Toddlers have a seemingly endless supply of energy. If you are looking for a more structured way to harness that energy, try out a tot gymnastics class. Gymnastics is a great way to introduce some self-preservation in the form of proper techniques for stretching and falling as they climb the future. It’s also a great way to work on their developing large motor skills.
Here are five spots where you and your little gymnasts can work on those skills:
915 Tower Rd., Mundelein
The Gym Spot offers preschool gymnastics starting at 12 months old. Classes will introduce children to stretching, tumbling, balance beam, bars, skipping and rebounding skills. They also offer a drop-in tot open gym (starting at 18 months) Monday and Wednesday from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and Thursday 12-1 p.m.
1018 Tristate Parkway, Gurnee
Ultimate Gymnastics offers both a Baby Gym program for those under two and a preschool program. The Baby Gym Program involves open exploration, skill-based activities as well as enrichment time. Classes are structured toward strengthening gross and fine motor skills. Parent & Might is for parents and their 2-3 year olds to work on developing strength, balance and skill building. Spring registration is underway.
2610 Commerce Drive, Libertyville
This is the only gym I have personal experience with. My daughter has been at LGA since she was 18 months and she is still there at age 9. We chose the LGA program because, as a former gymnast myself, I was thrilled with the care they took in the baby gym to teach stretching as well as proper technique. LGA offers a Baby Gym class starting as young as six months and continuing through 30 months. The classes are held in a separate, smaller baby gym that houses all the same equipment but in pint size versions and without the distraction of bigger kids. The baby program is specifically based on movement education which includes gymnastics, stretching, movement and music. Preschool classes start at age two and a half and include options for parents to join the classes or just watch. These classes will get preschoolers on all the equipment as well as work on balance, coordination, kinesthetic awareness and flexibility.
27825 Irma Lee Circle, Lake Forest
Flips offers a Parent Tot class starting at 18 months to improve gross motor skills and encourage group participation. Each class starts with age-appropriate obstacle courses and also has stretching, trampoline and other fun “just for kids” equipment. This class is also offered at the Libertyville Sports Complex.
888 E. Belvidere Rd., Suite 202, Grayslake
The Gymnastics factory offers a 10 week Mom & Mini class that focuses on bouncing, jumping, crawling and fun. Class will focus on strength and balance.
Most of the facilities listed will allow you to experience a trail class to see if it’s right for you and your tot. Just think, after one session, the next time you see a kid climbing the doorframe you won’t even bat an eye!