BENEFITS OF GYMNASTICS for Toddlers & Pre-Schoolers

What if we told you that physical activity & motor development during the ‘foundation years’ (0-5yrs old) lays the foundations for much of a child’s acquired physical literacy at later stages of development?

Apart from the obvious benefits gymnastics brings, such as having fun, developing strength, flexibility and coordination, there are many other less visible factors that will enhance your child’s learning experiences while participating in Gymnastics.

  • SELF ESTEEM/CONFIDENCE

 

Learning to try and master new skills and take risks in a safe environment each week are key contributors to developing your child’s self-esteem & confidence. Nothing boosts their confidence like achieving a new skill for the first time.

“Mum, I jumped into the pit all by myself and rolled down the big hill in the tunnel!’ Ruby’s confidence is going from strength to strength each week as she unlocks her potential by learning to trust herself & try new skills in her Meteors class. Mum Simone is so happy seeing Ruby’s amazing transformation!”

  • LISTENING/COGNITIVE SKILLS- Imagination/Problem solving/Independent thinking

During the class is where our Mini Jets really get to work on their ability to listen and take instruction from their Coach.

The variety of activities & exercises that we do in gymnastics allow the neural pathways in the brain to open up. Bilateral movements commonly found in basic gymnastics skills such as climbing a ladder or rope help the communication between the left & right hemispheres of the brain; this is also an essential ability when reading.

  • INDEPENDENCE & SOCIAL INTERACTION

Even in our Comets classes our Mini Jets are learning independence by following simple routines like- placing shoes in their locker, drink on the stand, coming into the group when the bell rings, stamping their book at the end of class and venturing ahead of their Parent and working out what to do next. This environment also provides wonderful opportunities for social interaction amongst peers.

  • GROSS/FINE MOTOR CONTROL & HAND/FOOT EYE COORDINATION

“Our Maternal Health Nurse was really impressed with Dallas’ balance & coordination skills in his recent 3 & ½ year old check up. He was asked to balance on one leg & later skip, which he did with ease and the Nurse said how coordinated he was for his age!” Mum Lyndsay told her that he’d been attending Jets Gymnastics since he was 2 years old….”Ahh yes you can see that!” said the Health Nurse.

We all know that Gymnastics offers a variety of gross motor activities that involve the larger muscle group, such as climbing, running, jumping, skipping & hopping but did you know that it also ticks many fine motor control boxes as well. Hanging from the bar & rings, manipulating a small object into a hole, threading a cotton reel onto the string and swatting a balloon, all develop fine motor & grip strength which are valuable in assisting with their pencil/pen grasp and many tasks involving smaller body parts like fingers, toes even facial muscles!

This is why we love to include some type of hand/foot/eye coordination activity into our Mini Jets classes.

 

  • LEARN SKILLS THAT ENHANCE OTHER SPORTS

At Jets Gymnastics we believe that skills learned from gymnastics lay the foundations required for all sports and physical activities in life.

BACK IN THE GYM: Farmer & Pets Theme

PLATFORM AND TUMBLE TRAMP – Follow the bunny and try some bunny hops down the tumble trampoline, roll like a piggy into the mud pit, jump ½ & full turns on the trampoline and jump your feet out & in. You’ll also see us lying down in a star or ‘turtle’ shape on the floor, this is building our body strength to help us stay tight in our cartwheels.

FLOOR – We’re perfecting our forward roll down the wedge and working on staying in our tight tuck or ‘egg’ shape. We’ll also be doing ‘spiderman handstand’ against the wall. The children are really starting to show some great improvements with their strength and can maintain the correct posture while holding their handstands.

BARS – Time for some cross support swings to a straddle hold on p-bars and walking our feet up the wedge and holding ourselves upside down (you might even see some of us roll right around the bar!) On the scooter boards we’ll work on our ‘Bilateral’ coordination as we sit or lay on our stomach and pull ourselves forward using a hand over hand action on the rope.

TRAMPOLINE – We’re bouncing in our angry cat shape and landing in a tummy drop. You’ll see us trying to keep our bodies very straight in our tummy drop and even try to bounce back up to an angry cat shape.

BALANCE BEAM – The beams will see us sorting the fruit & vegetables ready for the Farmer, moving like caterpillars along the floor beam, galloping like horses and rounding up the animals to put back in their right paddock.

NEXT WEEK: Bring along your favourite SOFT toy to watch you do your gymnastics on the farm!