Katy, Texas – June 24, 2016
This month, Gymboree Play & Music celebrates 40 years as the leader in parent and child programs around the world. What began as a program in the co-founder’s home has evolved at the forefront of the play movement and continues today as one of the most trusted resources available to help all parents understand and witness firsthand the vital impact play, music and art have on the development of the whole child.
Today, Gymboree Play & Music has grown into a beloved early childhood play center and program with more than 700 centers in 40 countries around the world.
Devina Bhojwani the franchise owner of four Houston area Gymboree Play & Music locations shared her story with us. “I started my Gymboree journey as a mom in the program in 2008 with my then six-month old daughter. Taking her to the Saturday morning class soon became a ritual that all three of us looked forward to. My baby did not crawl,” says Devina, “but instead scooted on her butt. As a first time mom I worried about this and approached my Gymboree teacher to ask her if this was normal and she assured me that my daughter had figured out a way to be mobile and would most likely skip the crawling stage and one day just stand up and start walking. And that’s exactly what happened.”
At Gymboree we found a place to meet like-minded parents like us, to have uninterrupted playtime with our daughter and most importantly to play without any pressure. In a world where 82 percent of moms receive unsolicited parenting advice, a place to freely play without judgment is a must-have for today’s parent.
I was pursuing a career in financial planning and forecasting at an oil and gas company. While I knew I wanted to work, I reached a point where I wanted my strengths and passions to make a larger impact on the world. Additionally, both my husband and I had high pressure careers and I wanted to make a change to be more available to my daughter for school events, field trips, etc.
In 2010 I left my Corporate job for business ownership and purchased three Gymboree centers and have not looked back since. As Joan Barnes rightly says in her memoir Play It Forward – “I wanted to build a business for women to combine their family focus with business”. I have been able to find the balance between working and having the flexibility to be available for the family.
I love being able to lead my team of over 50 staff members and to see the little one’s faces light up during class time. My team calls Gymboree our “happy place” and just being here puts a big smile in our hearts!
We won the award for “New Franchisee of the year” in our first year of business ownership and have grown the business by over 20% since 2010. I am also honored to represent the North America Gymboree community and hold a coveted spot on the Gymboree Franchise Council.
A study announced today, and conducted on behalf of Gymboree Play & Music, reveals that 98 percent of moms feel the need for more play in their lives. 74 percent of moms also wish they spent more time playing with their child – at least an additional 45 minutes every day.
To celebrate our 40th anniversary Gymboree Play & Music will open their doors on Saturday, June 25th from 9:00-3:00pm to celebrate the National Day of Play. This event is complimentary and open to anyone with a child in the age range of 6mos-5years. Please join us for spectacular play activities, flying parachutes, blasts of bubbles, art, music, refreshments and more! Enjoy some uninterrupted playtime with your child.
About Gymboree Play & Music – Gymboree Play & Music is the founding member of the Gymboree family of brands. Since its creation by founder Joan Barnes in 1976, Gymboree Play & Music has celebrated and encouraged the joy of childhood by creating developmentally appropriate play, music and art classes that offer kids and parents the opportunity to learn, grow and share time together.
Based on a blend of early childhood development theories complemented by 40 years of hands-on experience, Gymboree Play & Music offers a variety of programming for kids ages newborn to five, including Play & Learn classes, which encourage development from sensory exploration to playful-problem solving, music classes that enhance child development through song, dance and instruments, and art classes that inspire imagination and self-expression.
Family togetherness and parent participation is an integral part in all Gymboree Play & Music classes. Our intimate setting allows parents to meet and share information with other parents, all while introducing their kids to new experiences and skills. Classes are now available through more than 700 franchised and company-operated centers in the US and more than 40 countries around the world. Parents can find a location near them by visiting www.gymboreeclasses.com.
Content courtesy of Gymboree