I had my class in a line, flying like birds down the tumble strip on our way to pit time. Beside us were some level 8 girls working their passes into the pit. I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He was excited to get to pit time. Before I knew it, he BOLTED, sprinting and jumping into the pit.
As my daughter bounces toward me, water bottle in hand, I ask excitedly, “HOW WAS IT?!!!!!! WHAT DID YOU DO?!!”
Usual answers go something like this: “Good. We did beam [or insert last piece of equipment they used].”
That’s it. No more detail. No displays of skills.
There's a simple way to get a better answer.
Raise your hand if you’re always surprised when kiddos aren’t quite able to hang on the bar by themselves in preschool...
Yeah, me too.
It is easy to forget how tiny their little hands are, and how challenging it can be for them to support their entire body weight. As another hurdle, bars can be especially challenging to plan for parent tot classes!
This summer, I had the privilege of traveling and speaking at different gymnastics congresses and conferences. Between presentations, I attended many sessions about sports that started with gymnastics as a foundation...then took a sharp turn, becoming a new sport/movement/community.
Here are three expanded gymnastics-based sports that can open the door to new groups of people in your gym.
Creating engaging, age appropriate parent tot stations is a challenge. Sometimes, it can seem overwhelming to create stations for such young gymnasts...and their parents. But what if you bought some lesson plans that included parent tot modifications for each week? Done! In one week, I’ll be releasing a new batch of Happy Gymnastics lesson plans (Yippee!) Parent tot stations and modifications are included with each plan.
My decade competing in artistic gymnastics and trampoline & tumbling has served me to the utmost degree in my adult life as boss lady at Happy Gymnastics.
As any former gymnast knows, the learning from the gym ‘sticks’ (ha! get it?) with you for life. The lessons I learned in the gym help shape how I approach my business.
This lesson plan is designed around the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and Jon Archambault. It’s one of my absolute faves and a preschool/early childhood staple, in my opinion. When I taught Kindergarten in the classroom, I always started with teaching Chicka Chicka because it’s fun, colorful and about a bunch of letters that climb up a coconut tree and fall down (kids love it!)
When I had staff meetings at the gym or team meetings while I was teaching Kindergarten, it was important to me to create a fully engaging environment where everyone had ‘buy-in’ to make the program great. It was not an option to sit without contributing some ideas to our meetings. Ten brains are better than one. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and only see the same things, so using your staff is a valuable way to keep things fresh and engaging for everyone.
It can be tempting to push preschool gymnasts through a skill just to check it off the lesson plan. This, however, will not be beneficial in the long game of gymnastics. Without proper progressions and solid foundation skills, they may be able to complete a higher-level skill, but it won’t be pretty (or safe). If we want them to tumble out of a front tuck someday, we need to teach them perfect forward rolls in preschool.
What is it?