Sydney's Inner West
Gymkidz is a gymnastic and movement education programme, incorporating a variety of body movements including agility, balance, coordination and speed. Gymkidz is suitable for kids aged 3-8 years.
This programme has been developed over 25 years and incorporates a long term development model. It is premised off the idea that the right skills need to be developed at the right time of a child life, according to specific ages and stages. Gymkidz, is the first stage in a child's 'physical literacy', teaching basic movement skills.
Lessons are fun, varied and educational, increasing the variety of movements that a child can perform to prepare them for all other sports. The programme further incorporates Integrated Learning Therapy® movement sequencing, which are very specific movements that assist in preventing and helping overcome learning difficulties in children.
Overall this programme pays special attention to enhancing brain function, physical coordination, gross motor skills, posture and balance. It further assists children in building confidence, social skills, emotional control, improving sleep and imagination while reducing stress.
Sessions are 45 minutes in duration. A free trial class is available on request, just send the request straight from their website. If you can't make any current classes they'd love to hear from you if you are interested in availability for different days, please let them know by email.
We went along to the Gymkidz Open Day on the 12th January and given it was the first activity outside of childcare that Miss 3 has ever really attended (apart from swimming lessons), I was a bit concerned as to how it would go!
It was great! and Miss 3 was great too! Tamzin is wonderful with the kids, talks to them on their level in easy to understand instructions, but doesn't come across like she's talking to a bunch of babies which is so refreshing. She seemed to really empower them and everyone in the group (both boys and girls) were very receptive and really followed directions well. I can't help but feel - regardless of what activity kids are doing - that this is a really important aspect for this 3-5 year old age group, a really important skill to learn.
The 45minute session started with a bit of an ice-breaker session around a parachute and then onto some warm-up type exercises, stretching and such. There is a little circuit set up and the bulk of the session was devoted to learning a skill, like a forward roll (using the big ball and with hands-on help from Tamzin) and then the kids moved through the circuit while Tamzin helped the next in line with their forward roll. There were plenty of water breaks too on this warm day.
They all seemed to enjoy it and I can totally see the value from so many aspects. The physical exercise is a given, but the coordination aspect is something I underestimated until I watched these little people run through hoops and swing on little bars. Balance is also somehting that proved a challenge - even though they always seem to want to walk on every low fence around the neighbourhood! Balancing on the little beam was hard at first but they improved so quickly, it was interesting to watch!
The venue is a community hall, it's very clean and light and airy. There are toilets and an air conditioned room with some tea and coffee set up for those who are watching. All in all, I really feel Gymkidz is not just a heap of fun but also a worthwhile activity for the little people. If you're looking for an activity then this could be an option for this year! Gymkidz are looking to be as accommodating as possible and will group classes based on people's time preferences wherever possible.