Recreational Gymnastics for school age children

School aged children continue to develop and master the fundamental movement patterns. They also begin to learn gymnastic sport skills.

Some of the programs that PLAY Gymnastics BC clubs have for school age children include:

This is also the “sampling stage” where children sample a range of sport activities and gymnastics should be one of their sports! There is little pressure to achieve, as children have an opportunity to enjoy sport, have fun, and develop fundamental motor skills.

The skills they learn in FUNdamentals gymnastics programs are beneficial for both competitive and recreational activities in any sport and will enhance the quality of life and health. Children can move from recreational gymnastics to other sport programs, bringing with them all of the benefits of their participation in gymnastics

Some children will show an interest in more advanced gymnastics programs and may take part in Interclub or performance opportunities. Others may move to competitive gymnastics.

Regardless, the basic premise of FUNdamentals does not change, but more advanced classes will be of slightly longer duration with a higher intensity of activity.

Sample school age classes

Usual Time Requirement:

  • Recreational gymnastics programs: one class per week for 1 to 1.5 hours
  • More advanced programs: two or three classes per week for 1.5 to 3 hours per class
  • Children in this stage do not train more than 6-8 hours per week. A good rule of thumb is that weekly training hours should not exceed the age in years of the child, i.e. 6 years old = 6 hours per week.
  • Number of weeks per year: up to 36-40
  • All children should continue to participate in at least 3-4 other activities on a regular basis.

Role of Parents:

  • Parents should introduce participants to a range of activities, provide encouragement and show interest in participating in sport and physical activity
  • Usually parents make the decision to register their child(ren) for gymnastics; to keep them busy and expending energy, to help with socialization and to develop fundamental skills
  • Parents should ensure that a balance is maintained with school, other sport and non-sport activities

Recreational Gymnastics class overview courtesy of Kamloops Gymnastics / Trampoline Centre

Programs focus on FUN, LEARNING and PARTICIPATION. Classes start with a game and warm-up to introduce FUNDAMENTAL movements and skills, followed by apparatus circuits, including all artistic gymnastics equipment, ropes, circus arts and trampoline.

These programs are designed to improve overall fitness and develop confidence in movement necessary for participation in all physical activities and sports.

As children progress, the programs begin to build a strong sport foundation as athletes develop their strength, flexibility, agility, balance and coordination with introduction to new activities and skills as gymnasts are ready.

Sample beginner recreational gymnastics class courtesy of Kamloops Gymnastics / Trampoline Centre

  • Warm-up: introduce squat, tuck, star, pencil positions; teach correct landing on feet; front support
  • Bars: Front support; long hang; tuck hang, pike hang, straddle hang; squat stand on bar; flexed arm hang
  • Balance beam: Learn a 2 foot turn and pivot turn; walking forward, walking sideways; squat to touch beam; stand in star, sit in star; landings
  • On the Floor: Jump (“stick” landings); front support; squat position on box, jump to land; forward roll down incline to stand; fall from knees; log roll

For more details on the skills your child will learn in a recreational gymnastics class, contact the PLAY Gymnastics BC club near you.

Contact

Keara Hooi, Gymnastics For All Manager, 604-333-3494, khooi@gymbc.org

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May 24 to 26, 2019

2019 BC Gymnaestrada, Victoria

Hosted by: PLAY Gymnastics BC and Lion’s Pride Gymnastics Academy Contact: Keara Urquhart, kurquhart@gymbc.org, 604-333-3494

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