Between 6-10 months, babies are learning that they can make things happen by using gestures (like reaching or crawling toward a person or object), facial expressions (like smiles), and sounds (coos, babbles and cries.) One of the key ways they make things happen and also learn how the world works is through their growing understanding of cause-and-effect. A 7-month-old shakes a toy to make it rattle. A 9-month-old rolls or crawls to reach an interesting toy. Understanding cause and effect is critical for thinking and problem-solving skills, and for developing self-confidence.
How Gymboree activities support your baby’s development
- Baby Boogies – songs with gentle body movements encourage babies’ language development, build flexibility and introduce the basic ideas of rhythm and tempo. Singing and moving together also nurtures a close bond between parents and children, and makes babies feel their bodies are capable and strong.
- Baby Dances – exercise babies’ growing physical skills and build muscle strength and coordination – both necessary for learning to roll, crawl and pull up. Group baby dances provide social opportunities for adults and babies too.
- Equipment Exploration -Slides, tunnels, and more– offer exciting new physical and sensory experiences for children. These activities nurture babies’ confidence, self-esteem, and sense of competency (the belief that “I can do it”). Exploring the equipment also deepens the trust between baby and parent, as babies turn to their loved ones for help and support as they attempt new “stunts.” Physical play also enhances babies’ strength, balance, and coordination.
- Parachute Play – Parachute play and bubbles are exciting sensory and physical experiences for babies, as they move to grasp the parachute or chase the bubbles. And the ritual of using the parachute and bubbles to end each class helps babies learn to anticipate what will happen next and helps them prepare to go home. Knowing what to expect helps babies understand how the world works, helps them prepare for changes, and makes them feel safe and secure.
- Gymbo the Clown Puppet – Activities like peek-a-boo and dancing with Gymbo offer babies learning support and a routine that builds memory and a warm, steady symbol of their time at Gymboree Playing with “Gymbo” each week opens up opportunities for social development and interaction with other children too.