"You can do it," is not just an empty phrase at Texas Tumblers Gymnastics, it's the cornerstone of their entire philosophy. The coaches teach their students confidence from the get-go as they work their way through complicated recreational gymnastics or prepare for competitions. They also teach dance to kids ages 3 and older, as well as helming a program called AllStars cheerleading. The positive teaching philosophy also carries over to classes for adults. The fitness program for fully grown students includes circuit training and dance cardio classes, but does not include lessons on how to pole vault over cubicle walls.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old to 12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities. Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine .
Bodies vault, twist, and somersault at Olympia Hills Gymnastics, defying gravity with solid technique and strength of will. The Gymnastics team provides training for kids of all ages and fitness goals ranging from fun tumbling classes to programs that prepare students for competition. Classes include cheer clinics, parent and me classes for kids ages 10 months to three years, and power tumbling classes for ages eight and up. In these classes, students learn how to throw their bodies in the air and maintain control and balance, with a focus on safety. After learning the basics, students can progress to advanced levels by invitation or whenever they show up with newly-sprouted wings.
On a mission to help children grow socially and emotionally while physically developing through fun exercise, Kidsport starts young ones on an early path toward healthy, active lifestyles. Choose from any one of the center's summer programs, including swimming ($80 for single session; $75 each for two or three sessions; $70 each for four or more sessions), girls’ gymnastics (once a week, $61; twice a week, $112), or Isshinryu karate (up to twice a week, $50), teaching real-world self-defense against bizarro-world evil twins. Kidsport also offers adult classes in Zumba fitness ($5/class), dance ($115/camp), yoga, and karate; check the online calendar for an idea of every program's class times.
Scattered across the globe like so many building blocks in the playpen of a toddler architect-to-be, Gymboree Play and Music provides wee ones up to five years old with a safe place for enriching, educational play. At more than 500 facilities across 30 countries, grown-ups come along to observe art, music, and sports classes for toddlers up to five years old, as well as their signature Play and Learn sessions.
A USA Gymnastics Jr. Olympic Training Center, Platinum Gymnastics Academy isn't afraid to push its young students. It does, however, make sure they're safe and having fun at the same time with age-appropriate classes designed to boost coordination and improve both physical and mental fitness. Recreational gymnastics classes allow kids ages 6 and older to learn stunts and techniques by working with real gymnastics apparatuses, such as the uneven bars, vaults, and trampolines. Preschool programs build gross motor skills and spatial awareness in walking toddlers as young as 18 months. These sessions use the same fitness equipment as their big-kid counterparts, just scaled-down and covered with Sesame Street stickers. Though not every student is required to follow the path to competition, students can also be trained in professional tumbling or on one of the center's two gymnastics teams.