How Young is Too Young?
Posted on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 |
People often ask me, “At what age should children start gymnastics?” Well, it would depend on where you go. If it is gymnastics at GYMCO, we start them in a parent participation class as soon as they can walk, but most of the staff started their own children as early as birth. Movement activities can be introduced as early as six weeks. Think about it; most of those babies were comfortable upside down and all around while in your belly. Then we force babies into a life of upright and forward. It is important to encourage movement activities as often as possible. Because children's bodies grow at an incredible rate, it is important for them to explore the world around them through movement.
Spatial relational concepts are not only important for movement; they are important for life. Understanding how much space you occupy will eventually become a social skill. Think of the movie Dirty Dancing when Patrick Swayze said, “This is my dance space and this is yours.” Children who explore the world around them through movement understand how tall they are, how far they can reach, how fast they can move and what spaces they can fit into to. Have you ever seen a child duck under a counter even though they had at least a 2 inch clearance? One day they may not fit under that counter, but it is only through experience that they will find out.