As the morning begins, a row of toddlers takes turns tumbling feet over head while their parents guide them into the correct movement. Later, school-age kids sit in a circle, legs stretched before them as they try to touch their toes. The trained staff of My Gym Children's Fitness Center imbue kids with life skills through music, physical activities, and games. Many classes incorporate physical exercises with social and developmental skills, while summer camps are also available seasonally. All classes take place in a well-padded room, led by staff trained in child development and fluent in Muppet.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Fifteen thousand square feet of colorful training equipment beckons to be tumbled upon. That's where the dedicated staff comes in, working with students of all skill levels to build confidence and coordination through gymnastics programs. With classes designed for students between 18 months and 18 years old, gymnastics programs provide a well-rounded curriculum that helps motivate students while honing concentration and basic motor movements.
Classes for tots and kindergarten-age students include practice on obstacle courses, trampolines, balance beams, and tumble tracks. Girls and boys older than 5 1/2 years learn fun and challenging exercises while climbing rock walls, swinging on uneven bars, and attempting to bridle wild pommel horses. Sunburst Gymnastics also offers competitive programs, in which students train for state, regional, and national events.
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?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.
A Chat with Galaxy Gymnastics
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Train in our beautiful, clean, 15,00 square foot air-conditioned gym with three in-ground trampolines, large in-ground pits, an in-ground Tumble-Trak and more. Our coaches and instructors are experienced, Safety Certified by USA Gymnastics, and are trained in CPR and First Aid.
Is your location strictly for adults, or can kids participate as well?
Children must be able to walk on their own and follow basic instructions. This generally allows those as young as 20 months old to participate in a Parent & Me class.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
I want other parents to have the same opportunity for their children to learn, grow, and train in a safe, clean, and accessible facility as my own daughter.
What do you love most about your job?
I love to see the children really fall in love with their classes. The love they have for their instructors and the sport itself is amazing.