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We've had DD1 and DD2 in a gymnastics (mostly mom and tot) class for a few months but looking at cost we're deciding it's not worth it. We started her in it for some social interaction, mostly just to get her used to being around other kids rather than hiding and sucking her thumb when she sees cousins, but now going into fall I think we can find more homeschool unschool groups to hang out with at least every other week, but she really seems to enjoy the gymnastics. So I thought I'd maybe integrate a few things into our everyday play. She also loves the tap shoes we got from one of her cousins but its been 8 years since I was in dance and I only did it a few years so I don't remember hardly anything. Anyway just wondering if you great ladies would give me some pointers. Thanks!<br><br><br>
If I posted this in the wrong forum please feel free to move. Wasn't sure where to put it.
 

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I don't think you can use books or videos in place of a trained instructor for this sort of thing.<br><br>
Your eye would not be trained in what to look for and you wouldn't be familiar with the proper way of doing things or correcting certain issues.
 

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There are a couple good videos for gymnastics that I know of. Sorry I don't know how to shorten the links. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"><br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FGymnastics-Children-Amy-Eggleston%2Fdp%2FB001RIATQE%2Fref%3Dpd_sim_d_1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Gymnastics-Chi...ref=pd_sim_d_1</a><br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBeginning-Gymnastics-Girls-Skills-Progressions%2Fdp%2FB0006ZP4FU%2Fref%3Dsr_1_4%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Ddvd%26qid%3D1251594789%26sr%3D8-4" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Gymn...1594789&sr=8-4</a>
 

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We have the DVD <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FDancing-Kids-Baby-Ballet-Junior%2Fdp%2FB00008QSAZ%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Ddvd%26qid%3D1251596455%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">Dancing for Kids</a> and it has 3 sections: Baby Ballet, Tot Tap and Junior Jazz. It's geared for 3 or 4 year olds up to maybe 7. My girls like it. It's fun and gets them moving <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
ETA: From watching my kids do gymnastics for the past 2-1/2 years, I suggest you do some stretches, practice some jumps (straddle, tuck, stretch), hop on one foot, do somersaults, work on cartwheels, practice tip-toeing and bunny hopping on the "balance beam" (mark off a 4" wide x 8 ft. long "beam" with masking tape on the floor) and so on.<br><br>
At this early age, gymnastics is pretty close to the natural highly physical play that kids do anyway. Youtube has instructional videos like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRIXu_m0FUc" target="_blank">this one</a> that might be helpful.
 

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At DD1's age you do not need to do a whole lot to prepare her for more dance and gymnastics.<br><br>
For dance, we enjoyed Dancing for Kids DVD, but really any activity where you encourage them to keep time to the music and dance around, maybe copying you. My daughter who is 3 years older than your daughter, took 2 years of a ballet/tap combo class at the rec center and there was no recognizable tap dancing going on. She'd have gotten better off DVDs, or a collection of Shirley Temple movies. I suspect they start a little older with real tap dancing in most places. But that's not to say it wasn't beneficial. She practiced rhythm and body position.<br><br>
As for gymnastics, if you think she may want to enter gymnastics later (and really there's no particular reason to enter before age 5), you might get a trampoline for the backyard, a bar that she can do pull ups on, and work on her cartwheel and handstand. If you can find a folding mat on craigslist that's good. I suspect a Wii Fit might be a good brain trainer for a pre-gymnast. If you can fill a room or a garage with mattresses, not only will she get fit but she'll be the most popular toddler on the block.<br><br>
You may think working on a pull up is a dumb thing for a 3 year old to do, and yes that's ambitious, she would start with hanging for a year or so, maybe make a game of seeing how long she can hang in a chinned position versus a straight hang. But the thing about gymnastics is that most of the skills require strength beyond most of today's children. You can't get past level 1 until you can do something that is really crazy -- chin yourself, lift your legs up over your head while you're still chinned and end up on top of the bar ... I dream of the day I can do it. Even basic tumbling moves, if she should go in a tumbling direction, require fantastic arm strength.<br><br>
A 1 hour rec class once a week is a money maker for the gym, but of minimal benefit *in terms of gymnastics progression* to all but the most physically gifted. It's hard to pick up the strength once a week for an hour.
 

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We just got a great book out of the library called <i>Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers & Preschoolers</i>. My DD (age 4 in December) loved it!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pigpokey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14306168"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">At DD1's age you do not need to do a whole lot to prepare her for more dance and gymnastics.<br><br>
As for gymnastics, if you think she may want to enter gymnastics later (and really there's no particular reason to enter before age 5), you might get a trampoline for the backyard, a bar that she can do pull ups on, and work on her cartwheel and handstand. If you can find a folding mat on craigslist that's good. I suspect a Wii Fit might be a good brain trainer for a pre-gymnast. If you can fill a room or a garage with mattresses, not only will she get fit but she'll be the most popular toddler on the block.<br><br>
You may think working on a pull up is a dumb thing for a 3 year old to do, and yes that's ambitious, she would start with hanging for a year or so, maybe make a game of seeing how long she can hang in a chinned position versus a straight hang. But the thing about gymnastics is that most of the skills require strength beyond most of today's children. You can't get past level 1 until you can do something that is really crazy -- chin yourself, lift your legs up over your head while you're still chinned and end up on top of the bar ... I dream of the day I can do it. Even basic tumbling moves, if she should go in a tumbling direction, require fantastic arm strength.<br><br>
A 1 hour rec class once a week is a money maker for the gym, but of minimal benefit *in terms of gymnastics progression* to all but the most physically gifted. It's hard to pick up the strength once a week for an hour.</div>
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Ok, I don't think the strength requirements are crazy, I think people in general are not strong enough. If your arms are not strong enough to hold yourself up, in both a hang(doesn't have to be a chin up) and a handstand, then I think you're not strong enough. That's my goal for my child too. Handstands are easy to work on at home, just make sure the elbows aren't bent, and do it against the wall. Don't arch the back, and don't look down. Once your arms are strong enough for handstands, then progress to cartwheels. Same with chin ups, work on hangs until they can hang for a few minutes then they have the hand strength for chin ups.<br><br>
I did all this type stuff at a local park, which had a little balance beam and various climbing/hanging type things. Just make sure you're there to help them, I see a lot of moms that always tell their kids to not try it, it's too high, too hard, you're not old enough, etc. Babies start out with very strong hand grips, so I wanted to make sure she kept that strength. So I was letting her hang and climb as soon as she was able to. She even climbed bars too high for me to reach by two. But I was always there spotting underneath her until she looked solid. And do it yourself, I walk that balance beam and work on my hangs too. I do leg lifts from a hang, so that works the abs and the arms.<br><br>
My dd has been doing the once a week for an hour recreational gymnastics since she was 3 and has progressed a lot. But, it really depends on the instructor. I spent a bit of time looking for someone who could teach kids, and not just be a glorified baby sitter. And I talk to her a lot about what she's looking for, how she's getting it, etc. For instance, she looks for the hollow body position, to see which kids "get" it, who needs work etc. It helps with handstands, rolls, flips, etc. She makes it fun, since they are the younger kids, but she also is looking at their development.<br><br>
If you think she could be a gymnast, Olympic champion Shawn Johnson started at 3. So it's not really too early. But apparently she was always bouncing and jumping around the house anyway.<br><br>
If you get a trampoline, keep one rule: Only one person at a time. That the way kids get hurt, when there's too many kids on the trampoline at once.<br><br>
To me, gymnastic classes are to learn gymnastics. I really don't want her socializing in the class. I did a lot of library story times for her social interaction and those were free too.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>abimommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14305920"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think you can use books or videos in place of a trained instructor for this sort of thing.<br><br>
Your eye would not be trained in what to look for and you wouldn't be familiar with the proper way of doing things or correcting certain issues.</div>
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I would worry about this too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><br><br>
My DD used to have a yoga DVD for children that she used a couple of years ago and she loved it! However, DD is taking gymnastics as part of a homeschool class at a local gym that is $15 less per month than the actual cost of their regular gymnastics class, so maybe you could check around your town and see if another gym offers classes solely for HS that are cheaper. And there isn't a whole lot of socialization going on at the gymnastics class. There's really no time. The instructor keeps them busy from the time they walk in the door. My DD gets her social time in at the co-op and at PE classes.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I'm not looking to raise a gymnist. I just want her to be more able than I am. I grew up doing backyard gymnastics from trees <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> that's not exactly an option here and now. I think the dance steps would come back to me, that I believe I can teach properly. Yoga is something I think I could get mostly right to. As for gymnastics, it doesn't have to be perfect I just want to understand how I teach her to skip, cartwheels, etc. The normal things kids do. We have a bar and rings that came with our swingset and I know where I can get my hands on a single person small trampoline (one I grew up with, thanks for that suggestion) I never did gymnastics so to think to encourage her to jump 5 different ways was a new concept to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> We practice dance steps at home but just what I can remember.<br><br><br>
Thanks for the recommends ladies! I know I can always count on good advice here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>OceansEve</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14310128"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I'm not looking to raise a gymnist. I just want her to be more able than I am.</div>
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this is how I feel pretty much. My DD has only been in her gymnastics class for a month and she already has gotten much better at her cartwheels and hand stands. She is a very active child. Another good thing about a class is that they have interaction with yet another adult. I like for my children to get out and about and do things under other people's instrux sometmies. I think it helps them but I don't know. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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My kids enjoy the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FYoga-Kids-Ages-Marsha-Wenig%2Fdp%2FB00062DKMM%2Fref%3Dpd_bxgy_d_text_b" target="_blank">Yoga Kids</a> video. At first they would just watch when it was on, but then I would catch them following along when I was out of the room. In addition to the physical benefits, it has been very beneficial for them to learn deep breathing techniques as a way of settling themselves emotionally.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>abimommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14305920"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think you can use books or videos in place of a trained instructor for this sort of thing.<br><br>
Your eye would not be trained in what to look for and you wouldn't be familiar with the proper way of doing things or correcting certain issues.</div>
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Agree with this.<br><br>
But if you are looking only for fun not to actually excel at the skills, videos can be a lot of fun <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Here is a site with a lot of options <a href="http://www.fitnessbeginnings.com/" target="_blank">http://www.fitnessbeginnings.com/</a>
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>abimommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14305920"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think you can use books or videos in place of a trained instructor for this sort of thing.<br><br>
Your eye would not be trained in what to look for and you wouldn't be familiar with the proper way of doing things or correcting certain issues.</div>
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Do not overestimate the amount of attention to detail in a preschool dance or gymnastics class. They do try to keep things safe, but unless your preschool child is in a developmental class (invite only) in gymnastics, they are just trying to keep things safe, fun, strength-building and flexibility improving. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I do have quite a bit of experience forming this opinion.
 
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