Sunday, September 21, 2008

Class: Tumbling for Toddlers

Arlington County Classes
Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center

LG and I attended our first Tumbling for Toddlers class on Tuesday. LG was pretty excited about it. She couldn't wait to get in the tunnel and play on the balance beam, unfortunately for her, we first had to sit and listen. She actually held up rather well to a speech that could easily been shortened by providing the relevant information to the appropriate parties rather than all the information to everyone. Luckily, we only have to do that part of the class this time.

It was then time to warm up. I think of this as circle time for gymnastics. There are 3 classes in the gym during our session: family, toddlers, and preschoolers. All the classes warm up together. This is something that I think could be reworked. Toddlers and preschoolers do have different developmental needs and abilities when it comes to following instructions and it would be nice to have a warm up that engaged toddlers more. That said, LG will benefit from a whole group activity since she is used it being just her and Mama.

After warm up, the classes were divided up and headed to one of three stations. Our first station was the trampoline. After sitting again for some instructions (which were very important for safety reasons), LG headed off to the balance beam. Right, that would not be a part of trampoline. At least this balance beam wasn't in another station though, so it was safe for her to use it while she was waiting for her turn on other things (I did ask an instructor if it was okay, she said yes). LG did eventually get around to jumping on the trampoline and swinging on the rope, which she loved.

On to the next station - floor. LG was not ready to leave the first station, she had just warmed up to it - I think this is going to be running theme for us. LG is an observer. She wants to watch before she plays. The trouble is when we only have 10 minutes at each station, she doesn't have time to watch and then play (at least not with each thing). Hopefully, as the equipment becomes more familiar to her, she will warm up faster. The floor station is in my opinion the best one for toddlers. There are tunnels to crawl under, stairs to climb up, mats to jump on, a balance beam, and places to practice rolling. I would be very happy if the entire class was organized like this obstacle course. What I really love is that there are intended activities for each piece of equipment but the instructors are fine with the children using them in any safe way. LG likes the music. LG gets very MAD when the music goes off. So MAD in fact that all she can talk about is how MAD she is that there is no MUSIC. She actually refused to do anything until the music turned back on. This is going to be a problem.

The final station of the day was Balloons. I see how this would be fun. Kids do love balloons. I can also see this as a festering pit of germs. As the last group to have balloons we had the joys of many wet balloons - ew. Balloons just seem to be one of those things that children, even those do not normally mouth things, like to put in their mouths. I should mention that both LG and I are now sick - not that it necessarily came from this exposure (we went to JW Tumbles and the grocery store earlier this week). I hope that next week there is something that is not so tasty available.

At the end of the class the children recieved a stamp (on hand or foot) and a coloring sheet. The 45 minutes went by really quickly so we must have had fun! I think this will be a great experience for LG to interact with other children.


caramama said...

This sounds like fun! We did a class at The Little Gym, but there was no trampoline or balloons, although they did things a bit more targeted for toddlers in our class. Does this gym have an open gym time where she could just go in and play on whatever she wants? I hope she enjoys herself!

Mama said...

No open gym - it is an actual gymnasium where the Arlington Team practices. Our second and third classes were even better than the first. LG is really getting the hang of following the other kids! This is less expensive option than Little Gym, Gymboree, or JW Tumbles.

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