Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Little Gym

Well, Jimmy and I had our 1st taste of Little Gym. It was easier to make fun of my friends for spending so much money to play, before we went! Jimmy LOVED it!!! We went with the Roanoke Mommy and Me group. They let our group have a 40 minute class and 20 minute free time in the gym for $5 each. Their curriculum is incredible. "The Birds" class is for 12 mo. to 24 mo. and we were working on left, right, and center. I had totally forgotten, but the part of your brain that you use to walk sideways is the same part you use in tracking for reading, (which is why THIS is their skill of the month this month). We also played with hoola-hoops. (Walking while carrying them - 2 skills at once, tracking them when Mommy rolls them, "In" and "Out" vocabulary). We did some walking in a circle, running, spinning, and forward rolling. It was great! I worried - when we got there, Jimmy came and sat in my lap - like we do at story time, but I noticed most of the boys did not. Their mommies came and sat, but they went and played on equipment by themselves. I knew they were younger than Jimmy, but they were doing stuff I never dreamed he could do. The instructor explained that at Little Gym, they can come and go as they like. If they see Mommy staying engaged in circle time, the hope is, they will eventually come back and join us, too. Jimmy stayed and lightly participated. He's such a watcher! The instructor kept saying - it's perfectly normal for some kids to just watch what's going on and soak it in. That's just what Jimmy does at the library and did here as well. But, he warmed up pretty quickly. By free time - he took off and played on all the equipment. I was shocked at what he could do! The instructor kept interrupting with ideas and advice, ("Here are the ball, can you kick them?" "Mommies, see if you can help them walk sideways on this balance beam." "Bubbles!!!" *which, by the way, are sold exclusively at Gymboree, had silicone in them and did not pop - awesome!) Then she says, "Let's practice our skill of the month on the uneven parallel bars!" WHAT??? Was she kidding? She had us put their feet on the bottom bar, hands on the top and support their tummies while trying to get them to scootch across. I watched a few kids try - I didn't realize, one or two steps was a huge success. I thought she expected them to scootch all the way across. Jimmy actually did it better than most kids! He even started to move his hands and feet himself some. It was REALLY fun! I hope we can do this a couple of times a month!

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