“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky.
And you ask, “What if I fall?”
Oh, but my darling, “What if you fly?”
– Erin Hanson
Gymnastics for kids is a series of physical exercises and balancing tricks that are combined into graceful, choreographed sequences. The sport focuses on coordination and flexibility to enhance muscle development, agility, and endurance training. Athletes with gymnastic backgrounds often began as curious, enthusiastic kids who stumbled onto their first training floor and grew up to realize that their goals can reach sky-high.
Apart from opening athletic avenues, playing gymnastics as a regular sport allows kids to indulge in healthy activities. It is not so much about the sport itself or any of its athletic charms; participating in gymnastics for kids classes allows children to embrace a bunch of life skills that are otherwise difficult for them to grasp and accept. With several techniques and gymnastics for kids maneuvers at their disposal, children learn to literally forward roll into a healthier lifestyle full of creative outlets to discover their potential.
Starting at a young age is a great way of encouraging kids to handcraft their own horizons and feel confident in their own skin. Most importantly, it teaches them the power of overcoming boundaries and barriers as they grow up with the sport. When they begin to launch themselves into airborne tricks and defy gravity for a few seconds, children learn to step out of their comfort zones right into a whole world of possibilities. As said by Paul Brandt: don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.
Benefits of gymnastics for kids
It unleashes cognitive potential
Playing gymnastic for kids routines stimulates both sides of the brain to “wake up” and get all those neurons to jump into action. Physical activity directly affects a child’s creative and developmental makeup. Gymnastics for kids offers an engaging platform for kids to practice different moves and stunts, and these automatically enhance their cognitive thinking. They learn to think outside the box and build connective bridges in their individual ways of understanding the world around them.
It increases spatial awareness
When kids practice balancing and coordination tricks, they become more aware of their own bodies as well as the space they move in. Motor skills develop through vocal cues from the instructors and visual aids in the form of props and equipment, as these help with getting a feel of the surroundings before making a move. As a result, gymnastic for kids sessions contribute to improved spatial awareness by encouraging children to become more flexible, agile, and less clumsy as they move around.
It creates a sense of self-esteem
Self-esteem is perhaps one of the most significant attributes that form a kid’s internal “voice” when it says, “Yes, I can do this”. By perfecting new stunts and sequences, kids get to shine in their own spotlights and develop a sense of accomplishment. This makes them more confident and determined to take on new challenges, as gymnastic for kids routines are all about growth and progress. Learning to respect themselves from a young age is a crucial building block that supports other life skills as well – strong communication is one example. Self-esteem undoubtedly helps children overcome communicative, artistic, expressive, and creative barriers. This is because when kids feel confident in their skin, they also feel the value of what they are capable of achieving.
It helps kids warm up to discipline
As boring and dreadful as it may sound to all kids, discipline is a valuable trait. However, acquiring self-discipline does not have to be a rigorous process where children are expected to memorize a set of rules. Engaging in gymnastics for kids is one effective way of introducing discipline. When kids love pursuing a fun-filled activity, they will look forward to the next meeting, mark calendars to remember their classes, and go the extra mile to stick to their schedules. Time commitment subconsciously eases into their lives, and discipline becomes a friendly notion that suddenly does not sound so terrible after all.
It builds up sportsmanship
Gymnastics for kids classes are organized as group sessions, and this is a unique opportunity to make new friends. Group environments encourage healthy sportsmanship where young athletes share high fives, group hugs, and most importantly, a shoulder to cry on. Gymnastic for kids training and competitions allow children to empathize with fellow gymnasts and lend a helping hand. One for all, and all for one through and through!
It forms a great inspiration pool
Kids look up to their favorite athletes, and in the world of gymnastics for kids, the scope for inspiration is vast, diverse, and brimming with unbelievable talent. With famous gymnasts like Simone Biles leading a whole generation of inspired fans, there is no better motivation to set goals and keep chasing them. Kids often find a safe place in their sports environment where they can thrive among new friends and follow the footsteps of their favorite sports icons. In the context of group sessions, this means positive synergies driving the routine towards cheerful conclusions. It is always uplifting to watch young gymnasts walk their tentative miles in the shoes of their favorite icons – until they can run their own journey.
Kids gymnastics schools
The Children’s Gym – Portland, Oregon
A lifetime objective
The Children’s Gym saw its inception in 1984, and it has pursued its motto to inspire children for a lifetime ever since. The gym’s non-competitive environment is designed for kids between the ages of 1-14 years in age-appropriate sessions that are full of exciting activities. These gymnastics for kids routines are organized to promote both physical and cognitive development among kids. Self-esteem and self-improvement form the backbone of all training programs. This ensures positive reinforcement not just for acquiring new skills but also for striving in an uplifting environment.
The school focuses on individual growth and productive social interactions, as kids do not compete against each other. Instead, they grow at their own pace and progress in their own skill level, thanks to the small student-teacher ratio. The gymnastics for kids curriculum is structured to challenge the young athlete’s physical and cognitive skills. Its professional staff collaborates to deliver safe, creative, and engaging environments for all age levels – with discipline playing a lead role in all learning outcomes.
Gymnastics class levels
Level 1 classes are categorized into Roli Pollies, Mini Movers, Tiny Tumblers, Gym Dandies, and Twisters. Exciting warm-up and ice-breaker activities are used to relax toddlers into their respective classroom settings – with parental participation for the younger age groups. The Roli Pollies module is for kids who are 1-2 years old, and it takes these toddlers across creative, apparatus-based challenges on beams, trampolines, bars, rings, etc. The Mini Movers module has 3-4-year-olds diving into more structured gymnastics classes. The Tiny Tumblers lessons are for 5-6-year-old kids, and these focus on independence and self-regulation. Moving to the more serious gymnastics pursuits, the Gym Dandies module addresses the needs of kids between 7-9 years of age. They are all about critical thinking and coach-guided skills. The Twisters module is designed for 10-14-year-olds, and it tackles the gymnastics aptitudes of a more mature age group.
Level 2 classes are divided between Fliers and Aerials. Once the kids pass their assessment for Level 1, the 7-9-year-olds can progress to the Fliers module. They are more aware of their gymnastic strengths and weakness, and this is the time to put everything to the test. The 10-14-year age group advances to the Aerials class where students get to enjoy fast-paced exercises to raise the bar a bit higher.
Level 3 classes include HotShots and Sparklerz between the ages of 7-14 years. HotShots lessons create new skill difficulty levels to boost independent routines, and they extend from the previous Fliers module. The Sparklerz classes take Aerials a step further in terms of advanced gymnastics and group performances.
Live Zoom classes
Coaches from The Children’s Gym also conduct virtual training to help young gymnasts continue practicing at home. All movements, exercises, and activities are shared online in a fun-filled and interactive training session. The online curriculum is tailored to adapt to the needs of students practicing from their homes, and this also means that they do not require special equipment to join the class. The coaches are aware of the limited spaces and lack of resources when students participate from the comforts of their homes. As a result, more focus is placed on flexibility exercises and strength training for all the levels of the TCG gymnastics classes.
At TCG, gymnasts can expect a range of promising recreational pursuits in the form of after-school programs and gymnastic camps. These are all COVID-proof activities that implement the necessary safety measures for pre-screening, social distancing, frequent sanitization, etc. There are opportunities for fitness training, arts and crafts, field games, and apparatus challenges.
The TCG Squad
The TCG Squad program is specifically designed for those gymnasts who have completed all three levels at the gym. It is a unique opportunity to train within a pool of other similarly qualified and talented gymnasts. The Squad members get to host end-of-season performances, and they are selected based on an invite-only assessment. In order to qualify and maintain this elite status, the gymnasts need to keep up with advanced skills and athletic proficiency. There are also TCG Squad summer camps that mark gymnastic milestones for these skilled athletes.
Gymnastics USA – Winter Garden, Florida
Gymnastics for all
At Gymnastics USA, there are programs for recreational and competitive gymnastics for everyone who is interested in signing up. The school follows its belief in a positive approach to keeping customer satisfaction at the frontline of its objectives. Its gymnastics curriculum has been designed to share the values of self-reliance and hard work – both qualities go beyond the training floor into the students’ lives. With a community-inspired goal that creates a positive and welcoming environment, children get to thrive among fellow gymnasts and professional coaches. Above all, the faith-based organization is a place for everyone, with diversities and happy inclusions forming a creative blend of talents and personalities.
The You and Me program at Gymnastics USA is a toddler program for kids who are 1-2 years of age. There is no such thing as “too early” when it comes to gymnastics, and so this program is custom-built for children who have just learned how to walk. You and Me classes involve parental participation with certified coaches who focus on engaging skills and activities.
These gymnastic activities include rolling, jumping, catching, climbing, swinging, and several more physical movements. The toddlers get to work with balance beams, trampolines, vaults, and bars to develop motor skills and coordination. This greatly helps with their early developmental stage in terms of growth and physical activity.
The Ribbon Club program addresses children who are 3-4 years old. It is a preschool level that helps enhance the kids’ gross-motor skills and coordination. At the end of each month, the young gymnasts earn a different colored ribbon to mark their special achievements, and this is a fun incentive that motivates kids to claim more colors. The curriculum breaks down proper gymnastics into bite-sized exercise activities to help children get a feel of this creative sport. There are rotations in each class as well as a gymnastics Olympic events to gradually unlock the key fundamentals. The Ribbon Club gymnasts graduate to the next serious level at the gym, which is the Red-White-Blue program.
The Red-White-Blue program is for the age group of 5-12 years, and it is a recreational module. The classes are categorized according to gender and the kids’ skill levels. With a balance of recreation and competition, the program is an exciting opportunity for kids to discover their athletic grace. It is a comprehensive curriculum that takes gymnasts across a vast learning curve full of Olympic events. The classes are quite family-friendly and include individual as well as group exercises. There are 3 levels that need to be completed, with 36 skills per level. These color-coded levels are beginner (Red), intermediate (White), and advanced (Blue). Gymnasts are required to follow a progressive approach where they successfully demonstrate the prerequisite Olympic skills before moving to the next level. The curriculum also employs bars, vaults, beams, tumble tracks, line floors, and rotation floors to train different gymnastic skills.
Other athletic programs
Gymnastics USA also hosts a variety of other classes to include tumbling, Ninja Kidz, and aerial silks programs. The Ninja Kidz module is based on martial arts practices and acknowledges progress through colored wrist bands. The Aerial Silks and Lyra classes provide an artistic outlet that combines gymnastics with dynamic aerial moves while being suspended on silks – and these classes are open to both kids and adults. There are also after-school programs that incorporate academics, arts and crafts, snack times, gymnastic sessions, and indoor recreation.
Seasonal camps at the gym allow gymnasts to explore Olympic routines, practice rolls and tumbles, and most importantly, have a great time in the exclusive foam pit.
Special needs gymnastics
Following its “gymnastics for all” pursuit, the school has a dedicated program that helps gymnasts with special needs discover and meet their full potential. The classes focus on memory retention, gross-motor skills, and coordination aspects of the sport. Gymnasts can enroll in one-on-one training sessions and also opt for group training with family participation.
Gymnastics USA organizes an annual recreational event as a chance for its gymnasts to showcase their talents. It is hosted in a competitive setting – minus the actual competition scores and judging – to promote team adrenaline and simply positive recreation. There is a grand Olympic opening ceremony to celebrate some authentic Olympic vibes. All the gymnasts receive a gold medal for their participation, which makes this event an optimistic chance for kids to shine in their athletic freedoms and make their families proud.
The Little Gym – Scottsdale, Arizona
The Little Gym is a physical development hub that follows its specially-curated curriculum for a Springboard to Life’s Adventures. Children of all ages are welcome to engage in movement-based learning as well as imaginative play. The gym strives to help kids grow as well-adjusted gymnasts using a three-dimensional learning method. This involves Get Moving outcomes through physical activities, Brain Boost lessons for core decision-making skills, and Citizen Kid attitudes for leadership and teamwork contexts. With 40 years of a trailblazing journey around the world, The Little Gym has grown to become a very holistic platform for early years. Moreover, the gym works in partnership with some of the best kids’ entertainment brands to revamp the classes and events into more dynamic learning environments. These sponsors include Peppa Pig, Lego, and Nickelodeon – which means more scope for themed birthday parties!
Springboard learning classes
The school’s Parent/Child program starts at as young as 4 months up to 3 years of age. It is an early development project that helps parents, infants, and toddlers make the best out of this foundation level.
Pre-K Gymnastics is a preschool program for kids between the ages of 3-6 years. It follows a structured curriculum to encourage personal discoveries that contribute to effective development among children.
The Grade School Gymnastics program is a balanced approach for kids who are 6-12 years old. There are new challenges set according to various skill levels, allowing young gymnasts to find their athletic streaks.
Children of all ages can also participate in dance classes, Kindermusik programs, sports sessions, and karate dojos. These offer exceptional recreation and athletic milestones within gymnastics and miscellaneous artistic interests. There are also enrichment clubs designed for cognitive improvement areas through hands-on activities.
Birthday parties and seasonal camps
Birthday celebrations at The Little Gym are known for their creative themes and games to make some nostalgic memories that kids will always cherish. The parties are full of music, personalized activities, and Lego games that keep children fully-absorbed in the day’s happy spirit. Seasonal camps are other, much-awaited events that kids look forward to. These camps provide dynamic routines for gymnastics, arts and crafts, and exercises to allow young gymnasts a refreshed outlook on their athletic goals.
The Little Gym constantly seeks new ways of making gymnastics and sports a more accessible option for families. Its versatile curriculum, therefore, always has room for accommodating extra events. The Drop-ins programs are organized at strategic times to allow families to get their kids warm up to special games and activities – especially when they do not pursue regular gymnastics. The Practice Time programs are for enrolled gymnasts to have a chance at refining their gymnastic skills with coaches.
There are also complimentary Let’s Build, Let’s Play events with Lego bricks to enhance problem-solving skills by building connective, supportive bridges in comprehension.
A virtual red mat
In response to social distancing measures, The Little Gym has upgraded to The Little Gym at Home to support live-streaming classes. Gymnasts can join the virtual red mat and continue their training seamlessly. These interactive classes provide a resourceful alternative to attending gym sessions for families who are in isolation.
Once a beginner, always an expert
Gymnastics for kids have risen in popularity over the years. More and more families decide to enroll their children in gymnastics for kids and martial arts schools, as these places easily become a second home for young athletes. Stepping outside the academic world, gymnastic schools offer a wide spectrum of recreational opportunities – as seen in the schools discussed above. These extracurriculars often grow into lifelong pursuits when young gymnasts discover an affinity for this graceful, artistic sport. By practicing in approved environments that are super-conducive to gymnastic sports, children receive a bigger exposure to Olympic skills and techniques.
It is always incredible how these schools and gyms have programs designed for the tiny ages of 1-2 years, with visual clues and dynamic activities coaxing kids out of their shells. The age-appropriate classes are organized with various child psychology aspects in mind. These bring the coaches to the thinking level of a toddler, allowing them to craft a visually and spatially engaging lesson. By moving from stumbling steps to tumbling tricks, it is only a matter of time before these kids feel invincible in their skin and grow into confident individuals first – and then become aspiring gymnasts.