Written by our wonderful staff member Luca, here is a post that shows just how important it is to have both little ones and adults present in our classes:
Here at Gymboree Play & Music, we find the adults’ presence in the class very important. The first reason for that is that grown-ups serve as role models for their little ones. Children learn and develop through their experiences and use their adults as a reference point for understanding how they should think and feel about the world. Therefore children learn a lot by imitating their adults’ actions. They are more likely to perform a task if they have previously seen an adult performing it. The reason for this is that by watching adults, children know that the task is safe to perform, and when seen with a smile, fun! It helps them develop doing things purposefully and with intention, and they learn about the cause-and-effect relationship (for example; ‘if I kick a ball it will roll away’).
Secondly, adults play a large role in providing a secure base and safe haven for their little ones. This means providing children with reassurance and support in case of worry, or uncertainty (i.e. a safe haven). At the same time they offer a secure ground from which children can explore activities and challenges and then go back to the adult for reassurance (i.e. secure base).
The Circle of Security is part of children’s attachment relationship with the adult, which is observable from 6 months of life. Attachment relates to a reciprocal, enduring, affective bond between a child and important others. There are two main types, which are secure and insecure attachment, and while secure attachment means a healthy and nurturing relationship, insecure relationship lacks nurturance and adults’ responsiveness to the child’s needs. At Gymboree Play & Music, we strive to assist parents in achieving the development of secure relationships with their child. Therefore as teachers we strive to involve grown-ups in supporting and being with their child in the class. Adults’ presence and involvement provides not only security and reassurance, but also motivation and encouragement for the child to try new challenges out on the Play Floor and show their adult how good they can perform (i.e., ‘Look at me how well I can do this!’).
Of course, there are other reasons, but these are some of the most important reasons why adults’ presence is crucial in Gymboree Play & Music classes.