, physical , emotional, cognitive. Everything get activated and expanded with play. It makes a child’s world a much bigger place.      
2.       Why is it important for adults as well?
Gena Segno:
Adults are really just overgrown children. We have similar play need as we age and we know that a body and mind in playful motion remains healthier, happier and more flexible. Parents playing alongside their children offers an even more unique facet of growth. Bonds are deepened, neurons are fired and lasting memories are made when adults play with their children. It reduces all sorts of family stressors, improves communication and creates joy, joy is good!        
3.       How can adults incorporate more play into their lives?
Gena Segno:
It can be as simple as looking at everyday activities through a more PlayFull lens, like singing a song when you butter the toast or pair socks. We have created “40 ways to add more play into your day” to help parents realize it’s not about doing more, but about having more fun with the moments you’re already in. Another way to get a weekly does of play endorphins is to come to a Gymboree Play & Music class. The bright colors, music, energetic teachers, and gorgeous play equipment will help you find your funny bone… and you’ll each make some new besties right in the heart of your own community.     
4.       Where does PlayFull Parenting Movement come in?
Gena Segno:
Parents are tired of the pressure to be perfect, the unsolicited parenting advice, the overscheduling, the constant judgment. It’s time to stop the madness and play!  A recent study showed Gymboree Play & Music offers modern parents a fully accepting, fun & flexible space to come and play as you are. Our non-competitive environment helps each child find success through play on their own terms. The PlayFull Parenting movement also strengthens communities by creating an important local resource for families.           
Jill Johnston:
Through PlayFull Parenting, we're calling on all families around the country to embrace play, champion creativity, foster freedom and celebrate parenting victories – big and small. After all, we're all just trying to raise the best little humans possible – so it's important to remember to be kind, laugh and have fun along the way!

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