7 Benefits of gymnastics for Toddlers
Gymnastics is a pretty great sport. It combines athleticism with beauty and grace and develops the basic building blocks for everyday movement.
KinderGym is Gymnastics Australia’s fun and exciting fundamental movement-based learning program for children aged 0 to 5 years.
The program is founded on child development principles and is specifically designed to assist children with their development throughout the different stages of early childhood.
So, what are the benefits?
1. KinderGym stimulates cognitive growth
Did you know the brain has two parts? The left side of the brain is responsible for analytical thinking, while the right side is for creativity and visualisation. To put it simply, your left brain would be the scientist and your right brain, the artist!
Like reading is for verbal literacy, gymnastics is for physical literacy. Through cross patterning actions like crawling along a foam mat; both sides of the brain are engaged. When toddlers are exposed to activities in gymnastics, the whole brain is exercised, encouraging rounded thinking.
2. KinderGym develops strong and healthy bones
With so many fun, soft things to crawl and walk on, gymnastics enables a safe environment for weight bearing. Placing normal pressure on the bones increases and stimulates bone density for a strong and healthy skeletal system!
3. KinderGym increases coordination and encourages proprioceptive awareness
Young children should be exposed to different kinds of learning. In gymnastics vocal cues, music, activities and visual aids are all used to engage and teach. Learning and problem solving though diverse ways encourages both gross and fine motor skills, building coordination and awareness of the body.
4. KinderGym instils an understanding of discipline
When a parent and child commits to attending training as part of their weekly activity, it instils an understanding of schedule and commitment. Gymnastics further cements the respect for discipline in the kinds of regulations it employs for safe and effective practice.
5. KinderGym assists in developing Physical Literacy
KinderGym gives children the ability to plan and execute basic motor skills including; running, jumping, catching, kicking and throwing. The program also offers children a foundation into fundamental movement allowing them to play and explore while developing co-ordination, balance, agility and self-esteem.
6. KinderGym increases social awareness
Gymnastics classes encourages participation from all within the class, and while focusing on the individual, allows children to be surrounded by other children. This is important in creating a social environment which is fun, new and challenging for all. Encouraging social interactions which are well monitored from the onset is crucial to social behaviour and inclusivity as children get older.
7. KinderGym is FUN!
KinderGym classes are designed to be fun and exciting for children. Many clubs pick specific themes for their lessons that keep the classes entertaining.
It’s also a great way for new mums and dads to meet local families at a similar family stage. You will become fast friends with someone after they have rescued you from a foam pit!
Keen to try out KinderGym but not sure where to start?
Head to www.starthere.org.au
to find a KinderGym club near you!