You know how all kids go through various stages and it’s easier to connect with them at certain times? About two years ago my sweet girl was going through a stage that left me frazzled by the end of the day. What I realized was that we needed something for just the two of us, and it was going to be even more crucial as she started school full-time. There were three main criteria I needed to address: 1) The activity had to have no rules that I needed to enforce since I was the enforcer the rest of the day. 2) It had to be something that wasn’t extra work for me so I didn’t have to plan, execute, and then deal with clean up. And 3) It had to be something we both enjoyed that allowed us to reconnect so that we could weather this stage we were both going through.
One day it hit me that the answer to reconnecting with my daughter was through art. We both love just about every type of art and we both find it relaxing, so it was the perfect solution for getting us both to enjoy each other’s company and rediscover how much fun we have together. Since that day we’ve worked side by side to draw, paint with water colors, sew, and even build together on our doll house we’re renovating… and it has been amazing for all of us.
All of this reconnecting and bonding while crafting has taught me that there is something special about arts. Unlike many other activities that have a right way and a wrong way, doing art is just about experimenting and having fun. We’ve found that most of our favorite art pieces stemmed from happy accidents that happened by mistake and ended up turning out awesome. This makes it the perfect activity for kids and parents alike who need a time when they can relax and just create. Gymboree understands the magic that happens when you give children access to arts and crafts. This is why they are partnering with DonorsChoose.org to outfit classrooms in time for back to school just as they are outfitting many of the students with new school clothes. By raising money to fulfill arts and crafts requests made by teachers, Gymboree is helping preserve the arts in the highest-need schools in communities nationwide. The sad fact is that this year alone, 1.7M students are in need of arts and crafts supplies and art programs in public schools are getting cut due to lack of funding. Knowing how essential creativity is, especially in young children, this just breaks my heart. Whereas I do arts and crafts with my kids nearly every day and they also have access at school, I know other kids aren’t nearly as lucky. Even basic tools like crayons, markers and paint are needed in many communities, and Gymboree wants to change that. That’s why from 7/20-9/7 they will be making teachers’ wishes come true with art supplies that they couldn’t otherwise afford for their classrooms.Do you want to help but you’re not sure how much help you can provide? Would you be surprised to know that even $1 supplies a child with a pack of crayons for the year? Donate what you can today to a school in your community, and help give kids a brighter future. You can get involved by donating at Gymboree stores, Gymboree outlet stores, and online.This is just another way that Gymboree celebrates childhood. I’ve talked before about how I love that Gymboree makes clothes that are perfect for childhood – they are comfortable, colorful, and they are, of course, adorable. But, I also love the fact that their clothing is super high quality and is made to dance, skip, run, jump, and move in. This makes it ideal for all the little adventures of childhood as they explore the world around them and it even makes them school-proof, which we have found is really hard on clothing. But now you can outfit your little ones at Gymboree and give back to your community and the arts at the same time through Gymboree's Let's Color Together.Head on over the Gymboree.com and check out the adorable back to school lines for yourself. Each quality piece is ready to mix, match and brighten up any day with their colorful clothing, accessories, shoes, and their kid-tough basics. Just in time for back to school have released an adorable French-inspired line for girls and toddler girl, and a classic line for boys and toddler boy, as well as accessories like backpacks and rain gear, and of course their mix and match play clothes I adore. As always, a good portion of the store coordinates, even in boys and girls and into the toddler s
izes, which of course my kids who love matching each other adored. It may not make me look forward to back to school, but I love knowing that when they are excited about their clothes and they can mix and match on their own. It definitely eases a little tension on those rushed mornings before school, which makes us all really happy.