Finding just the right activity to sign up your little one to attend, can be nothing less than maddening.
I really value classes that allow my kids to be active, gain confidence, and grow their social skills. That said, I also like to spend a lot of our time on unstructured play and usually limit activities to just one per season. Which means, I am VERY choosy about which classes we take.
Gymnastics is far and away one of my favorites. There’s just something so amazing about watching S discover the new and incredible things her body can do each week. She always bounds out of class filled with excitement and you can practically see her self-confidence growing.
Their approach is based on three core tenets: “Get Moving” to foster flexibility, strength, balance and coordination; “Brain Boost” to nurture listening skills, concentration and decision making; and “Citizen Kid” to promote sharing, teamwork, cooperation and leadership abilities.
The very first “true” gymnastics class I ever took C to was at The Little Gym and I still remember it 5 years later because I was so impressed.
Unlike some of the other more play-based gyms we’d done trial classes at, The Little Gym encouraged my little toddler to use real gymnastics equipment.
I swear to you, I will never forget, the astonishment that I felt (and the look of pure joy on C’s face) as he hung in the air, all by himself, swinging from the lower of the uneven bars. It was a moment to remember.
Here’s our contributor, Janssen, with her recent experience…
Like most parents, my husband and I spend a fair amount of time talking about what we want for our children as they grow up in our home.
One thing that has always been a big priority to both of us is having our children be active. Both of us loved different sports and dance activities as children and teenagers – he is a runner, a swimmer, and a tennis player, and I love gymnastics, Zumba, and biking.
Now that I have children of my own, I recognize how important it is for their little bodies to be moving as they get older. And aside from the health and coordination benefits, I won’t pretend I don’t love it when they conk out the minute I tuck them in bed because they are happily worn out.
Since our family just moved to a new state last month, I’ve been looking for ways for my girls to meet new friends and stay active. And since our new home is in Arizona, where the temperature is routinely pushing 110 degrees, I knew I needed it to be indoors.
So when this opportunity came up, it was a perfect fit for us. We found the location of The Little Gym in our town and I signed my five-year-old up for a trial class (I love that it is super easy to sign up for a free class so you can test it out before you pay) and on Saturday morning, the two of us set off on a little date for a gymnastics class.
I took years of gymnastics as a child and it was so fun to see all the equipment, from balance beams to uneven bars, again. And my daughter’s eyes got huge as she took in all the new and exciting surroundings.
Without a backward glance, she ran into the gym and within minutes was stretching and then warming up to some peppy music.
I loved that I could see the whole class through the viewing windows, but I could also sit back and enjoy some time to read.
When I peeked in at the end of the class, I was amazed at how many skills she’d learned in just an hour – I’d been worried that it might be too basic, but the teachers were really hands-on, helping the kids learn and then practice a wide variety of things.
Of course, I was also impressed that as the children left, the instructors knew all their names, including my daughter on her first day, and complimented them on specific achievements and efforts as they departed.
And I was glad to see that the age ranges are small so the teachers can really focus on the developmental abilities of that stage, rather than trying to teach to a wide range of abilities and ages.
As we walked out the door, my daughter said, “I loved that; can I come back tomorrow?”
And then, as the wall of heat hit us outside, she told me, “Also I think I need some ice cream.”
*This post is sponsored by The Little Gym. All opinions are 100% our own.