Idea No.

8917

Gym Party -2yr- Gymbo the Clown

Award

Date

June 2004

From

Yanira in Caguas, Puerto Rico

Honorable Mention

Gymnastics Party

Gym party- 2 years  Hello again. This time we are sharing our son's second birthday. We celebrated it at "Gymboree Play Music", a gym for kids under the age of 5. 

We sent out Gymboree's invitations and included a home made invitation to give it a personal touch. We invited each kid to wear comfort clothes and socks and get prepared for a  great excersise routine at the gym.  Since Gymboree has classes for babies from 0 months thru 4 years, even our 3 week old cousin was going to have fun.  So we could invite gymbabies, gymcrawlers, gymwalkers, gymrunners, gymexplorers and gymkids.Each kid had to be with an adult while taking the class, so we also invited the parents to dress for workout and save some energy .  We invited 3 cousins of 9 and 10 years to an art class for "big girls". 

Our son and our daughter were dressed with Gymboree outfits.   Gymbo, the Clown, received each guest as they arrived. The teachers directed the kids to the gym area and identified each one with a label with their names on it.  They had half hour of free play so it was like a warm up for the kids (and the parents too). Then, the class begun with music that invited the kids at the center of the gym.  The teacher had a stuffed Gymbo that welcomed every kid calling their name and giving them a hug.  Each kid was at least with one parent and as Gymbo was aproaching them, the look in their eyes and the way the looked at their mom or dad was invaluable. Our son was amazed and saying "look" to mom and daddy every minute.

The one hour class was full of music, climbing, sliding, jumping,  blowing bubbles, singing,dancing, moving and grooving. The first exercise routine was about stretching, clapping and kicking.  Every routine involved an "easy to learn" song that the kids and the parents were able to learn and repeat.  

The second part was a game with a small parachutte.  We sat in a circle and we had to follow the song's directions: hide under the parachutte, look left, look right, wave it slowly, wave it quickly. At the end, soft balls were tossed over the parachutte and the kids played with them.

The third routine was to follow the teacher around the gym and doing different activities such as: climbing, sliding, balancing, going up, going down, passing tunnels, going thru barrels and obstacles (all that kind of great gross motor activities).

The fourth activity was to "get on a car" (huge "caterpillar" cushion)and drive while listening to a song that directed our journey.  Then, Gymbo came to play with us (a teacher dressed like Gymbo, the Clown). Gymbo danced with the kids and blew bubbles all over them.  The kids loved playing with the clown and talking to him. We had a blast, but the best part came when the teachers and Gymbo brought a huge parachutte and invited all the adults that were watching us from the waiting room, to join us. 

All the kids and my husband and I sat under the parachutte and the adults were holding it. Then at the count of three they lifted the parachutte and sat under it with us. It was great to look at all the colors covering us. It even gave us the filling of being on a real parachutte. Gymbo and the teachers were under the parachutte also and playing musical instruments with the kids we sang the Happy Birthday to our son.The big girls spent most of the time doing their arts and crafts projects and were able to enter the gym area and help the little ones for a while. We all went to the party room, which is divided from the gym by clear glass walls. For the kids, we had chicken fingers and french fries. For the adults, we had turkey rolls, croissants and chicken breast fillets.

The cake was a clown's face with gymkids around ( kids doing gymnastics). It was lovely.  For the kids we always do cupcakes but this time we had great "rainbow clown cones" (the recipe is at the sugar cones package), and chocolate sugar cones ( we baked the cupcakes directly in sugar cones). The kids enjoyed decorating their unique conecake using whip cream, candy worms, clown faces, m&m's. They were very creative doing not one but two or three conecakes each.

Then we gave the kids their goody bags. We personalize them by gender and age, giving them "age appropriate" candies and toys. For our 3 week old cousin we had baby food and teethers. For the big girls we had jewelry craft kits, diaries, lip gloss and body jewels. For the toddlers we had bubbles, whistles, activity books, kaleidoscopes, candies. And for every kid we made a CD with childhood songs (some of them from the time when I was born). Using our computer, we selected 18 of the best songs for children we had (including songs from Barney, Burbujita,songs played at Gymboree and other local songs) and we made a label with our son's picture on it and a thank you message for sharing his second birthday with us. 

We still receive calls telling us the wonderful time they had and how they are enjoying the "children's tunes" cd.  From the youngest (3 week old) to the oldest (70- year -old great grandma)  we all had a great time. The Gym theme was the best for our 2 year old "gymrunner".  And it's great to know that parents were active participants in this birthday. We had an interactive play, with a step by step class that encouraged developmental milestones in every kid such as: motor skills, Sensory Stimulation,and language development. And the best part: it was 2 and a half hour birthday with a great gym reserved for us and our guests. Our son looks at the picture and says, "Birthday, Gymbo, again".

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