To the parent of a budding gymnast, the amount of equipment like cheese mats, tumbling mats, crash mats, and more that your little one may ask about acquiring for the house might seem a little absurd. How much of this do you really need, you might ask. Can you get away with just some, and not all? Honestly, you might, but you might meet some resistance when you posit the idea. I recently encountered a twelve year-old girl who willingly gave up two of the most adorable guinea pigs I have ever seen due to the fact that she was spending so much time practicing gymnastics that she didn’t have time to take care of them. Gymnastics has a tendency to inspire an unusual level of passion in even its youngest practitioners, and it’s the sort of thing you’ll want to encourage.
If it gets to that point, it’s worth it to pick up those crash mats, wedge mats, and other stuff. If it’s in the name of fostering an incredibly healthy and rewarding hobby (or passion) like gymnastics, you could do way worse for the money. Few parents these days seem to be so lucky as to have a kid with a passion for something that keeps them in shape and motivated. I know I wasn’t when I was littler—my waistline is probably proof enough of the fact that I didn’t foster those kinds of behaviors in my youth.
Of course, you needn’t get the crash mats, tumbling mats, and wedge mats all in one go, especially if your kid is just dipping their toes in for now. It might be cool to start with one in order to motivate them, and as they progress in their practice, a new mat can make for a fun reward that also leads them to more diverse and efficient practice. Keep it in mind—the later in the year it gets, the more you’ll be relying on indoor stuff to occupy the kids, so beginning a little home gymnastics studio might not be a bad option!