Meet GymboFams Ambassador Bri

My name is Bri Smocks and my husband’s name is Arthur. We had our first child Levi, in November 2017 and as a young, married African-American couple, there is so much we have not experienced when it comes to parenting. We love our parents and are grateful for our upbringing, but there are activities and developmental studies to which they were not aware when we were children.

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As millennial parents, we knew we wanted to challenge our son and provide opportunities for him that are not normally heard of in our community. That’s why Gymboree Play & Music is about more for us than having a space to play. It’s about giving Levi a chance to build his cognitive and motor skills at an early stage, factors which will serve him well as he grows older. My son showed signs that he was advanced and active before Gymboree Play & Music, but it was there that he crawled for an extended period of time and where his curiosity was stimulated. It also provides him with a chance to explore and improve his social skills which will prepare him for his first day of preschool next month.

Furthermore, as a first-generation college student, two-time graduate of Southern Methodist University, and currently a 10th grade English teacher, I know all too well the importance of early exposure on a child’s future. It is paramount that they have spaces like Gymboree Play & Music to fuel their interests and promote family time. For instance, his Gia, my mother, even attends classes with him and is the stand-in Grandmother for all of his friends! These are only a few of the benefits.

I am thankful to my college friend Craishia, a young, married mother like myself, for telling me about Gymboree Play & Music and now I am eager to do the same. There’s nothing better than sharing places like this with other moms so we can all give our children the best!

Follow Bri on Instagram right here:


Gymboree Play & Music in Carmel and Greenwood, Indiana Celebrate Families and Community with Cool Tees!

Great fun was had at the Gymboree Play & Music locations in Carmel and Greenwood, Indiana. Wendy Shultz and her team decided to do a little celebration as a thank you for being part of their Gymboree Play & Music family!

Each child received a beautifully designed yellow Gymbo t-shirt as part of the celebration event and the kids we’re all smiles in their tees.

“It was a great way to celebrate the fact that we have been an important part of the families in the Indianapolis area for over 24 years! It’s so nice to see the kids wearing their Gymbo t-shirts in the community!”


We want to thank the Carmel and Greenwood teams for making smiles, memories and celebrating the amazing families that attend Gymboree Play & Music in the Indianapolis area!

Redirecting That Frown Upside Down!

Let’s be honest. Parenting is challenging and sometimes we will do anything to just get our little one to stop throwing that tantrum in the middle of the store –yelling, bribing, you name it! But, learning how to take a negative and turn it around into a positive can have an enormous impact on your child’s emotional development!

You may have heard the term “redirecting” before. Redirection basically takes an emotionally-charged situation and diffuses it in a POSITIVE WAY!

Below are some typical parenting scenarios.

Curious Infants
When you have an infant who loves to get into everything.

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Infants are very curious little beings. Always, interested in anything and everything they can get their hands on, especially drawers! Encourage that curiosity in a safe way – maybe create a “safe drawer” filled with tupperware or other plastic containers. They can rummage and bang away to their heart’s desire and you can relax knowing your child is playing safe!

Adventurous Toddlers
When your child is testing those boundaries.

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During toddler years, there is plenty of experimenting, trying new things and pushing those boundaries. That’s how they learn! But, with that, can come an impulsive “NO” from the parent. Maybe your child is trying to climb up the slide while another child is coming down. Rather, than telling them “Stop!” or “don’t do that!”, you can teach them about taking turns, explaining why they need to wait a minute but that they can still enjoy the activity.

Determined Preschoolers
When your child is learning new things and gets frustrated.

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Preschoolers are constantly learning and challenging themselves. But, tackling new challenges can also come with some frustration for them. Maybe your child is throwing blocks because they can’t figure out how to build the tower. Sit down with them and calmly show them another way to build that tower, build an entirely new structure, or take them outside and throw a ball to get that frustration out!

We know parenting isn’t a one-size-fits-all initiative! But we do know that a great place to practice redirecting is at Gymboree Play & Music!

Introducing…Our GymboFam Member, Kim Caldwell!

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You may recognize her from American Idol but she’s also a new member of the GymboFam — and took over our Instagram for #TuesdayTakeover!! Kim and her little one, Harlow, love going to our Art class and Play & Learn class every week. Harlow has gained so much confidence joining the classes — she’s even gone to a Baby Prom already! And Kim says the classes keep her young and inspired!

Check out Kim’s #TuesdayTakeover and see all of the Gymbo fun her and Harlow are having!

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Crystal

I’m so excited to join this awesome club of GymboFams! My name is Crystal King and I am the Mother of Avery King. I work FT as a Creative Director and my son Avery spends most of his days with his Grandparents and little cousins.

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For months, I searched to find something for Avery that would help further develop his motor skills, foster an environment for social play and develop his sense of bravery, confidence, and curiosity.

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That’s when I stumbled upon Gymboree Play & Music. We are newbies to the program but on the very first day I knew that I had to immediately sign Avery up because I saw how much he thrived after just one class! We are now a few classes in and Avery loves sliding down the slides, swinging on the tubes, crawling through the rainbow tunnels, kissy time with Gymbo, popping bubbles, and parachute time! I’m so excited to have found Gymboree Play & Music and can’t wait to meet more parents and sweet little babes.


I recently started sharing stories of the adventures of Avery and I on our website: I had such a crazy pregnancy and delivery that I just felt compelled to share my testimony with others. At 7 months pf pregnancy, I was forced to deliver Avery due to lack of weight gain (I only gained 7lbs my entire pregnancy y’all) and preclampaia.

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Immediately after delivering Avery, I went into kidney failure and got put on the list for a kidney transplant. I’m really just starting to regain my strength and I’m finally able to be more independent and venture out with Avery. I wish I could’ve started the website sooner but I’m slowly telling my story now. So if you guys could drop by, take a look, share any feedback or ask questions I would greatly appreciate it!

Let’s stay connected on Instagram:

I’ll be sharing more photos and stories here:

National Day of Play Fun at the Gymboree Play & Music of Encino CA!

A great deal of fun was had at the National Day of Play celebration at the Gymboree Play & Music of Encino CA.

National Day of Play was celebrated on June 23rd, 2018 at Gymboree Play & Music locations across North America.

The parachute is always a big hit at Gymboree Play & Music!

@beechnutfoodsa and @wellements and gave out tasty samples at the Encino location!

And there were goody bags with @garnierusa Whole Blends samples, @bitsysbrainfood samples and @happyfamily coupons.

They even had FREE carousel rides in celebration of National Day of Play!!!

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To sign up for a free preview class at Gymboree Play & Music visit:

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Jane

As a mom and educator, I greatly value the role of play in social, emotional, physical and cognitive development; given our son’s recent diagnosis of Autism, I appreciate the importance of play so much more! Alexander has already shown progress and this is in part to Gymboree Play & Music.

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I’m Jane, – mom to Catherine, a creative and inquisitive 4 year old, and Alexander, a humorous and musical 2 year old – learning and loving the best I can.

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 6.46.10 PM.pngCatherine participated in Gymboree Play & Music classes pre-school and we most recently continued our journey with Gymboree Gymboree Play & Music when we enrolled Alexander in Play & Learn.

I wanted him to participate in a class where he could just have fun because much of our time is dedicated to therapy. As it turns out, Gymboree Play & Music is fun but it also supports his development given the wide range and variety of activities available.

From heavy work materials that support sensory processing to play structures that build his core strength and tone to group activities that support socioemotional development, Gymboree Play & Music is helping us ways we never anticipated! Thank you.

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I’m a mom in Toronto! documenting our journey with Autism. Alexander is a 2 year old joy! Learning & loving the best I can. #autismmomtoronto

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Follow Jane on Instagram right here:

Kimberly Caldwell-Harvey is taking over our Instagram for#tuesdaytakeover!!

Kimberly Caldwell-Harvey is taking over our Instagram for #tuesdaytakeover! This is Kimberly and her daughter Harlow in the courtyard @gymboree_encino after class. This picture was taken out front before the adorable Gymboree Play & Music Baby Prom she attended.

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Teacher Feature! Meet Amanda from Gymboree Play & Music, Westside Pavilion

Meet Amanda. She’s a Music Programming Specialist at the Gymboree Play & Music, Westside Pavilion location.


What is your Gymboree Play & Music story? Share how you started as a teacher.
I had just moved to California and was looking to utilize my recent Music Education degree. I had only previously heard of Gymboree after one of my preschool students in Idaho participated in a photo shoot. Walking into the initial group interview at the Westside Pavilion Gymboree in Los Angeles, I looked up to see a poster on the wall with the little boy from my preschool in Idaho! It seemed like I was just where I was meant to be.

What is your favorite part about teaching at Gymboree Play & Music?
I love that I get to build long-standing relationships with families. I get to see children learn and grow! I get to share with them the joy of learning! In some cases, I am their first introduction to a world outside of the home and family, and I get to ensure that the child’s experience is a positive one. I have the privilege of helping parents recognize what developmental milestones their child has reached. Gymboree taught me how important the first five years of life are, so I am proud of what I do.

What makes Gymboree Play & Music special for you?
Gymboree has become a huge part of my life. I have made some of my best friends here, both parents and other teachers. I have children who come back to visit me even after they are 9, 10, 11 years old. I have met teachers from around the world who share a similar love for early childhood education. While I teach at one location, I have a global community with whom to share ideas, stories, triumphs and troubles. I don’t think I could have any other job that brings me this much joy and fulfillment!