Enrolling your child in their first gymnastics class can be an exciting event for both you and your child! However, it can also be a little daunting to introduce your child to something new. The key is to take time to prepare for your child’s first gymnastics class well in advance.
A bit of preparation can ensure your child is ready to make the most of their new class, and it can also calm nerves. To help them have a great experience, here are some tips to remember as you prepare for your child’s first gymnastics class.
Talk to the Instructor
It’s a great idea to spend some time talking to your child’s instructor before they have their first class. This is a chance to get as many answers as you can. Talk to the instructor about what your child should wear, what equipment is needed, whether you can watch your child in class, and what you should expect. Then you’ll be armed with important details you can share with your child to put them at ease for their first gymnastics experience.
You may also want to allow your child to meet the instructor and tour the gym where they’ll be taking children’s gymnastics. New faces on the big day can seem overwhelming. A quick meeting with the instructor ensures your child sees a face they recognize when they come in for the first class. It’s also a great way to begin building that instructor-student rapport.
Ensure Kids Have Equipment
Make sure your child has all the equipment needed to have a successful class. This starts with the right attire. Kids should wear fitted clothes since they’ll be tumbling and moving upside down. You want clothing that keeps them safe while they execute new moves.
For girls, a leotard along with compression shorts is a great choice. Tights are too slippery, so leggings or footless tights may also work. For boys, a t-shirt or compression shirt that can be tucked in along with compression or athletic shorts work well.
Socks may be worn, and if kids find they’re too slippery, the socks are easy to remove. For beginners, beam shoes or grips aren’t usually needed unless your child’s instructor specifies.
Don’t forget a water bottle for your child. Hydration is important, even during short classes.
Tie Back Long Hair
Long hair that’s constantly in the face will be distracting. A bun might not be the best choice since kids will be tumbling. Tying back hair in a ponytail or pigtails works well, or a braid can be a great way to keep the hair out of the face. Elastic hair ties or headbands work well for keeping hair out of the face.
Along with controlling longer hair, it’s important to make sure your child isn’t wearing any jewelry that could be caught while they’re doing gymnastics. If your child cannot take out their earrings because they have newly pierced ears, they need to have low-profile studs in. Dangling earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces should be left at home unless your child wears a medical bracelet.
Encourage Your Child to Have Fun
Your child may feel pressured to do well in their class, especially if your son or daughter has serious gymnastics aspirations. Calm their nerves by encouraging them to have fun. This is a chance to learn something new in a fun environment with kids their own age. Remind them that there’s no pressure. It’s fine to make mistakes as they learn. When you encourage enthusiasm, you’ll help relieve any stress they might feel about the first class.
Be on Time
Being on time gives your child a few minutes to acclimate to the new environment. Being late means your child could miss out on essential instructions. You may even want to be early on that first day. This gives your child a chance to figure out where to put their things and chat with other kids as they prepare for the first class. Don’t be late and leave your child rushing around to dive into class after everyone else has started.
Start with Stretching
Not all classes have formal warmups, so your child may be expected to warm up before class. Arriving a few minutes early gives your child the chance to start stretching before class begins. Stretching is an important step to preparing their body for the activities they’ll encounter in their first class.
That first day of gymnastics class can open a whole new world for your child. Help them through the transition with a bit of preparation, and they’ll be ready to have a great time while engaging in activity that’s great for their body and overall health.
Enroll Your Child in Gymnastics with Lake City Twisters
At Lake City Twisters, we are happy to offer kids gymnastics classes and competitive gymnastics programs in Madison, WI. Our experienced coaches are happy to guide your child through their first gymnastics class and are committed to providing them with a fun and positive experience. Learn more about our gymnastics classes and register through our Parent Portal today!