Gymnastics Classes For Your Toddler
Should you enroll your toddler in a gymnastics class? Your reasons could be simply to provide an activity with exercise for your active child, or an introduction to a group activity, or an outing for your nanny and child. Toddlers from 18 months to 36 months can take gymnastics classes accompanied by the adult who brings them.
The class provides an introduction
to gymnastics equipment and beginning skills. The accompanying adult will help his or her child complete
the obstacle courses and help the
child wait for their turn. A class for toddlers offers the opportunity to meet other children and parents or caregivers and a chance to build a sense of community.
What are parent and child expectations of toddlers classes? If the children could explain their emotions upon walking into the gym, some would describe it as a fantastic array of colors, shapes, and things to explore. Other toddlers would describe it as noisy and overwhelming with lots of scary equipment. The childrens reactions vary everywhere from elation and wild activity to tears and fears. Whatever the childs initial response, the instructors will work with children to make it enjoyable for all.
The parents or caregivers also arrive with differing agendas. One parent may be envisioning a fun playtime with no structure or expectations while another may expect the staff to produce an Olympic star out of their toddler. A nanny or mom may arrive expecting a 45-minute break or arrive ready to have fun with the child.
What are instructors expectations of toddler classes? An instructors goal is to start teaching body awareness and beginning gymnastics skills, as well as, to teach social skills such as forming a line or waiting for a turn. Instructors hope that the adult will keep the child at the activity and not allow them to roam the gym. The staff understands that these are young children who are just learning the difficult concepts of waiting and not getting to do exactly what they want at the moment they want to do it.
We all know adults who continue to struggle with these concepts! While some visiting with other adults can happen, class time is a time for the parent or caregiver to work with their child. Invite your new friends out for coffee or lunch after class.
Regardless of your expectations, once classes begin, give the structure a chance. A little resiliency may be needed to get through the first few classes, but a fun and valuable experience usually emerges. The impetuous child may learn patience and the fearful child may try new activities. All children need encouragement, persistence, and patience. Learning how your child relates to other children and a teacher is very useful. Often the other adults will sympathize with your struggles and can celebrate as the children master challenges. When adults leave their hectic world for awhile to participate in a playful, learning environment with their child, new connections build. Try a toddlers class and your child will learn some new skills, you may both make new friends, and you may gain some parenting tips and support.