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How Young is Too Young?

Remember the controversy surrounding the gymnastics competition in the Beijing? The age of some of the gymnasts was contested, alleging that they were too young to be competing. The International Gymnastics Federation raised the minimum age for international competition from 15 to 16 in 1997 citing increasing risks of injury to athletes as routines become more difficult and judging becomes more demanding. Some claim the minimum age requirement should be abolished altogether.Gymnastics has undergone many changes over the years, as have many competitive sports. So the question arises: at what age should children be allowed/encouraged to take up gymnastics?

As soon as they are mobile, children begin to increase the development of higher functions like balance, weight distribution, spatial relationships, and muscular control. Toddler tumbling classes serve to help these little ones learn to control their bodies and improve physical function while doing it in a fun, engaging way. Using play as a mechanism for teaching is always a win-win, and tumbling does this in spades. Not only do the children learn about their own bodies, but in a group setting, they learn to relate to other kids and adults. They learn what "team" means and what their role is in regard to that. And tumbling is safe because it's done in an environment that is specifically designed for the purpose of protecting the kids while they learn and grow.

When you're looking for a safe gymnastics program for you little tumbler, you'll look for program with a good reputation earned by having qualified and experienced instructors, solid, reliable equipment, and a track record of producing happy, healthy gymnasts. Equipment that is in shoddy repair is a dead giveaway that the program you're looking at is definitely not the one for you or your child. Kids are hard on equipment, so it should be repaired and replaced frequently. Many gymnastics facilities rely on high-quality foam mats for tumbling and apparatus routines. Our tumbling mats are constructed with Crosslink polyethylene foam and have a durable 18 oz. vinyl covering. For the apparatus of your choice, our crash mats come in varying thicknesses to protect the landings and dismounts (and the occasional fall). Look for these hallmarks in a good gymnastics program. Better yet, order some for the house so the kids can practice and play anytime.

Gymnastics is a safe, fun, healthy way for little kids and older ones to enjoy an active lifestyle. You're a good parent and you'll make the right call about when to encourage any activity in their lives, but you can rest assured that with the right precautions, gymnastics can be a very positive addition to the activities of kids of all ages.

 

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