Toddlers are active and curious, which is exciting for both parent and child, but can be a little nerve-wracking. Twin Cities Kids Club wants to help you find classes to develop your kids’ overall well-being safely. Toddler gymnastics teaches important movement principles in a safe environment, while parents learn play techniques they can use at home.
A typical toddler gymnastics class is for walking children (around 20 months or so), to three years of age. Often the gym equipment is arranged in a kind of obstacle course. The instructor will introduce fundamental gymnastic concepts (rolling, balancing, jumping, etc.).
The instructions are short and simple to match little ones’ attention spans. If your child enjoys gymnastics as they mature physically and mentally, you may want to explore more advanced class options. But for many families, toddler gymnastics is simply a way to bond while children gain coordination and get exercise.
If you are looking for places to take your little one to gymnastics, check out our list of some places around the Twin Cities.
Benefits for Your Toddler
- Social Development. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are social benefits when children attend regular classes with their peers. Your child can improve communication and engagement with children their age as well as adults. Toddler gymnastics introduces a setting where children are expected to listen and follow instructions.
- Lays Foundations for Confidence. Toddler gymnastics can be an early introduction to the concepts of discipline and focus. When a child masters a new skill, they learn the value of hard work and paying attention. They will also begin to learn to respect others, as well as rules for safety.
- Physical Development. A toddler gymnastics class helps children develop their balance and coordination. These skills can help children learn and participate in other sports. Most importantly, they are a key part of day-to-day activities.
- Relationship Building. Many toddler gymnastics classes require a parent’s presence during the class. Your toddler will feel more comfortable learning new concepts knowing their parent is close by. They will feel special knowing mom or dad has set aside time just for them.
- Brain Development. As your toddler works on balance, they are working the vestibular mechanism inside their ear canal. When the vestibular mechanism is stimulated, it triggers growth in other areas of the brain. Activities presented by the teacher in simple combinations also help develop memory.
Benefits for Parents
- Social Connection. Toddler classes aren’t just for your child. You can socialize with other parents who are likely experiencing many of the same things. Gain ideas and insight from your fellow parents as you navigate these early years.
- Watch Your Child Learn Something New. Observe your child explore new things in a distraction-free environment. Toddler gymnastics often offer a screen-free experience. Your child can run, jump, climb, and hang off of things under your direct supervision, in an enclosed space.
- Provide Routine. Attending a regular class such as toddler gymnastics can structure your day and week. A standing, reliable commitment creates a routine. Routine is important for young children to feel safe and secure.
- Know You’re Investing In Their Future. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends physical activity throughout the day for children ages 3 to 5. Regular exercise can prevent serious health problems. The habits established in early childhood have the potential to continue into adulthood.
- Emotional Rewards. Taking your toddler to a toddler gymnastics class sends them a message. You can feel good about showing your toddler that you care about physical activity. Children who grow up in families that prioritize exercise are more likely to be physically active themselves.
- Mental. Research shows that exercise has cognitive benefits for older children. Establishing an early love of physical activity could help your child in school later on. The average GPA of the top 20 NCAA College Gymnastics Teams is 3.2.
- Physical. Gymnastics develops strength. Weight-bearing activities also increase children’s bone density and bone strength. Toddler gymnastics can help your child lay the foundations of muscular and skeletal strength in their rapidly growing little bodies.
- Social. Watch as your child grows in confidence and develops friendships that they can take outside of class. The friends your child makes at toddler gymnastics can become friends they invite to birthday parties and playdates.
- Sportsmanship. Children who participate in organized sports even before they begin school may perform better generally once they attain school age.
What You Can Do At Home
Your children are watching you very closely, whether you realize it or not. As your toddler grows, the things you devote your time to will highlight their importance. Parents who cultivate an active lifestyle for themselves and their family will likely raise active children.
Consider doing physical activity or exercising around, with, and near your children from an early age. If you don’t have a regular exercise habit, it’s not too late to start, and you’ll be glad you did. According to Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology Services, “the easiest place to learn long-term behaviours [sic]” is right at home.
You can make exercise a fun part of everyday life. For example, ride bikes or walk to one of your child’s favorite places. Toddler gymnastics can help you develop additional, age-appropriate ideas for including physical activity when you play together.
Every parent wants what’s best for their child, and hopes they will be successful. Even if your child never becomes an Olympic gymnast, the effects of toddler gymnastics can ripple down the years. A child who has positive associations with physical activity will probably continue to seek out opportunities to move.
Showing children that exercise can be a fun social activity is a great lesson to teach early on. Don’t be discouraged if your toddler doesn’t immediately take to their toddler gymnastics class, or want to try every activity. When your toddler tries something new and maybe a little intimidating, they can develop the beginnings of resilience.
Let Twin Cities Kids Club help you find a class that’s right for your toddler and right for your budget. Twin Cities Kids Club deals and discounts can help your family start a lifetime of shared healthy habits!