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New School Starters – Your Questions Answered

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Wow! The first half term is upon us meaning our not so little ones who started school this September are starting to get settled into their new classes at school.

 

We hope they have been having lots of fun learning new things and meeting lots of new friends!

 

Many parents tell us that The Little Gym helped their children build confidence before school which has been invaluable since starting school, but what many parents don’t know is how the structured learning that takes place in our classes here at The Little Gym can support the learning and development happening in the classroom.


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Schools often recommend that children don’t take part in any outside school activities for the first term due to the adjustment period of starting school full time, but as we are now nearing the second half of the first school term here are 5 Top Questions parents often ask us about new school starters and the reasons why attending classes at The Little Gym will support your child’s development in formal education.


 

1.) If my child is learning skills at school why bother coming to the gym as well?

 

Our fun-based approach to learning at The Little Gym is the ideal foundation for children entering reception.  Our pre-school curriculum is specifically designed to reinforce what is happening in the classroom, for example we have fun movement based themes such as our ‘1,2,3 Count with Me’ learning unit.  The fact that this is taking place in the gym environment particularly helps with kinaesthetic learning (learning through doing).

 

The Little Gym activities improve and maintain core strength and upper limb strength which is an essential foundation for skills that the school curriculum will demand such as handwriting, tolerating sitting at a desk and maintaining attention.

 

In our experience the reinforcement that takes place in the gym helps children stay ahead of the game at school.  This enables them to experience more success and thus further building their self-confidence.  This confidence will be a major factor in them reaching their full potential whether at school or at home.

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2.) Will my child be overwhelmed by doing so much?

 

Today’s children are very busy children and yet research has shown they are not moving enough. It is also well known that children thrive on routine.  As they start school much of their normal life routine will change.  If they continue to or start attending the gym they will have one constant factor that they know and recognise.  You will likely have noticed that our class structure stays the same week on week with different skills and activities slotted into it.  This is to give the children this continuity and confidence when they come to classes.

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3.) Will my child be too tired?


Many parents are concerned about this and in our experience when children come to the gym it serves to energise them.



Movement is the brain’s fuel.  The Little Gym activities offer intense movement through the joints (i.e pushing and pulling, jumping, running) which has a regulating effect on the central nervous system. Children may be mentally tired but they usually still have plenty of physical energy to burn. In other words our classes give them a chance to let off steam at the end of the school day in a safe and structured activity.

 

We are also very flexible and understand that some weeks are busier than other for you and your children. If there is a particularly heavy week at school we encourage parents to cancel their class and make it up another week. You can then make up the missed classes any time before the semester ends in February, we are open for classes throughout half terms and siblings can use make-ups too!


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4.) Won’t my child be repeating what happens in their P.E. lessons at school in their sessions at the gym?

 

Due to the amount that is squeezed into the national curriculum unfortunately time in school for P.E. is limited, on average primary school children participate in only 127 minutes of P.E. per week.  The activities at The Little  Gym are designed to include movement that improves  stamina, strength, bilateral coordination, hand-eye coordination and balance all of which are required for  for good performance in PE and other sports activities at school.

 

Our classes at the gym have a 1:6/7 student to instructor ratio and bespoke facilities gives children an intensive hour on top of what they are doing at school which will support their physical development and confidence.


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5.) What sort of things will my child be learning in their class at the gym?


 

Many of the things we do at The Little Gym help to prepare children for and assist their development at school.  They learn to take turns in an obstacle course, as well as listen to and follow directions from musical cues and teachers. Following instructions also helps  the child with visual and auditory memory as well as sequencing abilities.

 

Children also acquire and develop verbal skills with our directional music and songs, they respond to questions during opening circles and draw their learning together at the end of the class in closing circles.

 

We nurture and encourage children to enjoy exercise and sport in our non-competitive environment. Each week they will learn and develop motor and gymnastics skills. We help children build confidence and celebrate their victories so they feel encouraged to try to accomplish more. 


If you would like to come along and try a class or rejoin after a break from classes then call us today on 0208 874 6567 or email wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu


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Awesome Autumn Activities for the Family!



 
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It’s that lovely time of year again where the air gets chillier, the leaves start to fall, we get to wear cosy jumpers, sit by log fires, drink Pumpkin spiced lattes in coffee shops and it's nearly Halloween! It is one of our most favourite times of year!


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Autumn is a really great time to spend more time outdoors doing Autumn activities with the family – check out our top 5 below!

 

1.)  Pick a Pumpkin

 

Visit a local farm or Pumpkin patch to pick your own family pumpkin/s and then take them home for lots of carving fun. Many local pumpkin patches also host festivals and offer crafts, hayrides and Autumn food for families too. Here is one that sounds fab as it is free entry just pay for the pumpkins you choose. There are so many different ones just search online to find the perfect place for your family visit!


 
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2.)  Go on an Autumn journey through nature


 

Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and changes in nature, just wrap up cosy and go for a chilled out walk or plan an Autumn scavenger hunt like this one from the Woodland Trust.

It’s so fun to just stop and enjoy what nature has to offer and collect some ‘treasure’ too!

 
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3.)  Clean up the garden

 

Rake or sweep up all the pretty leaves that have fallen in the garden or in front of the house and then JUMP in them - there is something so satisfying about those crunching leaves!

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This is also a great opportunity to boost your child’s development by exploring the different colours and textures and a chance to educate them on the changes in seasons and nature.

 

4.)  Get ready for Halloween

 

Hooray! HALLOWEEN!

 

It is literally one of our favourite times of year for fun in and out of the gym. It’s a great time to get those creative juices flowing. We love to decorate the gym in a spooky but fun way – maybe you can work together as a family to decorate the house. Or why not try these Halloween Treat bag crafts at home.



Any time for fancy dress or themes that children can get involved in enhances their imagination and engages creative play. Put those costumes to good use and practice being pirates, superheroes and witches before the end of the month.

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5.)  Bring a Friend for our TLG Halloween week!




From Monday 30th October – Sunday 5th October we are having a special Halloween themed week at the gym. We have created fun Halloween lesson plans for all our classes and will have ‘Trick or Treats’ & spooky fun in the lobby. We are also offering our members the chance to bring a friend to classes for free. Just call 0208 874 6567 or email us if you and your child want to bring a friend!

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The Little Gym offers lots of fun year round activities for kids. Book to come for a FREE introductory visit now!

Meet Fernando!


Welcome to another Meet the Team blog post! 


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This week meet Fernando!

Fernando joined The Little Gym Wandsworth Team in early 2017 and has since become one of the family here. As well as working at the gym Fernando is also a personal trainer and basket ball coach. You will most likely find him chatting or making jokes, or spotting on the bars station. Fernando is full of energy and always smiling. He recently became a Daddy to his beautiful baby boy Vincent who has already started coming to classes here at the gym. 


10 Questions with Fernando
 

1.     Where are you from?
Peru
 

2.     What is your favourite thing about working for TLG?
I love Teaching
 

3.     Describe yourself in 3 words
Polite, happy, energetic


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4.     What is your favourite food?
I like everything as long as it is fresh

 
5.     What is your favourite sport (other than gymnastics)?
Basket ball

 
6.     What is your favourite Gymnastics skill?
Back Hip Circle on Bars

 
7.     What makes you special?
My sense of humour!


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8.     What was your dream job growing up?
To be a professional basket ball coach

 
9.     What would your super power be?
Flying - very fast!
 

10. What place would you most like to visit?
I want to travel all around Europe in a caravan


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5 Tips for how to 'Get Moving' as a family!

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Ever tried to do squats with a child hanging off your leg? Tripped on toys or lay on lego while working out at home? Has your 18 month old clambered over you while trying to do sit ups?

 

And then have people say, it’s not that hard to exercise with the kids around…

 

Yes to be fair some days are better than others and the kids will be quietly sitting in front of the TV while you manage to sneak your workout in without drawing too much attention to the fact you aren’t actually watching/enjoying Nella (the very annoying) Princess Knight. Who needs a workout playlist when you have the paw patrol theme tune to keep you motivated…right?

 

We all know that we should exercise more, and the benefits of exercising do far out way any of these cons, but sometimes exercising as a parent or Nanny can just be hard.

 

We are not writing this to put you off though…promise!

 

Instead here are 5 tips that can help you to get fit, maybe even as a family.

 

1.)  Family Fitness Challenges

 

Every one likes a competition right?

 

Who is going to be the fastest to brush their teeth? Who will be the first to eat all their dinner? And so on…

 

Well make fitness into a family competition by deciding on a fitness challenge you will all complete like going for a daily family walk or completing a workout on YouTube - www.cosmickids.com is a great option. Then choose a prize that will be enticing enough to keep you ALL going. Set a budget and then whoever completes the challenge gets the/a prize.

 

Think reward charts - but for everyone, like a trip to Lego Land for them…and a spa day for you.


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2.)  Take part in an event



Taking part in an event together as a couple or family can be really fun. 



A great one is the 'Colour Run' race which is such a great family event and you can go at any pace, dress up and just generally have a ton of fun!


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3.)  Walk

 

I know ‘walking’ never really sounds very exciting but it has so many health benefits and even on days where the weather is bad, you can stuff everyone into waterproofs and still get out the house for a bit.

 

Actually… it’s especially worth doing on wet weather days. There is only so many indoor picnics and ‘organised activities’ that a person can take in a day whilst also staying sane.

 

Even if it feels like you REALLY don’t want to get up and go out. I promise, everyone will feel so much better after. You can make walks more interesting for the kids by printing scavenger hunts off the internet and then ticking the things you find off as you go.



PS: Walking is also free…


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4.)  Play Games

 
Kids love games and its actually scientifically proven that ‘playing’ is good for us no matter what age we are.

 

Even if you only play for 15 minutes, that’s 15 minutes more exercise than you would have done, and it probably won’t feel like exercise.

 

It can be something simple like playing ‘tag’ or stuck in the mud in the garden or this playing card circuit training game is good to do with older kids.

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Warning: children love games like this so be prepared for constant ‘pestering’ to play again…and again. 15 minutes could turn into a total body workout – who says we need a personal trainer to keep us motivated any way?



5.) Try an organised activity


Why not try get your children signed up for an activity, classes here at The Little Gym aim to keep your kids moving for the whole class with music, movement, games and 'serious fun'. We try to have as little sitting around and waiting time as possible between turns on our equipment like the bars, beam and tumble track so that children get great exercise whilst having fun. 

Lots of our families ride their bikes or take their scooters to come to the gym so you get to exercise as a family on the way to class too. 

Some of the parents of our older children drop off and go for a run along the river or you could even try the virgin active next door, giving you a chance to workout in peace for an hour while your kids get their own fun and safe exercise in the gym. 

Check out our holiday camps too which run in the Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays when we offer 3 hour drop off sessions giving you plenty of time to exercise and maybe even enjoy a peaceful coffee or tea after too! 


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Meet Lucy!

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Here is the second ‘meet the team’ post.
 

Next up is instructor Lucy!



We have asked all our team to answer 10 questions about themselves gym so now you have the chance to find out a little more about us! 

 

Lucy started working for The Little Gym Wandsworth Team in January 2012 and worked with us for nearly 2 years. She then took some time away to go travelling and visit her family, she started back with the team in February 2016 and is one of our senior Instructors.

 

You will most likely find her monkeying around in the gym, chatting with the kids or drinking lots of coffee!

 

Lucy comes from a big family (one of six siblings, and she now has 7 niece’s and nephews…and counting!) She has always loved working with children, and runs her own family fitness business in her spare time. She also loves competing in obstacle/muddy/colourful races!


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Lucy did gymnastics when she was young and has also competed and coached cheerleading.

 

10 Questions with Lucy!

 

1.     Where are you from?

Jersey, Channel Islands

 

2.     What is your favourite thing about working for TLG?

Working with so many amazing kids and getting to be silly/fun for a living

 

3.     Describe yourself in 3 words

Loving, funny, organised


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4.     What is your favourite food?

Steak…or eggs…or avocados - to be honest I just love food in general :) 

 

5.     What is your favourite sport (other than gymnastics)?

Cheerleading & Running. I also love Yoga & Pilates (although I guess that isn’t a ‘sport’)

 

6.     What is your favourite Gymnastics skill?

Handstands!

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7.     What makes you special?

I run two of my own health/fitness businesses outside of The Little Gym

 

8.     What was your dream job growing up?

I always wanted to be an author like JK Rowling!

 

9.     What would your super power be?

Super Strength

 

10. What place would you most like to visit?

Iceland


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5 Ways to Build Confidence in Kids



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Parenting is a very big and very important job.

You’re responsible for teaching and guiding your child to be resilient and independent, kind, respectful (the list goes on).

Overwhelmed yet?

It’s important to build confidence in kids to help prepare them for the responsibilities that come with school, sports, and extracurricular activities, work, and life as a whole. Also, helping to build their self-esteem adds a lot to creating that wonderful independent child!

Check out these 5 top tips from Team TLG Wandsworth for fostering and building confidence in kids.



1. Give them Jobs to do at home

Giving your children small, manageable but important responsibilities at home can really boost their confidence because firstly they will find little successes in what they are doing but secondly because it will help them to feel included and valuable. For example you could get them to help you put the washing in the right coloured piles or help to wash the dishes after dinner. Setting the table is another great one as they can set their own place which makes dinner time less of a chore for you (and them).

NB: We found a really great online cookery course for children that might be of interest to parents who are trying to get kids to eat more or try new foods. It teaches them independent cooking skill basics, as simple as buttering their own bread or learning dull knife skills and is a wonderful way to boost confidence and independence at home.



2. Teach them something new

This one links slightly to tip 1. Teach your children something new - a new skill, craft, word, song or take them to a new place or class. Every time a child learns something new they are building their confidence and self esteem, and storing up a bank of useful, wonderful knowledge and skills for the future. 



3. Give Praise

It's important to remember to give praise (when praise is due) because children will feel a sense of accomplishment after they have done something. It also reinforces that positive behaviour because they got positive recognition for the action. It will encourage your child to do more things on their own and feel good about it. 

Here in the gym we use a specific teaching tool call SPF or Specific Positive Feedback. When a child does something in the gym whether its during a skill, around the station or during the group activities on the big red mat we look out for moments to praise the kids for what they have done. "Hey Alice, I love the way to kicked your legs so high in that handstand" or "Wow! Joe, you were so fast to get in line when we asked you to!" 

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4. Teach them how to do things better

It's really useful to give praise, but oftentimes there is a way for the child to do something better next time. We are looking at this specifically for skill development in the gym but it could easily apply to when they are learning/trying something new in a class elsewhere or when they are doing homework. 

We call his DP or Directive Practise, an example would be when a child comes to learn a new skill on the bars in the gym, we might first give them praise or SPF. "Katie - Amazing, you held onto the bar with two hands the whole time. Next time, can you try and push your arms a little straighter?"

This allows the child to still feel success whilst also teaching them a way to make it even better next time, therefore reinforcing that confidence as they will know how to keep improving. 



5. Take a step back

This is often a hard one for parents and for kids. Separation can be difficult at first, for things like dropping your child off at a play date or their first time at a new class or pre-school. But being away from parents can really build and foster independence because they won't have you there to run to if they need something. However it promotes problem solving skills, allows them to build relationships with others like friends or teachers because they have someone else to ask for help or to learn from. 

Take a step back sometimes - and watch your kids' self confidence grow and grow!


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Activities like The Little Gym can be another great option to help kids build self-esteem, make new friends, and have fun. From 3 years and up children take part in classes on their own (whilst parents watch our completely glass fronted lobby) and we also offer 3 hour adventure camps in the holidays which are drop off.

Contact us today to find out more about our programs!

Meet Michela!

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Welcome to our first ‘meet the team’ blog post.

 

Our instructors teach you and your children every week, buthow much do you know about them?

 

We have asked all our team to answer 10 questions about themselves so now you have the chance to find out a little more about us! Michela has been part of The Little Gym Wandsworth Team since October 2013 and is now our Program Director in the gym. You will most likely find her (or hear her) trying skills in the gym, having handstand or chin up competitions and generally being larger than life around the gym.

Michela started gymnastics when she was young and competed until she was 22, after she stopped competing she became a coach in Italy and now in London. She also works part-time for Charisma Gymnastics Club. 
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10 Questions with Michela!

 

1.     Where are you from?

Lodi – close to Milan in Italy

 

2.     What is your favourite thing about working for TLG?

Getting to be a different character everyday

 

3.     Describe yourself in 3 words

Energetic, little, always smiling
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4.     What is your favourite food?

Ragu (pasta & lasagne)

 

5.     What is your favourite sport (other than gymnastics)?

Surfing

 

6.     What is your favourite Gymnastics skill?

Round off, back handspring

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7.     What makes you special?

I try to be positive as much as I can!

 

8.     What was your dream job growing up?

For some reason I always wanted to be a travel agent

 

9.     What would your super power be?

Forever young!

 

10. What place would you most like to visit?

South America

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Kick Starting a New Semester!

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September is upon us again (where has this year gone!) and with it brings a new semester here at The Little Gym Wandsworth and Fulham.
 

We have had a fantastic fun filled summer, it has flown by with our instructors and children being all manner of wacky & wild characters in our adventure camps and the children working on some great skills in our skill thrill camps too.
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Our drop-in summer classes have been a great hit, and our instructors have been excited to try out some new structures and fun themes in our pre school classes.

 

We have welcomed lots of new faces into the gym over the past 6 weeks and it has been an absolute pleasure to meet you all!

 

The Little Gym allows children to learn new skills & develop their gymnastics but it is a lot more than that too. To celebrate the start of the new semester this blog will give you a little more information about the ethos here at TLG and how we offer a very unique gymnastics setting for your children.



If you would like to come and try a class with us we offer FREE introductory classes just call us on 0208 874 6567 or enter your details here. 

 

3 Dimensions of learning

 

Our classes are fun but our purpose is serious. We want every child who walks through our doors to have a fantastic time whilst also benefitting from our philosophy of nurturing your whole child through our three-dimensional learning approach.

 
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We want to get your children moving throughout the whole class whilst learning and developing their gymnastics, locomotive, hand/foot eye coordination skills.


 
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We want to build listening skills, concentration, decision making and improve their sequencing and problem solving skills.
 

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Promote sharing, teamwork, cooperation, turn taking, leadership and respect for themselves, friends, family and their teachers.

 

All of these elements flow together to give your child a magical and educational experience in every class. The Little Gym has been growing and developing as a business and franchise over the last 40 years and we have seen hundreds of children grow skills and build confidence week by week.

 

Every few weeks during the semester the children will benefit from a fun new theme to the classes, our instructors will tell you about them during our class announcements every week. Some of our favourites include; ‘Swing-a-long, Sing-a-long’, ‘Fun to be Fit’ & ‘Fly Tight & Balance Right!’

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Out Instructors absolutely LOVE what they do, and it is their passion that makes the classes what they are today. We have fantastic training plans that ensure all the skills are taught on individual basis to each child, ensuring every child’s abilities and developmental stages of life are catered for.

 

The teachers are also very unique and here at The Little Gym Wandsworth we are a very diverse bunch. We have team members from all over UK, Jersey, Italy, Poland, Romania, Peru, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany and more!

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Keep you eyes peeled for some ‘Meet the Team’ blog posts coming soon so you can learn a little more about us!

The benefits of story-telling

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Once upon a time at The Little Gym Wandsworth and Fulham the Funny Bugs and Giggle Worms threw a coin in the magic well, as they were leaning over the magic well, they accidentally fell in! As they fell, they saw some very strange things – they saw trolls doing forward rolls, ants in baggy pants and even running hamburger buns.

After they escaped from the well they met Kip, a friendly little chipmunk who was trying to rescue the beautiful princess Janelle from the wicked queen. They had to help Kip convince the Queen that her poisoned apple was all sorts of different things like bubble bouncers or funny hats so that she couldn’t feed it to Janelle.

At the end of their story the Funny Bugs and Giggle Worms transformed into a family of Dinosaurs, they had to hide from the humans and jump over huge tar pits!

What an adventure we had – and all this just in one hour.

Did you like the story telling of our classes this week? We sure hope so because this is just one example of how we use the 3 Little Gym class dimensions to develop your child physically, mentally and socially. This week we used our story telling theme, “Once Upon a Time” to use creative imagination and story-telling to engage your child, whilst having fun and learning new things and skills.

Some of the skills we focused on this week were handstands, forward rolls and cartwheels (Donkey kicks, egg rolls and monkey jumps to the funny bugs) – if you want to see how these skills could look in the future, check out our Facebook page for some skill progression videos/photos _______.

There are many benefits of story-telling, it can help your child with their learning and it forms a crucial part in developing your child’s overall personality. It is an age-old tradition followed by parents since time immemorial, it’s something that has been a part of most of our own childhoods too. And if this isn’t reason enough for us to include it as a child development tool in our classes then keep reading for five more benefits of story-telling for pre-schoolers and beyond.

1.)   Instils virtues in your child:

Children love listening to stories, they have favourite characters, they want to know more about them and often try to emulate them. Does dressing up as superheroes or Elsa from Frozen sound familiar? By telling your child stories that come with a meaningful message, you can teach them qualities like kindness, the importance of friendship/love, courage and honesty.

2.)   Enhances Verbal Proficiency:

Reading stories aloud helps you children become familiar with the language & pronunciation of words as well a learning new words, phrases and their meaning. It will help them with their reading later as they will have seen many words, and become more familiar with what those words look like. A fun activity to do with your children, which was also included in our name activity in class this week is to start a sentence. ‘Once upon a time there was a little girl called ... and she went to the …’ and get your child to fill in the gaps, working on their own imagination and word play.

3.)   Improves Listening Skills:

Younger children, especially Funny Bugs, usually have a shorter attention span and can struggle to concentrate on things for too long. They end up talking to you, instead of listening. Story telling can keep their attention, but also helps them to be keen to listen and understand. A fun game you can try at home, which is also our pop for the week, is to read a story to your child and then ask them questions about the story to see if they were actively listening to what it was about.

4.)   Encourages Creative Imagination:

Listening to a story helps a child imagine the characters, places, plot etc. instead of seeing it on a visual medium. This also enhances creativity, making them more imaginative and open to ideas and free thinking. We find in classes the more creative, imaginative and fun we as instructors, the better the behaviour and skill development throughout the class.

5.)   Makes Academic Learning Easier:

Storytelling for children is a stepping stone for academic learning. Many children have the habit of learning by rote, without understanding the subject. Storytelling, as a regular activity, can help children to enjoy and better understand what they are reading. This helps them in learning their subjects better. Sometimes, teaching school subjects as an interesting story (example, a boring history lesson can be turned into an interesting historical story like the ‘Horrible Histories’ books) can help them understand better and fuel curiosity.

If you are not already enrolled in our program here at The Little Gym of Wandsworth and Fulham and you would like to learn more about what we do then call us on 0208 874 6567 or enter your details for a FREE introductory visit.

The silliest job in the world...

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Are you an active, vivacious and passionate person? You could fit perfectly in our team here at The Little Gym Wandsworth & Fulham. The required person should love children first and foremost, enjoy exercise and keeping fit and be prepared to get silly and have fun every day. 

All our staff at The Little Gym are degree-educated with outgoing, positive and upbeat personalities and a passion for children and sport. You do not need to have experience within the sport of gymnastics to become a teacher here with us but you do need to believe in the power of sport and physical activity to help develop children's body and minds.  We put our teachers through a thorough, in-house training programme within the gym once they are officially employed by us. In as little as two months, you could be a fully-fledged member of our team and participating in and shouting about the sport of gymnastics.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming an instructor with us, please speak to our Gym Director Tobi when you see him or email him at tobias.rossberg@thelittlegym.eu

We raised £408.52 for Macmillan!

A big thank you to everyone who donated during our Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Week. We managed to make a whopping £408.52 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

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We hope that you enjoyed the tasty treats on offer. Your Instructors had a lot of fun baking and despite a few kitchen mishaps along the way, managed to bake lots of yummy treats including a yoghurt cake, ricotta and chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate brownies. Yum! 

Friday 30th September is Macmillan's World's Biggest Coffee Morning

Sep 30th is Macmillan’s Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning and The Little Gym of Wandsworth and Fulham are getting involved!

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From Friday 30th Sep – Thursday 6th October you can enjoy some delicious treats after class, all baked by your TLG instructors.  All that we ask is for a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support in return.

Last year, this event was a HUGE success. We managed to raise over £600 for Macmillan and had a blast in the process. Cakes that were made included a German Stollen, a take on a Tiramisu cake and American style chocolate chip cookies. What delicious choices will you be faced with this year?

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If you love baking and creating your own masterpieces, please do bring them in and help us to raise  some extra dough for this great cause. You can be sure that with almost 600 children coming through our doors next week, you will definitely have plenty of takers!

Rat Race 2016 - We did it!

On Saturday 13th August the Tumbling Titans splashed, crashed, dived and ran their way to the finish line of the London Rat Race.

After the race 

Olivia and Lucy channelled their inner Mo Farah as they went full steam ahead over the running sections. Michela and Kerry impressed on the obstacles; crossing the monkey bars and balance beams with ease, while Matt and Tobi made a great team in the kayak gliding across the water at super speed. No doubt inspired by Max Whitlock’s impressive performance in Rio, the team even managed to find the energy to throw a few cartwheels along the way.

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Most importantly we managed to raise an incredible £430 for our charity Shooting Star Chase. We want to say an enormous thank you to everybody who kindly sponsored us. You are all awesome! 

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Remember - its not late to donate. Simply visit our Just Giving page to sponsor the Tumbling Titans.

 


Summer Camps are here!

In our first week of Summer Camps we are having a magical time learning about Legends, Fables & Folklore with our fab 3-8 olds. Meanwhile, our dynamic 6-12 year old gymnasts are soaking up the sun with some Caribbean Cartwheels and Hawaiian Handstands. Remember that camps will run from Mon - Fri from 25th July to 4th Sep. Just give us a call on 0208 874 6567 to book your slot. Hurry as spaces are filling fast!

International Handstand Day is on 25th June!

International Handstand Day is on 25th June!

Have you always wanted to perform a handstand? Perfectly, or just enough to pull out every so often at a picnic in the park? Well this is your opportunity to pick up some tricks and get practising. Then you can join in with the British Gymnastics and the BBC Get Inspired campaign and post a picture of your best handstand on any social media platform accompanied by the hashtag #Handstandday.

Remember handstands are not just for kids. The benefits include strengthening the muscles in your arms, core and back as well as helping to maintain bone density. Also being upside down can increase circulation to the upper part of the body…just to name a few!

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Here are some top tips from The Little Gym:
1. Start in a long lunge
2. Make a long reach forward
3. Look at your hands as you kick
4. Keep your body tight, drawing your toes up to the ceiling
5. Come down one foot at a time
6. Finish in a lunge

This week, send us a picture of your child or indeed yourself performing your best handstand. Make it as weird and wacky as you like. Post it on our Facebook page with #Handstandday or email it to us at Wandsworth_fulham@ thelittlegym.eu and we'll show it off to all of our members on the notice boards at the gym.

Happy Handstands!

10 Questions With...Matt


Instructor Matt started working at TLG Wandsworth in September 2015; joining us a parent & child, Pre-K and Grade school coach. 

Where are you from?
I was raised in Red Oak, Texas but I live in Dallas, Texas. 

Describe youself in 3 words
Determined, honest and loyal.

Favourite animal
Dogs or foxes.

What was you favourite subject at school?
Maths or alegbra.

How long have you been involved in gymnastics?
13 years! 3 competitivley and 12 coaching.

Favourite gymnastics skill?
Handstand

Best thing about living in London?
I like being able to walk or ride my bike everywhere I want to go

Best thing about working at The Little Gym?
Working with the great staff, who dont only love gymnastics but are great people.

Other than Gymnastics, which sport are you most excited to watch at the Olympics in Rio?
Diving

What advice would you give to aspiring gymnasts?
Practice everyday and dont be afraid to fall

We are running the London Rat Race!

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On Saturday 13th August  instructors Tobi, Kerry, Olivia, Matt, Michela and Lucy (aka ‘The Tumbling Titans’)  will be running, jumping, swimming, kayaking and sliding their way through the London Rat Race.



It is all in aid of our chosen charity - Shooting Star Chase - who provide care for children with life limiting conditions. 

We need your help to raise as much as possible for this fantastic cause and you can support the team by sponsoring us on our Just Giving page here.

All donations are greatly appreciated!

Here Comes the Summer!

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With the summer holidays right around the corner, we are really excited to share our Summer 2016 Schedule for 25th July - 4th September. Our camps and classes are a great way to keep the kids entertained come rain or shine!

Summer Camps 

Our Adventure camps for 3-8 year olds provide 3 hours of gymnastics fun to stimulate their motor, social and cognitive skills. The kids will be able to explore a world of imagination and adventure with exciting weekly themes including The Race to Outer Space, Legends, Fables and Folklore, Crazy Carnival and Green Beards Pirate Ship.

In our Skill Thrill Camps for 6-12 year olds beginner, intermediate and advanced gymnasts conquer the beam, bars, vault and floor. With weekly themes including Caribbean Cartwheel & Hawaiian Handstands, Vaulting Volcanoes and Back Handspring Bonanza the camps are ideal for kids wanting to grow their skills while having lots of fun along the way.

Camps are £35 each for members and £42 for non-members.   If you buy a block of 5 camps you will receive the 6th camp free.

Summer Parent & Child Classes

Our summer drop in classes for Bugs (4-10 months), Birds (10-18 months) and Beasts/Superbeasts (19-36 months) are fun and interactive parent & child classes based around exploration and the development of basic motor and social skills.

Classes are £15 each for members and £17 each for non-members. If you buy a block of 4 classes, you will receive the 5th class for free.

Spaces fill up fast, so give us a call on 0208 874 6567 or speak to a member of the team to book your childs space.

My TLG Class (by a Funny Bug)

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Starting on time and not a second late the teacher calls the class in the gym door with a cheerful proclamation ‘Funny Bugs come on in and get some bells!’ Every Funny Bug class starts with shaking the bells and singing our hello song. Then the teacher tells us what we are learning today, and today is all about ‘I think I can’ making the choice to be positive even if something is new, hard, or scary. Our teacher says their name and then asks for our names individually and asks us if we can do something (She asked me if I could jump on one foot!) to which we reply, ‘I think I can!’ When everyone is done the teacher explains the rules:

Rule #1: To be safe.

Rule #2: If you need a drink or the toilet ask the teacher.

Rule #3: TO HAVE FUN!

Instantly we are off! The teacher puts some music on and we are on an adventure pretending to be trains. The music is fast, exciting and before I knew it, the song was done. The teacher had us sit by the coloured wall while they set out markers, and one by one she called us into a colour train. When everyone is in their spot the teacher commences our journey and with a song we are off!

My group went to beam first where we walked on the beam way up high; I was even taller than my teacher! Then my group went to then next teacher where she taught me how to swing from the high bar. I was nervous at first but my teacher reminded me to say ‘I think I can’ and give it a go. It was scary but fun all at the same time! Once again we changed stations and the teacher taught me how to be brave as we flew (like my favourite super hero) backwards over the giant round mat doing a backhand spring.

Time was gone in a flash and my teacher called everyone back to the wall. ‘It’s time for a game’ she said with a smile. It was fun to play with my new friends and teacher! Then my teacher directed us to sit in a circle as she talked about all the things I had done today, and she said that at home we should try to keep the ‘I think I can’ attitude all week long. Then we sang our goodbye song … ‘bye, bye, Funny Bugs. It’s. Time. To. Go. On. Home.’ All of us kids ran to the wall to get a sticker before leaving, I always like it when I get the green one! Just like that my time at The Little Gym was done.  I was so excited to share what I did with my parents, and I can’t wait until my next class!

Tumble and Spin - The Benefits of Rolls

When you were a child did you love to spin around and enjoy the feeling of being dizzy? You may still experience the same dizzy feeling when you do more than one forward roll in a row, or even stand up too quickly.

Here at The Little Gym even our youngest Bugs (4 to 10 months) are taken through supported forward rolls and continue to progress through Birds, Beasts, Funny Bugs, and so on until they become masters of rolling in every direction on the floor, bars and even the beam.

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All of these rolls have one huge benefit in common - they develop and enhance our vestibular sense. Our vestibular system allows us to maintain our balance and to experience gravitational security, allowing us to maintain a position without falling. It also helps us to move smoothly and efficiently.

Because the vestibular system coordinates eye and head movements, it may be challenging for some children to complete everyday activities such as copying from a white board in their classroom, following a moving object such as a ball through the air; or visually scanning across a page to read.

The vestibular system also helps to develop and maintain an appropriate muscle tone. To understand this concept better try to balance on one leg with your eyes closed. Notice the way that your muscles will start to move and regulate your position to stop you from falling.

Apart from forward rolls, the kids at The Little Gym are challenged in many different ways to improve their vestibular system. One is used this week in our parent & child classes while we’re rounding up our Learning unit “Movement Arts and Body Parts: the AirMat.

The AirMat provides a soft and springy surface that is a firm favourite in classes and Birthday parties alike.  Its bouncy surface can quite easily throw kids off balance so their mind and body are forced to adjust their movements to maintain their balance, stay upright and develop core body strength and stability. And on their way back to the beginning AirMat the challenge continues with even more forward rolls.

10 questions with...Tobi

Tobi is our Gym Director. He started working at TLG Wandsworth 2008

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1. Where are you from?
Chemnitz, Germany

2. What is your favourite thing about working at TLG?
Seeing children grow in confidence

3. Describe yourself in 3 words
Positive, fun, learner

4. Favourite food?
Hoisin Duck Wrap

5. Favourite colour?
Brick red

6. Favourite gymnastics skill?
Back Hip Circle

7. What skill would you most like to learn?
Back hip circle

8. What was your dream job growing up?
When I was 5, I wanted to become a drummer like Charlie Watts

9. What would your superpower be?
To make everyone happy

10. What place would you most like to visit?
Bhutan