Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Thoughts on Toddler Gymnastics

I don't think that I ever mentioned on here that we started J in a parent/tot gymnastics class at the beginning of June because our sweet boy was becoming a major risky business climber, monkey dare-devil.  Both he and I have enjoyed it much more than I thought we would and he's learned SO many new skills from it.  I've made some friends and it's become something we look forward to every week.
Two of the 4 areas they work on gymnastics.
While the whole reason we put him in gymnastics was to (kind of) harness the energy and teach him skills (and me too) so he could move without hurting himself.  I wanted to share all the outcomes, rather intended or unintended, from our four months  of such a little one being enrolled in a "class".

In no particular order:

  • J can now sit in a circle and, more or less, pay attention to instructions.
  • J has learned different routines than he would have otherwise.  (Sit a in circle, doing stretches and warm ups, moves, jumping on tramp, balance beams....etc)
  • J has made friends in his class.  It's SO sweet to see them greet each other and say bye each time.
  • J has made friends with his coaches!  I love that he knows to listen to them, and not just me, and that he respects them and gives them energetic high fives!
  • J is learning to communicate better through this class.  Between the coaches, other kids and other parents, he's gaining more of an understanding of vocabulary and expressing himself.  So much so, that he and a little girl in his class had quite the discussion (read: disagreement) yesterday! lol!
  • J has also gotten stronger, more flexible (was that even possible?!?) and can do multiple gymnastics moves on cue!  (Forward roll, butterfly, straddle, pike and even a backward roll (needs a tiny bit of help to complete it tho!))
  • J also has a new found love of "monkeys jumping on the bed".  It's the way we finish class each time and he looks forward to it from the moment we walk in the door to the building.  
  • Lastly, J has gained more independence and self-confidence through gymnastics.  He gets so self-assured when he gains a new skill and learns to do things by himself.  I love seeing the light bulb turn on each time!
We don't know how long we are going to have J in gymnastics but for now, the benefits far outweigh the cost and we both love it!  I realize he is likely not going to go on to be an Olympic or professional athlete, but this is growing so many things inside of him that I can't not take him to it!  Plus, he is rather gifted and strong, so maybe crazier things have happened! ;)  Plus little J now realizes that in more instances than just at home or Church, that there are times to be still and listen and times to play.  Which is pretty huge for a 19 month old...or so I think. :)

Practicing at home together.

We usually go during the week but sometimes if we can't make it because we were out of town or sick, we can make up on Saturday mornings and then daddy gets to go with us too.  :)
This was the first time daddy got to go with us in early July, and I snapped a couple of quick pics on my phone!

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