Children 3, 4, and 5 years old are grouped first by age, then by ability. They learn the fundamentals of Olympic style gymnastics using modified Olympic apparatus. Children are encouraged to participate and progress at their own ability with the emphasis on overall fitness and coordination. Target ratio: 6:1
The Gym toddlers class is designed for children 3-4 years of age. This class does require the child to participate without the assistance of a parent. Target student teacher rations are 6:1. In the Gym Toddlers classes we often employ the help of an “assistant coach” to work alongside the instructor. This young person circulates the class and helps prevent “escapes” to other parts of the gym that have caught the child’s attention. This is a fast-paced class in which we change activities particularly every ten seconds. We focus on extending that 10 second attention span, typical of this age, at every opportunity. This 50 minute class encourages instructor-guided direction, taking turns, sharing, and fosters the independent potential of each child.
The class begins with a group warm-up activity, then quickly move on to the events (Bars, Beam, Floor, Vault, and Trampoline.) Six activity stations are set up at each event. Each activity is designed for the child to encounter challenges they can meet. One station is reserved for one on one attention from the coach, at which a particular gymnastics skills is introduced or perfected. Five other stations provide independent activity that offers experienced that support initiative, creativity, autonomy, development of cooperation and facilitate a strong sense of self (i.e. “let me do it myself”.) This environment also provides an opportunity for your child to learn to be safe. We also provide each student with opportunities to “take responsibility” for others in the group that allow the student to demonstrate her/his competence. Typically there is time to work at three events per class. Events alternate weekly (i.e. Weeks 1&3 are floor, beam and vault; Weeks 2 &4 are bars, tramp, and floor.)
Rising Stars is the most advanced group of our Tots Program. We continue to include 4 and 5 year olds in the Tots age span because most children at that age have not yet made the major shift in cognition (their ability to reason) that has been found to most often occur around age 6 or 7. Before this “shift” occurs, children are developmentally more like preschoolers than like school age children. Class structure, therefore, is similar to the other tots classes, only the pace is more intense and skills are more difficult and complex. Target student teacher ratios are 6:1 and class duration is 50 minutes.
Rising Stars combines elements of both younger Tots classes and the older “Class Program”. We are aiming at continuity in teaching practices to ease the transition for these 5 year olds into the Class Program. The class begins to resemble those of the older age group “Class Program”. Rotations to each event now include a “viewing station” for the student to observe the activity of the child just ahead of him/her. Many children are “visual learners” and at age 5, observing an activity allows the child to make plans before taking action and their activities become more goal-directed in character. Gymnastics skills are much more complex/advanced than in the younger Tots classes and more time is spent with each skill. Rotations of 3 events per class, alternating weekly (i.e. Weeks 1&3 are Floor, Beam, and Vault; Weeks 2&4 are Bars, Vault, Tramp, and Floor) remain the same as in other Tots classes. Basically Rising Stars combines elements of both younger Tots classes and the older Class Programs.