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I took DS (18mos) to The Little Gym yesterday for our free intro class. It was great. Wow did he love it. He went wiggy just running around and climbing all over everything. Hanging on bars. He jumped up into the air for the first time, because I've never thought to work with him on that! I can't believe I never thought to teach him to jump. you should have seen how proud and excited he was when he jumped up into the air with both feet. I really like the idea of having them show me how to work with him and build his skills and confidence. I also like the idea of indoor fun play during winter when playground equipment is off limits.<br>
and then we found out that it costs a small fortune to join their classes ($400 for 20 weeks). And DH is balking at that.<br>
So I'm wondering, is there a book or resource, a DVD, whatever . . . that you mamas have found is good for guiding the parent who wants to help their child build his physical skills?
 

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We went to My Gym for a month or so, but I didn't like it because they seemed to take the idea that 'infants and toddlers have short attention spans' to the extreme. During the directed part of the program they switched activities every 3 to 4 minutes, during the open period the would only give each child one turn at the special activity - like a swing on a zip rope - and refused to bring out activities from the week before that the children had enjoyed. These issues were not due to time constraints, the philosophy as stated to me was "not to bore the children". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
So, we built a bit of a playgym at home because we were living in the desert and really needed an indoor place for ds to work off energy. Here are some of the things we did: toddler size climber with slide, fill a playpen (watch weight limits) part way with ball pit balls (free off Craigslist), hang a wooden dowel between brackets in a doorway for hanging - pad the floor with pillows/mat, use a gym mat or old mattress for tumbling, hang a swing - use brackets that allow you to remove the swing and hang other things such as a beach ball on an elastic string for kicking or a hoop for throwing bean bags through, etc., sit-n-spin, a collapsible tunnel for crawling through - or blankets over chairs, craft foam or carpet remnant 'stepping stones' for jumping/giant stepping games. You can find simple online instructions for making balance beams and balance boards at low cost. Bean bags are great for motor development as there are tons of activities online, in books, and on cd.<br><br>
Search for developmental charts online and you should be able to come up with a few that focus on gross motor skills, then just think of fun ways to practice the appropriate ones. Check the parenting section at the library, there are several different books that outline exercise regimens for children, although I just scan them for activity ideas not to impose a program. Don't forget about yoga, there are several good books for yoga with children. And don't underestimate the importance of free time outdoors. Even ten minutes romping around the backyard helps children develop gross motor skills (as well as a myriad of other skills!) so be sure to evaluate your reasons for not going outside each day. I know many days I'd rather not deal with the mud, snow, cold, rain, humidity, etc., but it doesn't bother ds as much as his 'old' mama! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Have fun!
 

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Thank you ZFooFoo, your ideas are wonderful and your entire post is more than I ever dreamed of in terms of usable suggestions.<br>
THanks and thanks again!<br><br>
DH is kinda excited about getting a sit-n-spin now, and I'm trying to think of where we could hang a bar to play/do pullups on.<br><br>
So many suggestions here in your post, lots to think about and do. Thanks!
 
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