for kids from 18 months and up
“Behind the curtain”
“Movement is magnificent and movement in the form of physical exercise leads to physical excellence”
This is, of course, easier written than done! The fact remains, that in the early stages of a child's development we know that physical development is equally as important and runs parallel with a child's emotional and intellectual development.
Indoor Gymnastics with CleverKidz, has been designed for children aged 18 months to 5 years old, to provide them with a wide variety of physical activities and to facilitate them with the opportunity to try different kinds of sports and gymnastics.
The created infrastructure provides the child with a safe environment to learn what their body is capable of, overcome fears and therefore gain more self confidence and this in a fun and playful way.
Indoor Gymnastics benefit kids with all different types of personalities:
- an active child has a chance to burn some energy and perfect their technique
- a passive child is given the safety to follow the example of other kids and/or their parents and in this safe environment they gain self confidence and tend to even “open up”.
Many think that there is no structure in the class. At first sight, It may look like it. But nothing is further from the truth. The class starts with an empty gym; metaphorically speaking a blank slate or white canvas. As the class progresses we begin to fill the space.
We start with basic warm up exercises followed by running, jumping and stretching. All exercises provided are chosen according to the age and dynamic of the group. Some exercises chosen are intentionally difficult for the child to actively participate in. These exercises are chosen so that the kids have the opportunity to observe how it is done by the teacher and most importantly by their parents. At first they will try and perhaps fail but over time and through repetition a strong muscle memory response is created and will be drawn upon in the near future so that the once difficult exercises are now easy.
Once everyone is warmed-up and the sweat is just beginning to form, we begin with the active games. We explore games with balls, hula hoops, ropes, etc. and do so in a fun and uncompetitive way. The idea is to engage in semi-structured game play practicing such physical elements as throwing, catching, waving, pushing, pulling, etc.
Gymnastics & Parkour
Following active games, we begin to introduce some of the larger gymnastic & parkour elements such as parallel bars, horses, mats, rings, trampolines, balance beams, etc. The particular elements chosen reflect the groups age and dynamic. These elements are structured to be used individually and/or as a part of the parkour course.
Clean up time & good bye
This may sound trivial but it is highly important for the whole. Firstly, the children learn to leave a
space the way it was when they arrived; a blank slate for the next group. Furthermore, kids who
regularly participate in the class eventually begin to help their parents with the cleaning up and
this out of their own desire to assist. Secondly, a fun good bye activity ends the class on the
highest of high notes.
I have personally experienced and implement the proven hypothesis that young children participate to a much greater level and out of their own free will and desire when they are not pushed by parents or teachers to participate. Instead, we create an environment that stimulates their natural curiosity and motivation to be a part of the activities. If given the chance and time, the child will want to join and engage in the group. All kids are however different. Each is their own snowflake. Some are runners, like a super hero dashing from one activity to another. Some decide to conquer something particular and they stick to one or two activities per class until they master it to their own personal satisfaction. Regardless of personal style, each child needs to be given the opportunity to embrace their own instinctual draw towards that particular activity that their unconscious mind is demanding they develop.
The parents role and involvement is a great key to success. They are the “so-to-say” conductors for their kids. Especially at an early age, the attitude(s) of the parent(s) is what forms a positive image for physical activity. That certainly does not mean that parents must be professional athletes but they need only to bring positive vibes and a simple child like curiosity to have fun with their little ones. Hey dad! Hey mom! Be a kid again and remember how great it was to simply play with a ball, jump and run. It really is the best thing ever!