Translate
localEventsHeader
Fri, Jun 15, 2018

The Reason After School Activities are Worth the Effort!

PreKItsybitsySpider

Do you ever feel like you've somehow become your kid's personal taxi driver? Or that they have a busier social life than you? Well you're not alone. And you're totally forgiven for wondering whether all those activities are more hassle than they're worth. But extracurricular activities come with so many benefits for your child.

 

Here's why they're worth it:

 

 

Keeping a consistent routine

When children start school, they are experiencing lots of new things and often they can be overwhelmed by lots of changes and new faces/places. If they have activities or place which is familiar and where they feel confident & comfortable this can be reassuring for them in a time of lots of change.

 

It also gives them a self esteem boost when they can take part in something regularly which has a familiar structure and teachers that they are used to. Here at The Little Gym, the themes of each class change on a weekly basis however the structure, teachers and skill development are consistent allowing children to keep a routine that they love!

 

Under_the_parachute_copy1

Decision-making skills

 

After-school activities let kids figure out what they like and what they're good at. When kids are selecting which activities to participate in, they are looking inward and deciding if they are enjoying it, which creates self-awareness and a sense of knowing what they like, what they don't and how to make decisions accordingly.

 

mike-fox-467487

Confidence

 

When children take part in an activity that interests them this can increase their confidence and give them direction and purpose. It can be a sport such as gymnastics but it doesn't have to be. Activities such as Rainbows or Brownies, being in a volunteer group or a musical class come with the same benefits of being a part of a peer group. That confidence can transfer into other areas of their lives, such as giving them the confidence to thrive in their classes and subjects at school.

 

Friends_copy2

 

Socialisation

 

After-school or weekend activities can help children develop social skills away from the structure of the classroom as activities out of the school environment give kids more time to interact freely, as well as practice and experiment with socialisation skills.

 

SS_ForgetSitting-Parachute-Green_EN_copy1

 

Friendship

 

It may be a controversial statement, but here's the truth: Kids don't have to make close friends at school. Did you know…Prince George isn't even allowed to! It's great if they have that class best friend of course, but if they don’t, which is often the case for shyer or quieter children then after-school activities can be fantastic places for children to develop different friendships with other children who are sharing their same interest or passions.

 

Here at The Little Gym the children bond and develop friendships through our classes especially when all they want to do is Cartwheels and handstands and their school friends can’t or don’t want to.

 

HuggingSteadyHeads_copy1

Mentally tired, but not physically…

 

Often a big concern for parents for new school starters is that your child will be very tired. This is often the case but usually they are mentally tired but not physically. Movement can help them release any pent up energy that they have been storing by sitting for a long time at school.

 

Movement and exercise has such big benefits for children and their learning and development. It has so many complimentary learning benefits for their school studies too. Check out this blog we wrote recently if you are interested in learning more.

 

pan-xiaozhen-423533-unsplash

And don’t forget... the benefits aren't just for kids!

 

After-school activities can benefit parents too!

 

When your child is doing an activity or class it can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your child is busy doing something beneficial and productive and not just 'hanging around’.

 

It can be especially beneficial for parents of two or more children as often it allows for some one to one time with each child on their own whilst the other is taking part in their class. We have many families at The Little Gym who use the time before or after class or during the class of one of their children to do homework or have some quiet time to read or play board games with their siblings.

 

Or maybe it gives you an hour as a parent to have some ‘me time’. Read a book, plug into Headspace or enjoy a nice hot drink while your child is busy burning off some steam!

 

david-lezcano-592965-unsplash

If you want to start or carry on classes with us here at The Little Gym Wandsworth we are currently re-enrolling for our next Semester starting on the 3rd September. Members can benefit from 15% discount and save the space in the class of your choice if you enrol before the 8th July. Non-members get in touch from 9th July to grab a space in our classes!


Sun, Jun 3, 2018

Importance of Summer Camps for Kids

SC_Theme_Seas_copy

With the end of the school year fast approaching, many parents and caregivers are searching for ways to keep their children physically active, learning, and having fun during the summer break. Ongoing research supports the importance of quality summer camp programs and how they can promote academic success and a healthy lifestyle. In fact, High-quality summer learning programs can not only curb summer learning loss, they can even help boost student achievement. And the effect on kids’ physical health can be just as dramatic.

 

How to Choose a Summer Program for Kids

While it’s important to choose a program your child will enjoy, it’s also important to find a program that will help curb summer learning loss and keep your child active, involved, and moving. Look for a fun and imaginative camp program that includes both physical and educational activities for kids that will reinforce their academic achievements, challenge their imagination, and develop their self-confidence.

Summer Camp programs at child-centred facilities like The Little Gym offer high quality, age-appropriate, interest-driven summer programs designed to help children learn new skills and build self-confidence as they master challenges.

Choosing the right summer or sports camp can make a real difference in how well your child is able to transition from the summer break into the new school year. While the summer break should offer families a chance to relax without the constant pressure of school, homework, and after-school schedules, it’s important to offer children alternatives to screen time, and other passive activities, that can erode both academic skills and physical fitness. Summer camps for kids provide an opportunity to unplug as they explore their own creativity and build independence in a safe, secure environment.

SC_Theme_Faster

Camps at The Little Gym Wandsworth & Fulham

The Little Gym offers flexible scheduling options allowing parents to enrol their children for as short as one morning, one day, or as long as the entire summer. Age-appropriate activities at our Adventure or Skill Thrill Summer Camp vary from week-to-week.

Week 1

Adventure Camp - Superheroes Theme
Skill Thrill Camp - Front Handspring Festival

Week 2

Adventure Camp - Hawaiian Theme
Skill Thrill Camp - Carribbean Cartwheels & Hawaiian Handstands

Week 3

Adventure Camp - Ninja Theme
Skill Thrill Camp - Vaulting Volcanoes

Week 4

Adventure Camp - My Animal Planet
Skill Thrill Camp - Back Tuck Beach

 

Week 5 

Adventure Camp - Out of Space
Skill Thrill Camp - Back Handspring Bonanza

Week 6 

Adventure Camp - Pirates
Skill Thrill Camp - Kip Kip Hooray

Facebook_image_Summer_Camps_Ninja

Adventure Camps are for children ages 3 to 8 years with fun and varied themes, snacks and crafts. The children get a fresh experience each time they attend. Skill Thrill camps allow children ages 6 to 12 years to enjoy fun skill based activities with friends. Parents can also register their child for one of The Little Gym’s regularly scheduled summer classes for kids four months through 12 years to keep children moving, learning, and building skills throughout the summer months.

 

Call us on 0208 874 6567 or email wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu to BOOK NOW!

Summer_General_Girl


Thu, May 24, 2018

Healthy body, healthy everything – the growing evidence for physical activity

PrekJumpingOffBeam_copy

The benefits of physical development stretch far beyond the physical. You may not realise it, but the Department for Education has a role to play in your child’s development long before they set foot in a classroom. It’s the DoE that established the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage, a document that sets the standards for learning and development of young children up to and including 5 year olds. It covers a lot of ground - from language and communication to social and emotional development – in its efforts to ensure every child can develop confidence, independence and resilience.
 
One thing that is important to take away from this document is the importance of physical development in children.
 
This isn’t physical development in the traditional school setting – we’re not talking about PE. An understanding of good health and physical exercise is a part of it, but the EYFS definition reaches much further: to dressing and using the toilet independently, to basic hygiene and to ensuring that “children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.”

 

todd-cravens-430038-unsplashLearning to play


 
When you think about it, that makes complete sense. Unless you have an understanding of how your body moves, and develop the coordination of hands, feet and the rest of your body, you aren;t able to draw the picture, score the goal or build the Lego castle that’s in your head.
 
Play may be an essential part of a child’s development, but even play needs some basic physical building blocks to get started.
 
Yet the benefits of physical development don’t stop there.

 

SS_ForgetSitting-Parachute-Green_EN_copyBeyond play


 
Take this study from the University of Aberdeen, which found a clear link between exercise and a child’s concentration.
 
Councillor Martin Greig, Vice-Convener of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee, said: "The conclusion of the research confirms what many have long believed about the significance of physical activity for learning. The carefully conducted research gives support to incorporating an appropriate amount of exercise into the school day.”
 
Or how about this article in The Guardian which discusses several studies that show physical exercise benefits concentration, creativity, memory and mental health. It pulls together “a wave of studies exploring the unexpected links between mental and bodily fitness.” 
 
And then there’s this piece from The Telegraph, reporting on a study which also looked at the link between physical activity and concentration in children, and which found “those placed on the programme improved their accuracy on some mental capability tests by twice as much as those who were not assigned to do daily exercise.”

 

On_the_barsBringing it all together


 
At The Little Gym our philosophy focuses on the holistic benefits of physical activity on the health, well being and performance of children.
 
Here’s one very simple example. If you can’t sit still you can’t concentrate. If you can’t concentrate you can’t learn or play. And if you can’t learn or play you can’t develop. That’s why some of the fun activities we’ll include within a session are designed to strengthen the body’s core and hip muscles.
 
Because when your body has developed the strength and muscle memory to keep you sat up straight, it can devote more energy to everything else.
 
That squarely aligns with the DoE’s requirement for physical development, but it also ensures that our children are ideally placed to benefit from all the other cognitive, concentration and developmental benefits of physical activity.
 
Want to give your child that sort of boost?

Give us a call on 0208 874 6567 or email our team at wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu.

 

It's_not_too_late_to_join_EN


Tue, Apr 10, 2018

The Importance of Creative Play for Kids

 Sporty_Beasts_GirlWith_Bat_Social_Media_1400x1400_EN

 

Creative play is a vital part of childhood and child development. Through creative and imaginative play children can grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically

 

Creative experiences help a child develop these skills and enable them to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas. Exposing children to creative opportunities contributes to and furthers their development.

 

Coming up with ways to play creatively doesn’t have to be stressful or take a lot of time. In fact, over-structuring is the opposite of creative play. Every small step toward developing a child’s skills is a major milestone in their growth and happiness.

 

Here at The Little Gym we use creative imagination in every class whilst also giving the children the chance to play & explore in their own way too. If you’ve tried a class here with us you might have seen your child’s instructor pretending to be a monkey, walking slowly on the moon or tip toeing across the beam so as not to wake the sleeping crocodile. We create fun and varied stories to keep the children engaged when they are using equipment, to keep structure and flow in class and to help develop their skills in a way that taps into their in-built imaginations. The children learn by seeing and doing but also by using their own imaginations to add new layers to the worlds the instructors have created.

 

 channelEnergy_prekGirlUnderChute

 

What Tools Do I Need?

 

Ideas for creative and imaginative play are available all around us. Often we overlook the simple things, that to a child aren’t as simple. How often do you see a small child staring at a leaf and turning it over to stare at the details. Emotional, cognitive, and fine motor skills develop with the introduction to the simple things. Try using some of these household items to make games, tell stories, or just have fun with them.

 

·         Sponges

·         Paper

·         Cardboard and boxes

·         Tape

·         Paint

·         Markers, crayons, or pencils

·         Molding materials like clay

 

Emotional Development: Creative play promotes social and emotional development by integrating feelings with tasks. Ask your child to paint, draw, or tell a story, about how they’re feeling. These types of activities help children, who are not able to verbalise, express their feelings. In time, children will learn how to express their feelings safely and creatively, allowing them to integrate into social settings and regulate their behaviour more appropriately.

 

Why not try these Mindful Monster card games as another great way to help your child’s emotional development.

 

Social Development: Children can grow and increase their social development when given opportunities to play and interact with peers. Singing, dancing, dress-up, and other forms of imaginative play are a few areas where children are able to grow and develop basic communication and social interaction skills. This is something that is integrated in every class here at The Little Gym.

 

 HuggingSteadyHeads_copy

 

Intellectual Development: Through creative play, children can learn important problem-solving skills. Reading, for example, gives children the opportunity to express their imaginations and explore a world outside of their own, helping to improve both intellectual and cognitive skills. This also forms the basis of reading comprehension and retention and sets the tone for solving more complex problems as they grow and develop.

 

Physical Development: Whether your children are dancing to the rhythm of their own beat, or exploring the great outdoors, creative play helps to grow gross and fine motor skills, coordination, and control. Building fine motor skills requires practice and sets the stage for improving hand eye coordination and muscle memory. You don’t have to be complicated with the movements either, ask your little one to crawl like a bear, jump like a kangaroo or frog, or gallop like a horse. Why not join in to – its never to late to work on our own physical development and you might just have some fun while you’re at it.

 

 Ready_for_Serious_Fun_EN

 

Providing children with creative opportunities for play will allow them to develop these important skills as well as provide them with the opportunity to explore and learn about the world around them. Kid-focused activities like The Little Gym can be another great option for busy families providing age-appropriate programs available after school, on weekends, and even when school is not in session. 

 

Call 0208 874 6567 today or email wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu


Tue, Apr 10, 2018

Meet Rosie!

20180222_155014_copy

Welcome to a new 'Meet the Team' blog post!


We have asked all our team 10 questions about themselves and the gym so you can find out a little more about us.


Next up...Rosie!


Rosie joined The Little Gym of Wandsworth back in September 2012 as a Birthday Party leader and a part time gymnastics instructor. She then went to University for 3 years and travelled Asia and Australia for a year before returning to join the team in December 2017.

 

Rosie is a super positive, fun and creative person and brings so much energy to the gym!



Rosie has always had a keen interest in sports, health & well-being. Doing gymnastics when she was younger and also studying dance for 15 years. She is currently studying to become a Personal Trainer & Yoga Instructor.

 

404334_10150534686653407_1023946277_n

Her favourite TLG story would be when one of her kids after her Giggle Worms class came over to the front desk after buying her a present from the shop next door and told her it was ‘just for her!’.


10 Questions with Rosie!

 

1. Where are you from?

Jersey Channel Islands – Yes I’m Instructor Lucy’s sister!
 

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

Getting to be silly and creative with the kids everyday.

 

3. Describe yourself in 3 words

Genuine, Happy, Silly



28575962_10215536851642300_5973331795264541841_n

4. What is your favourite food?

Fruit! Any Kind.

 

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

I love to try all sports, but I love going to the gym, doing yoga & Pilates and I really like climbing.

 

6. What is your favourite Gymnastics skill?

Handstands – I practise them all the time!

  


17362531_10212362625888640_8493114671681632415_n

7. What makes you special?

I’m from a big family. I have 4 sisters, 1 brother and 7 nieces and nephews (and counting).

 

8. What was your dream job growing up?

To be a dancer!

 

9. What would your super power be?

To be able to fly!

 

Screenshot_20180410-110319 

10. What place would you most like to visit?

South America.

 


Mon, Mar 26, 2018

Benefits of Getting Kids Involved in the Kitchen

hannah-tasker-333889-unsplash

Getting dinner on the table can be a major feat in every busy family. Often we banish the kids from the kitchen so we can cook in peace. But this week (seeing as it is the Easter holidays which hopefully means we have a bit more time) why not get your kids to help with the cooking. It will also link nicely with what the kids are learning about in the gym over the next few weeks.

 

Here at The Little Gym Wandsworth and Fulham we have started a new learning unit which focuses on healthy lifestyle habits. Our three-dimensional learning aspect in classes means that your children not only learn gymnastics but they also get a regular ‘Brain Boost’ and benefit from a ‘Life Skills’ focus.

 

HuggingSteadyHeads

 

Over the next 4 weeks our pre-school classes (3-6years) will be learning about ‘Healthy Chores for You & Yours’ & our Primary school children (6-12years) are focusing on having a ‘Fit Clean Body Machine’.

 

An obvious way to keep yourself and your children fit and healthy is by cooking and eating healthy food. Cooking has many long-term benefits for children including increased confidence, improved reading and math skills, and it sets an example for a healthy lifestyle!

 

Check out these 6 ways cooking can help enhance your child's development.

 

1.    It creates interest in food and cooking.

Children who are involved in the creation of their meals are more likely to eat their meals (we’re looking at you, picky eaters!).

 

kelly-sikkema-212376-unsplash

2.    Cooking helps to build important maths skills.

Almost every recipe requires accurate measuring and counting. Give your child a task by having them count how many eggs go into the pancake recipe, or how much oil goes into a batch of brownies. This can be a fun cooking game that will help children learn basic counting, addition, and even fractions.

 

3.    Improves comprehension and reading skills.

Reading a recipe, understanding step-by-step instructions, and comprehending exactly what whisking, blending, or folding means, are not only an important part of the finished product but it also promotes literacy and listening. Start with easy recipes for kids where they can ‘own’ as much of the process as possible.

 

4.    Builds confidence and self-esteem.

Giving children the opportunity to be involved in the completion of a meal helps to provide them with a sense of accomplishment. If they successfully (or unsuccessfully) boiled and mashed potatoes, created a personal pizza, or helped make a special dessert, let them know what they did was important and that it helped. Child development and the feeling of success go hand in hand.

 

patrick-fore-389431-unsplash

 

5.    It sets an example for a healthy lifestyle.

Cooking is a great outlet for talking about body wellness and the reasons why we need to eat healthy foods. Inviting children to be involved in grocery shopping, meal preparation, and cooking fosters healthy habits that have lifelong benefits!

 

6.    You’re able to spend quality time together as a family.

With school, work, and extracurricular activities, it’s difficult finding time where the whole family can be in the same room at one time. Make an effort to cook together a few times a week, check out some cooking games for kids, and spend quality time conversing, learning, and eating together!

 

After you and your littles ones are nourished from your kitchen adventures, come and see us at the gym, Kid-focused activities like The Little Gym are a great option for age-appropriate programs available after school, on weekends, and even during the school holidays! Check out our Easter camps running on the 3rd, 4th and 5th April here or call 0208 874 6567

TLG_Social_Media_Facebook_Post_Easter_Party_Pre-School_Parachute_800x800_copy


Fri, Mar 2, 2018

Gymnastics - 10 Amazing Benefits for your Child!

TLG_BackHandspringBoy

 

Over the past few weeks we have all had the pleasure of watching the amazing performances at the Winter Olympics. Our favourites events were the figure skating, freestyle skiing and of course the skeleton where our very own Lizzie Yarnold brought home another Gold Medal for the UK!

 

Olympics_2018_Sochi

It was so fascinating to hear the commentators throughout the event mentioning the competitor’s gymnastics backgrounds in many of the sports and how it has helped them to be better winter Olympic athletes.

 

The figure skaters exude such grace and beauty in their movements and lines and you can see the similar links in their routines to many gymnastics floor routines as they have similar flexibility and body control.

 

The Freestyle skiers combine acrobatics with their skiing and the amazing flips they perform clearly show the link back to gymnastics.

 

jorg-angeli-435856-unsplash

 

After watching the Winter Olympics it got us thinking about how amazing gymnastics is as a developmental sport for children. Even children and young adults who aren’t taking competitive gymnastics, but take part at a recreational level, like here at The Little Gym, gain so many future benefits in adulthood and later life after doing gymnastics.

 

 

Here are our Top 10 benefits of gymnastics

 

 

Flexibility: Flexibility is a key factor in gymnastics, learning movements and combining them in skills and routines lets children build greater flexibility and greater control of their body. Increasing flexibility can also help reduce rates of injury as they have a greater range of motion and can help with lots of other sports and exercises in the future.

 

 

Disease prevention: Taking part in gymnastics can help maintain a healthy body, which is key to preventing numerous health conditions such as asthma, cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Being involved in gymnastics helps encourage a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity. Children who lead active lifestyles are more likely to be active adults too!

 

 

Strong and healthy bones: Gymnastics is one of the best holistic sports and is a fantastic wat for children to do weight-bearing activities. This helps develop strong, healthy bones, which is important for us to develop at a young age. As we age, we inevitably experience a decrease in bone mass every year. Building strong, healthy bones at a young age can help reduce the risks of developing osteoporosis and other deliberating conditions later on in life.

 

 

InstructorHangingOnBar

 

 

Increased self-esteem: A study conducted by researchers has indicated that children who participate in physical activity like gymnastics are likely to have better self-esteem and self-efficacy.

 

 

Daily exercise needs: Children and young adults need to move regularly.  The UK Government recommend in their Physical activity guidelines for children and young people that all children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day. They also state that vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days a week.

 

 

Increased cognitive functioning: Taking part in gymnastics does not only offer physical benefits; it is beneficial for improving concentration and mental focus – an important aspect of anyone’s life. Gymnastics allows children the chance to think for themselves, to stimulate their imaginations and to solve problems safely. Here at the Little Gym we use three dimensional learning. All our classes challenge children to ‘Get Moving’ whilst developing social and cognitively with our ‘Brain Boosting’ and ‘Life Skills’ elements.

 

 

PrekJumpingOffBeam

 

 

Increased coordination: People who have a background in gymnastics ten not to react with as large a “startle response” to sudden imbalances as non-gymnasts. By applying this conditioning outside the sport, people become better equipped to avoid hazardous situations by quickly identifying them and naturally correcting body alignment when walking, standing or jumping, etc.

 

 

Strength development: Children and young adults who take part in gymnastics tend to have stronger cores as well as stronger upper and lower body strength. Even taking part in as little as one hour of gymnastics a week can help improve a child’s strength in these areas.

 

 

Social skills: At all ages, gymnastics provides an opportunity to develop social skills. Here at The Little Gym younger children learn how to take turns, look, listen, be quiet when others are talking, work and think independently, and how to be respectful of classmates and teachers.

 

 

Under_the_parachute_copy

 

Fun: Gymnastics is fun! Particularly here at The Little Gym our aim is for everyone who takes part in our classes to benefit from all of the things mentioned on this blog whilst also having ‘Serious Fun’ so that they develop a love of sports and exercise now and in the future!

 

It is never too early or late for your child to benefit from taking part in gymnastics. We offer classes for children aged 10 months – 12 years. Call us today on 0208 874 6567, email wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu or sign up for a FREE Introductory class here.

 

TLG_BalanceBeam


Fri, Feb 23, 2018

Tumbling Bugs - Bring your baby for FREE!

 

Bugs_Boost_GetMovingSocial_walking_Girl_1400x1400_EN

 

In late 2017 we started a Tumbling bugs event each month giving parents and babies the chance to come and experience the magic of The Little Gym for free whilst also making new friends and helping their little ones physical and social development.

 

 

Tumbling Bugs classes are for babies aged 4-10 months and are running every month, our first class of 2018 was on 19th Feb and it was a great success! 

 

 

Bugs_Boost_GetMovingSocial_beam_1400x1400_EN

Future dates:

 

Monday 19th March 1.30pm

Monday 16th April 1.30pm

Monday 21st May 1.30pm

Monday 18th June 1.30pm

 

What will you do in the class?

 

Parents and little ones come and join us for 60 minutes of fun and laughter. This is the perfect opportunity for you and your little one to explore different exercises in our specially created developmental class.

 

 

You will enjoy quality time with your baby and will have the chance after the class to have a chat with your new friends over a cup of tea and a biscuit.    

 

 

To book a class please contact one of our friendly members of staff on 0208 874 6567 or email us at wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu

 Bugs_Boost_GetMovingSocial_group_1400x1400_EN


Mon, Feb 12, 2018

5 Ways to make Pancakes this Pancake Day!

elli-o-33654

So tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day!

 

Of course here at The Little Gym Wandsworth & Fulham we are open for classes all this week during half term so come to classes as normal to keep your kids busy or come along a try a class with us.

 

Having some activities to do with the kids during half term is always welcome so if you are looking for some other ways to entertain you and the kids this week why not try one (or all) of these pancake recipes!

 

We have put together 5 ways to make pancakes for this pancake day - testing them has been fun!

 

Traditional Pancakes

ornella-binni-151618

Ingredients


For the pancake mixture
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter


To serve
caster sugar
lemon juice
lemon wedges

 

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it (adults dothis so you dont get shell or let the kids do it in a separate bowl and add them).
  3. Wisk the eggs - any sort of whisk or even a fork will do - incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.
  4. Add small amounts of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don't worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any extra bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the mixture is really smooth.
  5. Melt the butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of the butter into the mixutre and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to grease the pan a little before making each pancake.
  6. Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and add a little butter before adding a ladle of pancake mixutre into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife - the other side will need a few seconds only - then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
  7. To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar.

 

American Pancakes

calum-lewis-387612

Ingredients

  • 350ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Oil, for frying (we recommend coconut) 

To serve
maple syrup (optional)

 

Method

  1. Whisk the milk and eggs in a jug. The put the flour and baking powder into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, the sugar and mix together.
  2. Make a small well in the centre and gradually pour in the milk and egg mixture. Kids love to do the mixing, just be prepared for a bit of mess!
  3. Put a little oil in a frying pan (non stick is best) and place over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour half a ladle of the miuxture into the pan to form a pancake that is approx 10cm (4in) in diameter. 
  4. Cook until bubbles start to form, then flip the pancake over and cook the other side until golden.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, if you like. Another fun this to do is to use a cookie cutter with the kids and make your pancakes into fun shapes!

 

Paleo Pancakes

(Grain & Gluten Free)

18469132104_d6ed50fa37_k

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp cup nut butter, cashew or almond butter taste best
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Oil for frying (coconut is best)


Instructions

  1. Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat
  2. Combine all of your ingredients in a blender or nutribullet
  3. Pour in the misture a little at a time, you can probably make 3 or 4 small pancakes at a time depending on the size of the pan
  4. Cook 2-3 minutes per side and then flip to cook the other side for 2-3 minutes
  5. Serve and Enjoy

 

Banana Oat Pancakes

19014196851_8f4075f74a_k

Ingredients

  • 1 mashes ripe banana
  • 170g plain flour
  • 65g Rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 300ml Whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Maple syrup
  • Banana slices, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.
  2. Mix the egg, milk, banana and oil; stir into dry ingredients but dont over mix it.
  3. Heat some oil in a frying pan on a medium heat.
  4. Pour the mixture in small amounts into the pan and then add the optional chopped banana slices. Flip when bubbles form on top and then cook until second side is golden brown.
  5. Serve with maple syrup or honey and some moreand banana slices. 

 

Posh Pancakes

piotr-chrobot-276743

Follow any of the pancake recipes above but then have lots of fun topping the pancakes with posh or silly toppings. The kids love this one and its a great chance to get creative!

 

Ideas for toppings

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Berries
  • Chopped Fruit
  • Coconut flakes
  • Sprinkles
  • Syrup or honey
  • Sauces
  • Mini Marshmallows 
  • Chocolate chips 

 

We hope you have lots of fun trying all these recipes - take some pictures and share them on Facebook or Instagram!

 jelleke-vanooteghem-381416_copy


Mon, Feb 5, 2018

Baby & child swim - Develop confidence in the water.

Angel Adam 26.07.2017 small

Hello, my name is Adam Knight and teaching children to swim is my passion! I have been an aquatic professional for the last 9 years and run a company called Angel Swim London, teaching babies, toddlers and children to swim just off Kings Road in Chelsea.

In my opinion, swimming is like any physical activity, the earlier you start and the more you practice, the better you become. We teach babies as young as 4 weeks and focus on creating a positive connection with the water from the very beginning using their natural reflexes and adaptations. Here are my five top tips for parents to get the most out of their babies first swim experience:

1.    Arrive early

 

To get the most out of your babies first lesson it is essential that you are both in a calm, relaxed and happy frame of mind. Babies are extremely perceptive and can sense your stress which they in turn reflect. Happy parents = happy babies, so please leave enough time to travel and get changed and you will give your baby the best possible chance of a happy and successful first experience in the water.

 

2.  Get the gear

 

The majority of swim academies including my own operate a “double nappy policy” - you fit the Huggies disposable Swim nappy on first, followed by a neoprene (wetsuit material) over nappy. This provides your baby with some extra warmth, but most importantly provides a water-tight seal against any “little accidents” that may occur.

 

3. Hold them gently

 

Some mums and dads enter the pool environment with a sense of nervousness and anxiety, which is perfectly normal. What you may not realise is that these emotions manifest themselves physically - a strong grip on your baby may cause discomfort. Be mindful of how tightly you are holding your little one, take a few deep breaths and your body (and baby) will relax.

 

4. Listen to your teacher

 

To get them most out of your lessons pay close attention to your teachers instructions and demonstrations. It may seem like a very basic thing to say but when you are in a swimming class with your baby, singing, moving and only on three hours sleep it can be very easy to lose focus. The karate kid always listened to Mr Miyagi so please follow suit and carry out your teachers requests and you will unlock your little ones full potential.

Ali Angel

5. Smile, connect and enjoy

 

You are your babies role model, therefore if they see you smile in the pool they will reflect that happiness and associate that emotion with the water. Eye contact builds connection and trust in all human interactions and it is the same for baby swimming - make eye contact with your baby as much as you can, connect with them and enjoy the experience together.

 

To learn more please visit our website - www.angelswim.london or follow us on Instagram or Facebook


Fri, Feb 2, 2018

Music, Movement & your Child's Development!

 

onmarkgetsetgo

Children in the early years learn BEST by 'doing'!

 

Music and movement gives your child active involvement in developing their vocabulary as well as teaching them many skills and concepts. Do you remember learning rhymes or songs to help you with spelling at school? Songs and activities through music and movement, support children to learn and develop.

 

Here’s how…



Builds Vocabulary


Words that describe movement are a fundamental part of language. Therefore, to increase a child's movement vocabulary is to better that child's overall vocabulary and confidence with both speech and the movements themselves.

Here at The Little Gym movement vocabulary; words that describe actions, space, energy and time, are incorporated in all our classes. We use unique directional music, skill names and teacher cues every class so that the children are always learning that movement vocabulary. Repetition is the key of learning after all!

 

SS_ForgetSitting-Parachute-Green_EN

Integrating Music, Movement and Academic Curriculum


Music and movement supports the school curriculum from preschool onwards.

We incorporate counting, phonics and other educational themes and topics throughout the semester such as our ‘1,2,3 count with me’ learning unit. The activities use a variety of sensory models to cater to all learning types and engage the children to keep movement and learning fun! 

 

ryan-fields-328391


Confidence & happiness

 

I’m pretty sure if you speak to any parent about what they want for their kids, being happy is always going to come top. One of the main reasons we use music with movement here at The Little Gym is because music and movement are fun, and they make kids happy and feel comfortable and confident inside and outside their classes.

 

boyUpsideDown

Become a more efficient and confident mover

 

Music helps children to develop rhythm, timing, balance, coordination and endurance. Ever played musical statues? Don’t undervalue games like this for your child’s development. They are learning self-expression while moving their bodies, developing listening skills when having to stop for musical or spoken cues and building core strength and balance when changing directions suddenly or holding a body position when ‘freezing’.

 

By using music, children are learning to move and moving to learn at the same time! 

 

SS_Facebook_PrimarySchool_GirlBeam_6-12Y_460x460_EN_copy

Success and Accomplishment

 

Our ethos here at The Little Gym is to offer children the chance to move, exercise and learn gymnastics whilst doing activities that are non-competitive and non-comparative. Each child can experience success at her/his level of development. During our warm-ups and group activities children complete tasks as a team or when individually everyone takes part together giving them the chance to feel success and accomplishment in their movement which in turn leads to a healthy self-image. 

 

SS_Gross_Motor_Skills_All_Text_1200x628_EN

 

If you want to learn more about what we offer here at The Little Gym Wandsworth & Fulham give us a call today on 0208 874 6567 or sign up for a FREE Introductory visit here.


Tue, Jan 23, 2018

Big Benefits of Physical Activity for Kids!

SS_Facebook_PreK_TurnsBack_Girl_Running_800x800_copy2

 

Children are busy, busy little people!

 

Physical activity does so much more than provide children with an outlet for burning their endless supply of energy. Over the years, various studies on child development have been conducted to prove that physical activities for kids helps to increase confidence and self-esteem, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and also helps children perform better in a classroom setting and life in general. Healthy kids benefit emotionally, physically, and cognitively when they’re active and having a good time.

 

The key to encouraging children to get active is to make it fun! Adults might spend more time being active if we took this advice!

 

When children are riding their bike, swimming in a pool, or getting active and playing fitness games at their local The Little Gym, they aren’t seeing it as a workout. They’re seeing the activity as an opportunity to play with their friends and have fun. Cardiovascular exercises, strength exercises, and stretching exercises together will help your child build a strong body and mind. Keep reading for more information about how you can incorporate workouts for kids into your family’s weekly routine.

 

scott-webb-59043_copy

 

1. Cardiovascular exercise

 

Walking, biking, swimming, and running around a field or basketball court are great for strengthening the heart and building endurance.

 

The UK’s government state in their Physical activity guidelines for Early Years (Under 5’s capable of walking) should be physically active daily for at least 180 minutes (3 hours), spread throughout the day and children and young people (aged between 5-12) should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day. Vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days a week. They also recommend that all children should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (being restrained or sitting) for extended periods (except time spent sleeping).

 

Fit this into your family’s schedule with a family football game, a Saturday morning bike ride, a nice long Sunday swim or a lovely walk around where you live or further afield. Even if finding spare time is tough, incorporate ‘sprints’ like racing to the fountain at the park or skipping in the garden.

 

kelly-sikkema-399348

 

2. Strength exercises

 

Swinging on the monkey bars at the local park, or fitness games like learning how to do a handstand at The Little Gym, not only strengthens muscles and increases bone density, it also can help with preventing future sports or non-sports related injuries. If you’re struggling with your own workout plan and making the time, invite your children to do press ups or sit ups with you. This is a great opportunity to be a brilliant role model for your children too!

 

 

SS_Facebook_PreK_PrekGirlAndOwner_MotorSkills_text_800x800_EN_copy1

 

3. Stretching exercises

 

Stretching is equally as important as strength and cardiovascular activities. Regular stretching helps to increase flexibility, helping children work on (or master) their splits, cartwheels, and reduces the risk of injury. Have fun with stretching by asking your child to stretch like an animal of their choice – like a cheetah stretching out after a long day running around the jungle or a big tall giraffe stretching high!

 

Finding activities for kids and fitness games is easy! Trying these physical activities for kids can be a fun way to spend time together as a family!

 

Healthy kids are happy kids. If you’re looking for some fun, physical activities for children 10 months through 12 years, check out The Little Gym Wandsworth & Fulham! We offer FREE Introductory classes for all age groups, to see what things we get up to in our gym call us on 0208 874 6567 or request a free trial class here.

 

robert-collins-333411


Tue, Dec 19, 2017

Festive Fun & Christmas Camps!

20171217_135553

 

December has to be one of our favourite months here at The Little Gym Wandsworth and Fulham and this year we are really feeling the Christmas spirit and having lots of festive fun in the gym.

 

We have decorated the gym Winter Wonderland theme with snowy windows, snowflakes and a real Christmas tree. And we have had our very own cheeky Elf on the Shelf (Little Jim) visiting every day and sending Christmas news back to Father Christmas each night. Have you spotted him around the gym?

 

IMG_20171207_194312_190

 

IMG_20171210_202220_107

 

We also had a fantastic Christmas party for our Members this weekend, with a super staff performance, food and drinks, a visit from Santa, Christmas raffle, skills and play in the gym and all to raise money for The Shooting Stars Chase Charity! We will update you with the final amount raised asap but thank you to everyone who came to the party and helped us raise money for this great charity.

 

IMG-20171218-WA0008

 

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the video of the staff performance for those who missed it!

 

We have now finished our regular classes (we start back on the 2nd January) and we are running Christmas Holiday Camps until Saturday 23rd December. We still have a few spaces available so get in touch if you are interested in your child joining us in the gym over the next few days.

 

TheLittleGym_Email_Header_Christmas_Camps_2017_800x300

 

These exciting 3-hour drop-off sessions include imaginative Winter-themed adventures in the gym, crafts, snacks and many festive challenges.

 

Adventure (Ages 3-8 y/o)

Wednesday 20th December 9.30-12.30 The Snowman Slumber Party

Thursday 21st December 9.30-12.30 & 14:00 - 17:00 Poko, The Polite Penguin

Friday 22nd December 9.30-12.30 Dinosaur Ice Age

Saturday 23rd December 9.30-12.30 The Missing Polar Bear Palace

 

Skill Thrill (Ages 6-12 y/o)

Wednesday 20th December 14:00 - 17:00 Vaulting Icebergs Theme

 

It might be last minute Christmas shopping you need to do, getting things sorted before having people over, either way, your kids will be entertained for three hours and you can collect them fed, watered and hopefully thoroughly exhausted from all the fun they had!

 

For those of you who are already on your holidays or can't make to the gym this week we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

IMG_20171216_182627_420_copy

TheLittleGym_Facebook_Cover_Merry_Christmas_2017_828x315

 


Mon, Nov 20, 2017

See them Balance, See them Beam!

 SS_Facebook_PrimarySchool_GirlBeam_6-12Y_460x460_EN
One of the unique things about having your child attend The Little Gym is that we teach in learning units, which are 3 or 4 weekly blocks of classes, that focus on specific areas of your children’s development.

 

So far this semester we spent the first few weeks focused on safety in the gym and correct gymnastics body positions for our skills, then we moved onto specific body part awareness; legs, arms and our cores and how they work together to keep us moving.

 

The last few weeks our main focus has been on balance, from babies to toddlers up to children at school and why it is so important for their development and confidence not only in gymnastics and sport but also academically & socially too!


SS_GS_ForgetSitting-Boy-Yellow_EN
 

The definition of balance

 

Balance is the ability to maintain a controlled body position during task performance, whether it is sitting at a table, walking the balance beam or stepping up onto a kerb. We need to be able to maintain controlled positions during both static (still) and dynamic (moving) activities.

 

Static balance is the ability to hold a stationary position with control for example “freeze” or “statue” games. Dynamic balance is the ability to remain balanced while engaged in movement, for example riding a boke or running & skipping.

 

Why is balance so important in a child’s development?

 

·      Allows children to physically develop and move with ease when walking, running, jumping etc

·      Having appropriate balance enables children to participate in exercise and sport with a better degree of success, active children are more likely to be active adults, resulting in a healthier, longer life span

·      Helps children maintain self regulation for daily tasks such as table top skills and dressing themselves.

·      Less likely to sustain injury as the child is likely to have appropriate postural responses when needs, for example putting their hands out to protect themselves when falling.

·      Increases development with fine motor skills and table-top tasks such as feeding them selves for toddlers or writing when they attend school.

·      Increases attention and concentration, as the child is more likely to be able to sit for longer periods of time as core strength is not challenged.

·      Increases body awareness

·      Better able to isolate their movements, moving an arm or leg while keeping the remainder of the body still, required for kicking or throwing a ball or front crawl stroke in swimming.


SS_Facebook_PreK_TurnsBack_Girl_Running_800x800_copy
 
How can The Little Gym help my child’s development and improve balance and coordination?

 

1.     Loco-motor skills and weight bearing activities

Every week in our classes from parent child (10-36months) through to Pre-school and grade school classes (3-12 years) we focus a portion of the class on practising and developing your child’s loco-motor skills such as walking, running, skipping, galloping and jumping. All of these things are crucial in developing a child’s confidence to move efficiently and with ease, improving muscle strength and endurance and strengthening their core.

 

Weight bearing activities such as wheelbarrows, donkey kicks (beginner handstands), hanging on the bars and balancing on the beams are beneficial for developing muscle strength, building bone density and challenging a child’s core, their sense of gravity and balance.


SS_Facebook_PreK_PrekGirlAndOwner_MotorSkills_text_800x800_EN_copy

2.     Directive music

We use directive music in class allowing the children to learn rhythm and timing to help with more fluid and efficient movement. The music often uses musical cues and commands such as ‘freeze’ which challenge the body to stop actions quickly and move from one skill or position to another whilst maintaining their balance.

 

3.     Unstable surfaces

We have specialised state of the art equipment such as our ‘Airtrak’ and ‘Tumble track’ which help develop children’s trunk and core strength by making it work harder and maintain an upright position.


IMG_0937

4.     Obstacle courses

Stairs, hills, crawl spaces and stepping stones all challenge children’s balance and coordination, we include this in almost all of our classes using a variety of different equipment and challenges each week.

 

5.     Balls & bubbles

Learning how to throw, catch, roll and kick a ball is a great way for children to work on their balance whilst also developing hand/foot eye coordination. All our parent child classes include designated time for ball play with specific games and exercises that develop these skills.

 

Bubbles are also a great way to have children work on their balance and eye tracking ability without even realising it, we add fun balancing activities while they reach and catch the bubbles during our classes too!



6.     Bars and balance beams


We have uneven and parallel bars in our gym and the children work on swinging, hanging and specific gymnastics bar skills every week all of which allow children’s trucks to move in unexpected ways making the core muscles work harder.

 

We have a range of balance beams in the gym, floor, low, high beam and a beam expander allowing children to have fun balancing on a variety of surfaces and levels increasing their confidence and ability to balance safely inside and outside the gym.

 

If you are interested in your child’s physical development or are concerned about their balance or coordination then why not come along for a FREE introductory visit here at The Little Gym Wandsworth and Fulham. Call us on 0208 874 6567 or enter your details here.


New school starters blog photo

Thu, Nov 9, 2017

We had a Spooktacular Time in the Gym for Halloween!

Email-header-image_Halloween

Thank you to everyone who came to classes during our Halloween & Bring a Friend Week between 30th October - 5th November.



We had a Spooktacular time and we hope you all did too!



During the week the instructors and kids dressed up in some super fancy dress outfits, we had fun Halloween games in the lobby and did some Halloween themed activities in the gym like big forward rolls over the giant 'pumkpin', hanging like bats on the bar and balancing on the 'witches broomstick!



The Prize winners for best fancy dressed, guess the sweets in the jar and guess the name of the pumpkin will sent an email or told when they are next in the gym. 



Prizes:
Win the Sweets in the jar if you guessed the right number
2 items from The Little Gym Pro Shop for best fancy dressed baby
Gymnastics or Adventure camp for guessing the name of the pumpkin
Gymnastics or Adventure camp for best fancy dressed



Here are some photos from over the week.


IMG_20171030_153825_159 (1)


20171028_161547 (1)

IMG_20171101_073214_285 (1)

IMG-20171101-WA0002 (1)

IMG-20171102-WA0001 (1)

Fri, Nov 3, 2017

Meet Jana!

Jana TP



Welcome to our fourth 'Meet the Team' blog post!


We have asked all our team 10 questions about themselves and the gym so you can find out a little more about us.


Next up...Jana!


Jana joined The Little Gym of Wandsworth in summer of 2016 and is an absolutely wonderful instructor teaching children aged 19 months - 12 years.


Jana thinks The Little Gym has the perfect approach to teaching children how to have some “serious fun” and at the same time maybe turn those cute Beasties into acrobatic Aerial butterflies. Her favourite TLG story would be the joy the children show at every little achievement in class!


Jana come's from a background of dance. From a very young age she practiced all different forms of dance and once old enough, went on to teach it in her hometown of Bratislava, Slovakia. She has a Masters degree in Physical Theatre and also founded her own Contemporary Circus company together with a friend. Her specialty was Static Trapeze, Silk and Acrobalance…yep, all very high in the air! 


1381385_10200846288939383_375000548_n

Photo: Marcjanna Paszak



10 Questions with Jana!

 

1.     Where are you from?

Slovakia, Bratislava

 

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

It is the funnest job ever!

 

3.     Describe yourself in 3 words

Amazing, funny, a bit stubborn


15181554_1150155005102437_5700994159373628097_n Photo: Vojtech Brtnicky


4.     What is your favourite food?

I love food so pretty much anything, but if I had to choose maybe Green curry

 

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

I love dancing, hiking and Pilates - I'm also a Pilates instructor

 

6.     What is your favourite Gymnastics skill?

Anything on the bars :)


Jana skill_copy

 


7.     What makes you special?

I love life, and love to travel

 

8.     What was your dream job growing up?

Cowboy, Pocahontas or an archeologist!

 

9.     What would your super power be?

Super fast flying!

10303986_333707206790482_2599961012092330732_n Photo: Marcjanna Paszak


10. What place would you most like to visit?

South Asia, Cuba


Fri, Oct 20, 2017

New School Starters – Your Questions Answered

slide4MoreFun


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.


Ready_for_Serious_Fun_EN


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.

SS_Facebook_PreK_BoyHanging_MotorSkills_text_800x800_EN


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.

onmarkgetsetgo


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!


SS_PreK_GrossMotorSkills_GirlBeam_EN 

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.


SS_Facebook_PrimarySchool_Cartwheels-in-Motion_Girl-Instructor_LOGO_460x460_EN


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


IMG_0937

Thu, Oct 12, 2017

Awesome Autumn Activities for the Family!



 
julia-raasch-153532



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!


karen-cantu-q-197571 


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!


 
corey-blaz-140474



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!

 
michael-podger-41325


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!

scott-webb-59043


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.

14753825_10154087176469001_7978657306421540480_o
 


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!

see you!

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

Wed, Oct 4, 2017

Meet Fernando!


Welcome to another Meet the Team blog post! 


20170914_152240_copy


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


20170914_152453
 

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!


20170728_162625
 

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


20170808_171621

Wed, Sep 27, 2017

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

5 Tips (1)

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.


autumn-goodman-230240

 

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!


colour run
 

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…


daiga-ellaby-233073


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.

original-2742742-1_copy



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! 


contactUs-img

Wed, Sep 20, 2017

Meet Lucy!

IMG-20170518-WA0013
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!


EAI_MMR_280517_KA_00908
 

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


20690328_10155625337837774_8870058378230164936_o
 

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!

 20229714_10155549266627774_1922332489345400427_o


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


463809_10151361672937774_2115444038_o

Wed, Sep 13, 2017

5 Ways to Build Confidence in Kids



Friends_copy1

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!" 

DownTheCheese



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!


Quote_Beyourself_EN_copy


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!

Wed, Sep 6, 2017

Meet Michela!

Michela Pettinari
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. 
 19702396_10155066257432561_6091761296713907662_n


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
 14753825_10154087176469001_7978657306421540480_o


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

 10409784_10153475301952561_1815487641783128678_n


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

13913619_10153901362754001_28109769656104765_o

Thu, Aug 31, 2017

Kick Starting a New Semester!

Classes_Start_Soon_EN_copy1

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.
 CapeHangingFromBar_copy


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.

 
Get_Moving_Logo_EN_copy1

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


 
Brain_Boost_Logo_EN_copy2


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

Life_Skills_Logo_EN_copy1

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!’

 Friends_copy

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!

2017-02-16 14.38.36

 

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

Mon, Mar 20, 2017

The benefits of story-telling

Storytelling
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.

Facebook

  

Event Gallery

 

Halloween Week!