Princess Goes To Gymnastics!

When little Pudding was first born, and I started being able to get out and meet other Mums again, there was a lot of chat about how to entertain your toddler after a newborn had arrived.  As us mothers do, we swapped activities we liked, parks that worked and cafes that could accommodate.

One of the suggestions that caught my attention was Gymnastics.  I hadn’t realised there was a Gymnastics Academy right on my doorstep and that they catered for children from pretty much the point they were mobile.

We started going along in the summer to the drop in sessions to see what it was like.  I was able to put little Pudding in the sling and Princess could run explore the equipment. She enjoyed the trampoline, well anything she could jump on or off really.  The session wasn’t structured at all, but it was a great way to get used to the equipment.

photo (13)

The Academy also offer a structured class from 2 years old.  I thought this would really help us both learn some of the techniques for gymnastics so I could support Princess with the drop in sessions better.

The first lesson was horrendous.  She didn’t want to follow instruction.  She clung to my leg and screamed instead of joining in.  She couldn’t understand why she couldn’t just run off and play on the trampoline if she felt like it.

The sessions are fun and start with a warm up ‘game’ to music.  Then there are normally 2 circuits set up that the children do in small groups, before coming back to a ‘warm down’ activity. Each session ends with a ‘goodbye’ song and the obligatory hand or foot stamping (or often both).

Because it has a familiar routine, it only took a couple of sessions for Princess to get in the swing of it and understand that she needed to follow the instructions and stay in the circuits.  Now she really loves it, especially if she gets to swing on the bars or balance on the beams.

Her structured session is on a Monday, and the drop in session is on a Thursday.  What has been really interesting to watch is whatever technique she has practised in the structured class, she remembers on Thursday, and without prompting she practises in the drop in sessions.  I’m also better able to support her as I can remind her about the techniques she needs to use to get better.

This week she was learning the beam, and I managed to get these videos of her practising what she had learned.  I apologise for not having the phone the right way up in advance, I will try harder, but I had to share these with you to show how she was getting along.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwWYjScg7Is

To say on Monday she insisted on holding my hand, and she’s started to use her arms to balance is amazing.  She finds another beam where she can jump into the pit too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88jOhKpScFU

I’m not sure we have a gymnastics star in the making, but she is learning some valuable lessons about listening, following instruction, copying and how practising makes you better at something.  I’m so glad we tried this out.  Sessions are only 45 minutes long, but she is worn out after them which helps us out no end.

If you have a Gymnastics Academy where you live and you’re looking for something for your toddler to do, I would recommend giving this activity ago.  It’s great exercise, fun and it’s something they can develop as they get older.  Also, if Daddy isn’t fond of watching ballet, he might appreciate it too!

Zena's Suitcase
Zena's Suitcase

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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16 Comments

  1. Lauren
    November 18, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    She looks like she is having a lot of fun!

    I really wish we had a gymnastics academy nearer to us, this looks like something that S and D would both really enjoy 🙂

  2. November 18, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    Bless her! My daughter was not allowed to do gymnastics as she is so hypermobile it could damage her joints, but she loves dancing and has danced for over 6 years now!
    Kate Thompson recently posted…A letter to myself ten years hence.My Profile

  3. November 18, 2014 / 10:34 pm

    Sounds really good, and great for her development. I like anything that encourages children to be active. She’s doing great with it.
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  4. Queen Boudica
    November 18, 2014 / 11:27 pm

    That looks fantastic, I wish we’d had something like that around when mine were small. It looks great fun and would be good for co-ordination and balance. Neither of which things, my boys are very good at and could have done with practising!

  5. November 19, 2014 / 9:54 am

    It’s great that Princess now does so well in both he structured and drop-in sessions. I tried gymnastics once but it was too hard for me due to my disabilities. I lovelovelove jumping on a trampoline though.
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  6. November 19, 2014 / 10:03 am

    I LOVED gymnastics as a kid, and was quite good – tho you would never know it to look at me now! And bless her, she is doing so well- it is great for their balance, its making me think I should seek out a class for mine!
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  7. November 19, 2014 / 10:14 am

    What a lovely post and wow to be a budding gymnast at such a young age x

  8. November 20, 2014 / 10:32 am

    My girls would love it if there were gymnastic lessons so close to us. They had lessons at school a couple of years ago when they set it up as an after school club but after a year the lady left and the classes were stopped.

  9. November 21, 2014 / 2:18 pm

    I think gymnastics is great for young children – mine went to their first class over the summer and loved it and it definitely gave them more confidence. I hope she continues to enjoy it.
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