BOING BOING BOING! Step, hop, jump, run… it’s LOCOMOTION time at Jnr Gym Kids with our next theme – Aussie Animals!
Our Aussie animal theme helps our Under 5’s focus on a variety of locomotion around the gym. Children will be busily co-ordinating their fast emu feet, jumping high and long like a kangaroo, crawling like a wombat and climbing like a koala!
We’ll be working on our tuck shape with some fun echidna spikes, which gives that all important sensory feedback for our round back, body awareness.
Locomotion – Getting from A to B – how hard can it be? Ever watched a 3 year old just starting to skip or keep their hopping going in a straight path? It’s tricky business and needs lots of practice! Moving in all sorts of agile fun ways needs leg strength, arm coordination, balance, transfer of weight, motor planning and a bit of stamina to keep it all moving in a sequence.
Sequencing the body in movement supports the brain with building patterns – important in children’s foundational learning, maths, reading & writing. During our Aussie Animal theme, we will put all this locomotion sequencing in practice with a fun Echidna relay-style game in our warm up. Not only lots of fun, but a great school readiness activity too!
Game Sense! Another school ready activity is building game sense. Jnr Gym Kids helps prepare children for when they (in a year or two or three) move from play-based to more formalised school settings, through starting to develop this game sense.
Being able to join in in games (from simple ones that start at preschool, to playground fun & eventually games at school & beyond) helps children not only stay active but supports their social and emotional development.
Get ready for our Echidna Spike Relay Warm Up! During our warm up relay, children will be challenged to remember and follow a series of instructions and to wait for the “GO” (some great self-regulation practice). We will combine fine motor fun with locomotion in the best possible way!
Our Jnr Gym Kids will create some visual cues for rounding their backs as they rock and roll in tuck shape. Spikey echidna pegs will challenge the finer muscles of the fingers as well as working on hand eye coordination.
Fine motor is much more successful when combined with gross motor. Crawling, climbing, hanging, bunny hops and spider walks not only work on core strength for stability, but all prime the joints and muscles of the shoulders, wrist and hands for fine motor work!
Crawling is one of the most powerful developmental activities for kids as it combines strengthening the shoulders, cross patterning and visual midline crossing (left & right brain – an important skill for reading and tracking across the page). All of these are vital tools for reading, writing & school readiness. Stay tuned for more on the amazing power of CRAWLING soon!
Our focus shape is TAP TAP TUCK! The tuck shape is used in so many gymnastics rotations and we have a fun way to get it right from the very start. Rather than simply linking their hands, which simply uses grip to lock the joints and hold up the knees by slouching round, Jnr Gym Kids will be TAPPING their hands, one on each shin! This way we are teaching children to engage their core, leg & arm muscles all at the same time to hold that ’round’ echidna shape of TUCK!
More fun purposeful play at Jnr Gym Kids Aussie Animals theme…
- Inverting on the bars in possum pull ups and fruit bat hangs builds some super strong core and arms!
- Koala climbing and crocodile commando crawling give great cross patterning opportunities for whole brain firing up!
- Rocking Echidnas & backward rolls help our under 5’s with their spikey round backs!
- Emu passe holds on the beam, helping with balance and core.
- Beam fishing! Holding the fishing noodle with two hands encourages the core muscles to engage much more, helping with balance. Crossing the midline by bringing the noodle across the midline of the body as children tap the fish on each side helps communication between both side of the brain (and if we don’t practice activating both sides of the brain, learning can become a little harder with less ease of access for whole brain thinking).
That’s a lot of learning for our Jnr Gym Kids little brains and bodies!
Just in case you’re wondering about how much support you are giving your child’s growth and development… please know they are getting so much more out of their class thanks to your amazing engagement, guiding and cheering through all the play and fun and learning!
We are looking forward to seeing lots of bouncing, hoping, running and kookaburra laughing in the gym during our Aussie Animal Theme!
Aussie Aussie Aussie!!!