We know at The Little Gym Chiswick how important it is for children to be barefoot, aiding strong and healthy foot development.
Did you know a child’s foot actually contains no bones at all but consists of cartilage. This mass of cartilage ossifies (strengthening) to become all 26 bones of our adult feet. This process is only complete in their late teens.
You may have also noticed that babies are born with a pad of fat in the arches of their feet, which makes them look flat footed. The leg and foot muscles are not yet strong enough to properly support their arches when they begin to stand. By the ages of 2 to 3 the arch has usually begun to develop.
How can movement and bare footing help?
From their first step to their cartwheels, our feet take responsibility of carrying all of life’s adventures. The more movement and ideally the more barefoot we can be, the more we can strengthen the muscles and help to build our bone density through weight bearing activities.
We know as soon as the shoes and socks are put on, they come straight back off! We may think its a cry for attention or rebelling from being told what to do but children love the freedom and the comfort of being barefoot. This also allows the child to observe their toes and see the movement their feet can do, therefore helping develop their body awareness.
Movement is highly beneficial for the growth of strong and healthy feet. Barefooting allows the children to have a better grasp on the floor as they feel the floor temperature, materials and all different kinds of textures beneath their feet during motion. It provides stability and spatial awareness to manipulate their body around obstacles to avoid tripping or falling.
Movement is also vital in helping the arch develop therefore it can function properly. The arch of the foot is designed to bare all weight from the human body as well as absorbing all stresses that is placed on us from day to day. Without the arch this can cause negative effects on the biomechanics of our bodies.
A The Little Gym Chiswick we encourage all of our children to be bare foot in the gym not only to prevent slipping on the equipment but also so that they can benefit from all of these amazing stimuli!
Here at The Little Gym Chiswick we are always looking for ways to improve wellbeing and share interesting and helpful tools to boost everyday life!
Our good friend and Essential Oils guru Tara has recently been able to share with us her amazing knowledge all about how Essential Oils can benefit adults and children alike. She has very kindly shared with us this blog post to let our larger TLG Chiswick family know all about our exciting Essential Oils Week that is coming up in December 2018!
"Have you ever tried using essential oils as a natural way to treat your family?
Did you know that they are powerful tools for young children and adults alike, and can be used both topically and internally as well as aromatically as a way to support and fortify the body and mind.
The research and information available to us these days is showing more and more evidence that these pure plant elixirs are very effective and can be used in a myriad of ways to create sustained health and wellbeing. From supporting the emotions, to soothing an upset stomach, they are incredible natural solutions that are easy to use for the whole family.
We are super excited to be hosting a whole week of essential oil classes and workshops during the first week of December with Tara Walsh, a yoga teacher and essential oils educator. While being based in Barcelona, she regularly travels to Madrid, London and beyond to educate mums and dads, healthcare professionals and therapists about how to use these potent plant remedies. She will be with us for the whole week from Monday 3rd December to Friday 7th, helping you to understand how you can use these alternative solutions to resolve almost 80% of your healthcare needs."
Tara will be popping in to the gym throughout the whole week and is excited to be attending our Tumble & Tea sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. But keep an eye out, as she will also be around in our downstairs lobby during our other classes throughout the days. Come and have a chat with her over a cup of tea!
So make sure you pop the dates in your diary!
For any questions please email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02089943729
Next Week at The Little Gym Chiswick we are having a Parent Involvement week in all of our Pre-School and Primary School classes (ages 3-12). How exciting!
This means that in the last 10-15 minutes of each class we will be inviting the parents and grownups into the gym to join in with a fun learning activity with their children.
This comes in the form of a fun skill workshop!
In our last learning unit Parent Involvement week we helped our Pre-school parents understand how we teach a forward roll here at The Little Gym and why each step is very important to get that perfect roll! We also then showed them how to help their little ones when performing this skill. Likewise, in our Primary school classes we did a very similar fun and educational workshop, but for them it was all about Handstands!
At The Little Gym Chiswick we pride ourselves on our purpose built gym with an entire wall of windows for our grownups and parents to peak into class. However, you only get a little glimpse into our The Little Gym classes from watching through the windows. Coming into the gym allows the adults to soak up the positive atmosphere, get physical and creative with their littles ones and most importantly experience the teacher role from a first person perspective. How we spot, how we teach progressions and how we engage the children in all their adventures and gymnastics skills in a nurturing way.
We love to give parents the confidence and knowledge to help their children at home with skill growth. We know that many children want to roll, flip and handstand all over the house or garden when they are at home, so activities like this help give our families a little bit of experience when it comes to spotting a skill so that they can offer some help and guidance in between their The Little Gym classes!
Next week in our Parent Involvement activities we will be delving into some Monkey Jumps and Cartwheels for our Pre-School classes (ages 3-5) and some powerful vaulting skills for our Primary School classes (6-12).
We can’t wait to have some #seriousfun with you all!
Not Enrolled? Call now on 02089943729 or email email@example.com
That time of year has come around again fast, and we’re excited!
Christmas is on its way, and boy have we got some exciting plans here at The Little Gym Chiswick just for you. Between Christmas Camps, Practise Time sessions, Tumble & Tea parties and Christmas Classes we’ve got your winter break all covered this year.
During the school holidays, rain or shine, The Little Gym camps combine fun, sport, creative activities and learning to keep your kids active, entertained and laughing. All while carefully developing their minds, bodies and self-confidence. Children love them!
With special themed activities that change every camp, the adventure is new and fun every camp you attend.
Camps run upstairs and downstairs so that children of different ages and with different interests can attend at the same time. Choose between Gymnastics, Karate and Dance with options for 3-8 years and 5-12 years. As usual, all-day campers are treated to a home cooked lunch, on us!
This year Christmas Camps will be running all through the winter break and even into the New Year. Dates are as follows:
17th - 21st December (All day)
24th December (Morning only)
27th - 28th December (Morning only)
31st December (Morning and Lunch)
2nd - 3rd January 2019 (All day)
4th January (Morning only)
Book now to avoid disappointment!
Members Camp - £42
Non-Members Camp - £48
Members Lunch Club - £15
Non-Members Lunch Club - £18
Stay all day and lunch is on us!
These sessions are available complimentary to anyone who comes to classes for age groups 3 and upwards and has a membership with us. These are 45 minute sessions designed to offer your little one extra time outside of classes to practise their skills. These sessions are supervised by an instructor but not as structured as our regular classes.They have been hugely successful so far so we’re excited to offer them again this Christmas! This gives our little gymnasts more opportunities to repeatedly practise skills, because we believe that practice makes better!
Dates for Practise time sessions are:
17th - 20th December (3-5yrs 2:30pm) (6-12yrs 4:45pm)
22nd December (3-5yrs 12pm)
3rd January 2019 (3-5yrs 10am) (6-12yrs 11am)
Spaces for these sessions are limited so be sure to book in advance!
These classes happen on a few dates throughout the Christmas break. Tumble and Tea gives you more opportunities for developmental play and is even more fun that makes your membership at our The Little Gym the best value yet. We are thrilled to give you more reasons to come to our gym throughout the holidays. Members enrolled in classes with have access to unlimited complimentary Tumble & Tea sessions!
This Christmas Tumble & Tea sessions will be 2 hours long,they include supervised free play in the gym, refreshments in the lobby PLUS special invites and opportunities for child development/parenting experts to chat to us. We’ve even booked one in for a Saturday for our working parents or grandparents who want to come along too!
As it is Christmas time we would love to see your little one and you all dressed up for the season, as you can guarantee our instructors and our gym will be too!
Dates for Christmas Tumble & Tea sessions are:
Tuesday 18th December 2-4pm *Special Christmas Session, dress up is of course essential and there will be plenty of special activities and treats too!*
Saturday 22nd December 10-12pm
Wednesday 2nd January 2019 10-12pm
During the break from our normal schedule we will be running a few extra classes for ages 5 and under...
For our under 3’s we have classes running 17th-21st December, and for 3-5’s on the 22nd December!
This is a brilliant chance to use any make up sessions you may have accrued over the past few weeks, or to just drop in for an extra fun christmas class!
Drop in classes - £25 per class
The team here is all very excited for the Christmas season to begin and can’t wait to get involved in the fun!!
Call 02089943728 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to BOOK NOW!
Be sure to keep updated on our social media pages, as we will be announcing any updates or changes to the schedule there!
Can you imagine reading a book on a tightrope, or eating your dinner on an exercise ball? You would be too worried about trying to balance and not fall off rather than on the task.
How comes its difficult for children to sit still? Why are they fidgeting in classrooms or at the dinner table?
When we’re about to trip or fall, how comes adults place their hands in front of them and children sometimes don’t?
All these questions come back to one thing… our VESTIBULAR SENSE and how we now have matured ours as adults.
Growing up as children we can’t learn how to sit still by sitting still or inherit good balance from our parents. These skills that we need in our daily lives are learnt and the best way to learn is through movement.
Our vestibular system is centered in our inner ear and is referred to like a spirit level. The fluid in our ears detect whether the body is upside down, standing, sitting, spinning etc by recognising the changes in gravity. Once the brain has information of the body’s orientation, our vestibular system works with other senses to alert the brain on what it needs to concentrate on the most to perform that particular skill.
This system controls five aspects in our daily lives; posture, balance, alertness, concentration, and stillness. This is why most adults have mastered the skill of sitting still. As well as having developed our core strength, our vestibular systems are well oiled machines with plenty of movement experiences to refer to therefore our brain and body can automatically perform the task whilst still having enough brain power to take on more information.
Now think about your time sitting at your school desk and how much information we had to take in.
Without a strong vestibular system, are our children ready to sit at school desks and take on the world of education?
What can we do to help?
We know movement is one of the top priorities in the brain. Every move, new experience, repetition, sensory output and input create neural pathways in the brain that will be set for life. Not only do these pathways mould how our children think and learn, but it it will shape who they become.
The Little Gym Chiswick takes every opportunity to provide children from as young as 4 months old to explore their movement and allow them to build the strength and confidence they need to take risks in a safe and nurturing environment.
Practice makes better!
We are pleased to say that our NEW Practice time sessions that we have started running in the recent October half term have been a huge success and we will be continuing them in all of our future class breaks.
We have had lovely feedback from many members letting us know how valuable the extra few hours in the gym have been for their children over the class break.
Here is a beautiful message we received from a much loved member Vanessa this week:
I wanted to say a huge thank you for making the 'practice sessions' available this half term.
Firstly my boys absolutely enjoyed the freedom of being in the gym without the usual structured lesson, having fun practising their favourite skills but secondly and more importantly it noticeably helped Harrison in particular progress in just four consecutive days consolidating what he usually does just once a week.
Specifically Harrison's cartwheels and handstands improved. I was so excited by his cartwheel on Wednesday (first time EVER with straight legs) that I burst into the gym to congratulate him! These 4 extra sessions really boosted his confidence too.
It was hugely successful and selfishly I hope you may decide to do these again in the future school holidays?
Please pass on my appreciation to your team, they were brilliant, supportive and fun as always.
Practice Time sessions will continue to be available for our members aged 3-12 years old during our half term breaks and school holidays. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updated timetables and dates for when these sessions will be taking place!
This year on our The Little Gym Chiswick calendar, we supported and hosted our very own #WEAR IT PINK fundraiser for Breast Cancer Now!
It was a great success and our sweet treats sale, brightly pink attire and generous donations from our members totalled a whopping £215.50. As well as raising money; love, support and stories were shared with open hearts.
Why we wore it pink?
The more awareness we raise, the more encouragement we give to woman and even men to make checking themselves part of their daily routine. We know of many people affected by cancer within our The Little Gym Chiswick family and want to give back to the amazing research that is done daily!
For any further information...
If you wish to join this fantastic cause for next year or just want more detail about the Breast Cancer Now Team then check out their website at; https://breastcancernow.org/
Here in The Little Gym Chiswick we are finishing up our first Learning unit of the season all about our Propreoceptive sense. Each week we have been focusing on a different aspect of this and communicating the importance of all types of sensory input to our members of all ages!
What is Proprioception?
'In the simplest terms, proprioception is our body’s ability to know where it is at any given time (otherwise called body awareness). And just like we see through receptors called our eyes, with proprioception, we know where our body is because of receptors that run all through our muscles and joints. Our vision is stimulated by bright lights or moving objects, and proprioception is stimulated by pressure to the receptors all throughout our body. Anytime we squeeze through a tight space, hug someone, or jump up and down we are getting proprioceptive input.'
Proprioceptive activities are one of our favorite types of sensory input because they can be used to help calm, focus, or even alert a child. Our proprioceptive sense really is that powerful and amazing! But, this isn’t a once size fits all situation. It may surprise you to learn that there are many different types of proprioceptive activities that can all have different affects, and when you learn what they are and when to offer them… well, it can be a game changer in your child’s behaviors, attention, and ability to sleep!
Did you know proprioceptive seekers are constantly doing things like:
For an amazing article that we love about why propreoception matters for our children have a look here...
Part of what’s so incredible about proprioceptive activities is that some of them can be used so fast and require no special toys or equipment. Just patting a dog can help teach a child about how much pressure to use with their hands in that situation. On the other hand, whilst in the gym we are lucky to have the most amazing equipment to aid our children in finding out all about their bodies through movement and gymnastics. For example, just like patting a dog helps a child know how gentle they can use their hands, learning a handstand can teach them how forceful they can use them to support their entire body weight through only their hands.
Our gym set-up is ever changing here at The Little gym Chiswick so as to challenge our members to know where their body is each week in navigating their way though a different environment, and challenging their propreoceptive sense in countless different ways!
We're excited to announce our second Open House event this season! It will be held on Saturday 27th October from 9am-1:30pm. If you missed our first Open House back in August, we'd love to invite your little ones along to our October event for lots of giggling and growing in the gym!
There will be a chance to experience a taster of our award-winning child development classes, and enjoy lots of friendly chats over coffee and tea after class.
Spaces are limited. Call now or book online here. Bookings are essential:
9:00am -- 'Beasts' for 19-30 months
9:45am -- 'Super Beasts' for 30-36 months
10:30am -- 'Birds' for 10-18 months
11:30am -- 'Funny Bugs' 3-4 years
12:30pm -- 'Giggle Worms/Good Friends' 4-5 years
The Open House is free and designed for those who have not yet attended an Open Day or tried our programme before. Call 02089943729, email email@example.com or book online here. Places are limited!
As a thank you for joining us on this fabulous day we have an exclusive offer just for you.....
Enrol in classes on the day and get 2 classes free!
We look forward to welcoming you and your little one into out The Little Gym Chiswick family!