I joined Schenker, my son, in Gymboree in Bangsar Village here in Malaysia when he was 18 months old. After sessions, Gymboree would hand out sheets that explained why they did what they did that day. I am just so sorry that I didn’t keep all the information sheets. So now… Samantha is already 16 months old. So I started looking for those sheets. This was what I found: Gymboree Activities for 16-22 Months old… which is so timely.
Engaging in activities that involved the concept of on and off provided lots of opportunities for children to practice their growing problem-solving skills. These activities also helped them work on their coordination and balance.
What We Learned Today:
- At on and off central, the children exercised their upper and lower bodies as they climbed on and off the Wedge and Gymcushion. They also learned about the properties of objects as they rolled the beach balls off the Wedge and the Handle Ball off the Gymcushion. They learned about solving problems when they discovered Gymbo under the Minichute.
- Climbing On and Off the Bridge gave the children the experience of being on and off. Narrating and labeling the children’s actions also nurtured language skills.
- Our “Mashed Potato” Airlog activity exercised problem-solving skills as children learned to anticipate when the log would be rolled over, “spilling” them into their caregivers arms. It also helped with balance and commincation as they showed you what they thought of the activity. Were they thrilled, a bit frightened, or simply relaxed about the whole thing?
What You Can Do At Home:
Try the activities below to encourage your child’s ability to problem-solve and explore the concept of “on and off”:
- Play on-and-off. Line up a variety of items that your child can climb on and off – such as stools of different heights, a low step-ladder, a low table, a couch cushion, etc. As you supervise carefuly, let your child practice climbing on and off these pieces. Use the cue words “on” and “off” as he climbs.
- Play “pinata”. Hang a colorful beach ball from the ceiling above your child’s play area (attach a string to the extended air valve and hang ball just out of your child’s reach). See if he can figure out how to touch it, such as by throwing a ball or pillow or by climbing a low stool.
- Hide a treasure. Hide a special object in your child’s play area and see if he can find it. At first, hide it in plain sight and then, as your child’s problem-solving skills become more sophisticated, slowly increase the difficulty of the hunt!
So there goes… I want to stress this again. These activities are developed by Gymboree.