Play is a crucial part of any child’s social behavior and development, and serves as a platform for peer social interactions to be made. Different play environments - such as a gym, a classroom, or a playground - are all considered areas of “play”. At GIGIL, we strive to create a version of these three elements in our open play space and our enrichment classes. The right socially interactive environment can help children develop creativity, strong language skills, social intelligence and confidence! Through active engagement with their peers, children learn the value of controlling impulses behaviors in a social setting. More importantly, children learn the value of imagination and role playing through interactions with their peers.
Some children are shy with their peers, and social interaction may be a difficult first step. They need to know that this is OK! You’ll never see any of us at GIGIL pushing a child into a situation in which they are not quite ready. Providing children with prompts (fun and educational games and activities) or cues to engage in social behaviors has been shown over time to increase their social behaviors. Your kiddo will strongly benefit the interactions they make while they are now still developing, and will carry these interactions with them as they grow up into adolescence. In peer interaction, it is important to collectively treat each child with equal love and care.
Now, let’s get back to that word collective. GIGIL views our visitors as a collective - acknowledging that each child is their own shining individual but in their uniqueness, an essential part of the group. We promote peer play as a way for children to better understand each other as well as the world around them. Long Beach is a very diversified community; the compassion and care we have towards individuals of varying race, ethnicity and background is limitless - we aim for our kiddos to reflect that same trait in their peer social interactions.
At GIGIL, we embrace diversity and encourage kids to be KIDS! Their experience here is meant to be fun and promote self-growth. What more could we ask for?