Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pre-school Gymnastics

We are very lucky to be close to a few community centers that have a lot of great offerings for young kids. Most of them are really reasonably priced and I plan on taking full advantage this winter. I like having some structure to our day and I think LB does too. This winter we have an activity that gets us out of the house every morning except Fridays. It's a good system and I plan on sticking with it.

A few weeks ago, I signed LB up for a pre-school gymnastics at the rec center that is 5 minutes from our house. It's a 6 week course and only cost $25. I figured even if it was awful and boring then I was only out $25. My hope was that it would give LB some confidence in his gross motor skills and be a way to use some energy during these cold months. LB is actually quite coordinated and strong but his cautious nature has held him back from exploring his physical abilities. As you might have guessed, LB was a little hesitant to go. The whole drive there he kept saying, "Me no go to nastics class." I kept telling him he would love it and that we were going. As soon as we walked in the gym, LB was no longer singing that tune. The teacher sets up some equipment for the kids to play with for the first 20 minutes of class. Then they do a circle time, which consists of being led through some stretching and singing songs that involve movement. Next they do a new skill and the teacher has them line up and each kid gets a turn. The first week it was doing a "pencil roll" down a ramp and last week it was walking across a low balance beam and yesterday she helped them flip their legs over a bar. Of course, getting the kids to line up can be a challenge but I think it's good practice and so far LB enjoys watching other kids do the skill so he doesn't mind waiting. They end with bringing out a big parachute and they make waves and a tent and get the opportunity to run under it while the parents have it lifted. LB won't do that part because it gets a little crazy and noisy (massive understatement!). I don't blame him. He hangs out with me and helps lift the parachute for the other kids. And in his defense, he isn't the only kid who opts out of the craziness. I tell myself it's because he is so smart.

The class is half over and I am ready to sign up again for January. I've already noticed a change in LB after just 3 classes. He is gaining confidence and is more willing to try new things. He's letting go of some fears. The first class he wouldn't let the teacher help him with the "pencil roll" and wanted me to do it. The second class it was the same thing. He wanted to hold my hand to walk the beam. I get it. I am his safe person and am happy to oblige. However, this week he completely surprised me. The instructor had a kid, who took the class before, demonstrate to hold on to the bar and lift their legs to the teachers hands. Then the teacher helped them flip their legs over and be upright on the bar. I thought to myself that there was no way LB was going to do it. A couple of kids went up, including one of his buddies from school, and everyone would clap after each kid tried it. The teacher said, "Okay, who is next?" And LB stands up, with all the confidence in the world, and walks right up to the teacher. I would venture to say that he strutted. I was in shock. He put his hands on the bar and she lifted him over. After he got down, he ran to me and shouted, "My did it!" It was awesome. Completely and totally awesome.

At his first class, I snapped some pictures of LB so I could show D the things we did in class. They aren't the best but you get the idea.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, so sweet that he is gaining confidence! Seriously. . . nothing makes us mamas prouder. :) Oh, and have I told you lately how adorable he is? :)