If you’re that cool parent who wants to make going back to school something your child looks forward to, here’s an idea: introduce gymnastics (or encourage it if you’ve already started down that path!) with the most fun of “school supplies” your kid has ever seen: a gymnastics kit. Balancing school with an active lifestyle will never again be this easy.
Pencils get dull, notebooks get lost, but gymnastics kits barely get a rest! Three different apparatus make up a kit: a balance beam, an incline mat, and a tumbling mat. The tumbling mat is, of course, your foundation. This is where gross motor skills are practiced, simple tumbling moves mastered, and even imaginative play happens. Now, toss an incline mat onto one of these and what do you have? Olympic dreams. Suddenly your tumbler or gymnast is practicing forward rolls like an elite athlete and back handsprings like a pro. Let the school teachers handle most of the academic education: you (you lucky duck) get to focus on the fun stuff with your kid.
In case you’re wondering about the balance beam, we’re not suggesting you bring in the tall, hard, super-scary (how many trips to the ER am I going to make??) real balance beam. We’re talking sits-flat-on-the-ground, made of foam, soft, and supportive balance beam. These kinds of balance beams are amazing in their versatility. They sit flat and low on the ground, so if there’s a slip, you’re not watching your child plummet 3 feet to the ground in slow motion. In fact, plummeting doesn’t even figure in this equation. A fall from this kind of beam is less traumatic than falling out of bed. Kid gets back up – and right back onto the beam. Now, that’s great for the littles, but does it work for older gymnasts? Yes – that’s the amazing thing about this particular piece of equipment.
When your older and more experienced gymnast wants to practice what he or she has learned in class, this balance beam allows them to practice at home in safety. They still have to master balance, focus, and strength, and the beam accommodates that, but provides the ultimate in protection at the same time. The gymnasts still have the feel of the width of the beam beneath their feet, so the experience practicing can still feel like the real thing. It’s an amazing piece of equipment that can work for pre-school tumblers and experienced gymnasts alike.
Make a serious investment in school supplies this year with the purchase of a gymnastics kit that will extend practice time and keep your kids’ active lifestyle rewarded and challenging.