Our 2/1/2-year old son E has always been an active child. When he was an infant, E would crawl around and get into all sorts of mischief, until one day when he discovered that he could climb on his poor Daddy, in an inspired moment of pretend play - Daddy was his mountain and he was Sir Edmund Hilary - the first person to scale Mt Everest!
It was therefore with great excitement that we we heard that Parenting on Purpose had been invited by My Gym Singapore to participate in a series of four classes. We agreed at once; knowing that our little boy would thoroughly enjoy gym class - this was also a chance for our exuberant toddler to work off his energy and hopefully fall fast asleep after getting home.
|Our little son having a swing of a time at gym class.
My Gym has an interesting educational philosophy that emphasises building self esteem in children. This is an excerpt from the company's website:
The philosophy that guides My Gym’s programming and breakdown for classes has been developed through intensive physiological, psychological and sociological research, along with decades of hands-on experience by hundreds of My Gym child and fitness experts.
Our carefully constructed programs are constantly analyzed and adjusted according to up-to-the-minute advances in medical and psychological research. My Gym's main objectives are to ensure that program ingredients are safe, age-appropriate and optimal for building self-esteem.
|E's first day at gym class. He was slightly apprehensive and took a while to
My Gym has an interesting programme. During the four weeks that we were there, there was hardly a repeat of any activity. The class is generally split into a number of components: free play, circle time, gym elements, swings, and group time. While the broad structure of the programme remains the same, the individual elements change from week to week, and even the gym elements were different each time we came to class.
|Explorations through free play. At the start of each class, children are encouraged
to explore the various types of gym equipment available. While most children usually
slide down on their bottoms, our little one chose to climb down instead.
|The mini rock wall. You can see that at such a young age, our little boy is already
getting some ideas...
|Circle time. Parents are taught how to conduct simple warm up activities for their children.
|This was one of the most challenging activities! Parents are supposed to hold the child
comfortably and guide him or her to do a forward roll.
|My Gym has a wide range of gym apparatus. This circular wheel is
meant to help children learn how to be comfortable with rolling motions.
|There is a constant stream of activity, and children are taught how to manoeuvre past the various
obstacles. These are important life skills and concepts such as problem solving and
resilience building are taught through the various activities.
|Children are also taught important concepts such as how to balance.
In the process they gain better self aware of their bodies.
|We can see aspects of adult gymnastics taught to children at an early age and in an age-appropriate manner - for instance the balance beam apparatus here.
|Week after week children are taught similar concepts but in different ways. They are always kept on their toes!
|Our son of course loves anything that gives him a "thrill".
|He particularly enjoyed this activity of swinging from a "high bar" then letting go
when he was ready.
|Another favourite activity - the hand stand.
Basically anything that gets him upside down is a thrill for him!
|Swing time. E's favourite swing is the dolphin one.
|Children get to try our different swings every week and the activity helps them to develop a
strong sense of proprioception, understanding the relative position of each body part
when in motion or equilibrium. Making friends is great too!
|Swings come in larger forms as well!
|The closing group time at My Gym where different activities are carried out. There is story time and also the use of a prop imaginatively to inspire creativity. A popular favourite!
|E particularly enjoyed the bubbles which ended the class for him on a high note.
|My Gym has a high teacher-student ratio. There were usually at least 3 teachers for each class. Our classes were held at the Marine Parade branch, and our favourite was Teacher Lee, always warm and friendly!
We know our son thoroughly enjoyed his time at gym class. From the first week when he was hesitant and slightly tentative, to the fourth week when he was exploring all the various gym elements at will, we could already tell that his confidence in body exploration was growing day by day. Perhaps the clearest indication yet is how he attempts to come down the stairs these days, not walking down the steps like a regular kid, but instead inching his way down the railings; almost like a monkey and clearly in his element.
And our little explorer still enjoys climbing his Daddy like a mountain!
Note: This is part of a series of reviews arranged between My Gym Singapore and Parenting on Purpose. E attended four weeks of complimentary gym class for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed here are our own.
Parenting on Purpose is pleased to partner My Gym Singapore. Ever thought of enrolling your child for gym class? Login to http://onlinestore.mygym.com.sg/mygym-trial-class by 31 Dec 2014 and enter the code MARK168 to get $5 off the trial class. My Gym is also running a CHRISTMAS PROMOTION from 13 Dec 2014 to 28 Dec 2014. Book TWO* Trial Classes for the price of ONE! (*same child).