When your kids are whining that “there’s nothing to do” and you’ve had about enough, it’s time to introduce the cheese mat. No, it’s not a spread of Gruyère and crackers, it’s a gymnastics apparatus that fits well into a home space and provides hours of active fun for the kiddos. In fact, it may just be the ticket to a lifetime of healthful activity and future sports interests.
Cheese mats, or incline mats, as they are often called, are wedge-shaped gymnastics mats that encourage kids to explore their own potential. For the little guys, cheese mats provide a safe way to begin to learn the forward roll, a staple for the super-active child and a skill that kids need to learn in order to begin tumbling and gymnastics. The forward roll might not seem so complicated as to require an apparatus, but when you’ve watched your little one attempt the skill on the tile floor of the kitchen, you’ll be happy to know there’s a safer way to practice and master the move. The cheese mat gives the child a soft yet supportive incline on which to practice, one that also provides just the right angle for helpful momentum. When your child uses it under your supervision, she will learn how to control her body’s movements and gain confidence as she learns.
For older children, and when you have more space, perhaps outdoors, the larger cheese mats offer a wider berth and longer incline to learn back handsprings. Again, under your supervision, this can be a huge confidence booster as your child is able to practice between classes at the gym and advance more quickly.
If you’re already thinking about holiday gifts, the cheese mat will undoubtedly be the most interesting gift they unwrap. It folds into a cube, so they’ll never guess what it is before they unwrap it! But once they open the gift, you’ll have a hard time getting them off the mat and off to bed. A safe, fun, learning tool has never been so appealing. Give your kids the gift of an active lifestyle and your blessing to pursue it with their very own cheese mat. And that will be the end of the “there’s nothing to do” whining!