Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's the Little Things: The Little Gym

Life with a rambunctious, inquisitive, busy-bodied toddler is really ...ummm... well... it's just really. Honestly, no words can accurately describe how our life is somehow simultaneously both an utter shit show and a well-oiled machine all rolled up into a big ball of deep, overflowing love. Our life is a perfect disaster really and I have been learning to just go with it. It's a fine balance between keeping consistency, but also allowing Myles to experience new things. I have found that routines have really helped Myles in all aspects of his growth. His sleep, attitude, eating, socializing, and learning have all benefited from the stability and predictability of our routines.
One of our weekly routines is going to The Little Gym. Even though we've been going every week for 8 months now (sometimes twice a week), I still always look forward to taking him. I have seen him change so much since we first started taking him. Of course, he has progressed physically, but more importantly it has taught him to embrace routine and procedure. Now that Myles has a mind of his own, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get him to listen sometimes. I have been working on cause and effect a lot lately and going to a structured play time has really helped with this. 
When we first started going, he would run away with things that he was supposed to be putting away, namely balls. He also would never sit and wait for his turn to say his name and get a hi-five. Now that he knows the routine so well, when triggered by the certain songs we sing, he has no problem putting things away and sometimes even does it before the time is up! Whatever voodoo magic they use to get my son to put a ball away after only a couple of minutes of play time needs to be taught to all moms: the priceless gift of obedience :)
 
This is what Myles does if he finds anything new at the gym. He has to figure out what fun activities can be done with it. And 'fun' for him means anything that allows him to almost break a bone and give his mother a heart-attack. He would not leave this mat alone during free play. He spent the whole time rolling, unrolling, and jumping on it.

They change the set-up every week, but Myles always finds he beloved hotdog rollers to walk across over and over and over. He also loves this tire-looking-circle-thing (technical term). He likes to roll it around or get inside and have someone roll him around: of course the two things that really shouldn't be done with it. My rebel son, I tell ya!

Skill of the week: learning to stand up and walk across the beam! He used to favor the bars, but now he likes the beam best. Love my little gymnastics baby :)
IT'S BALL TIME: Myles' favorite part of class. They just dump out a garbage can full of balls and let the kids have at it. Usually Myles just finds his favorite ball and carries it around everywhere. Occasionally, he will throw it to me or kick it around, but for the most part, he is the crazy ball hoarder wondering around collecting any and all balls. 

Sometimes what you think are just little things actually make a huge different in a child's life. I love giving Myles the feeling of safety and comfort through routine; not all kids are so lucky. It really is all about The Little Things.
And of course a huge thanks as always to Ashley over at Words About Waverly for putting together this link-up! 

  Do your kids go structured play time or gym classes? Do you see positive changes from them?

20 comments :

  1. Thank you so much for this post! Having just moved to a new city with a curious, almost 1 year old who is learning to walk I looked into activities for her in the area. We have a Little Gym here in Memphis but I was on the fence because of the cost. Do you just have a membership or do you take him to classes?

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  2. We go to a similar class called Gymboree. It's awesome!

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  3. These pictures are priceless - and his heart-attack inducing boys moves? He's just all boy... and I don't think it changes until they get old. Really, really, really old. ;)

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  4. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesMarch 5, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    It looks like Myles has a BLAST at Little Gym!

    We attend Gymboree, which is similar. And, you're so right - how the instructors get the kids to clean up is beyond me!

    And, this is seriously my life, to a "t" --- "an utter shit show and a well-oiled machine all rolled up into a big ball of deep, overflowing love"!!

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  5. Julia - He is so adorable and looks like he absolutely loves going!!
    I definitely think doing something consistent like this is awesome for your kiddos. I used to take lilly to gymboree and that was a lot of fun. However, since she was about 8 weeks old, we've gone to this thing called Stroller Strides (workout group for mommies with kiddos in strollers, and then it's followed by park play time), and that has helped us tremendously to establish a consistent schedule. I've also made amazing friends there and all of Lilly's little friends are from there. She loves it now that she's 2, and I notice when we're consistent with it in our schedule, we have a better day ;D

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  6. I love going too because it gives us something to do to burn out some energy as well as learning skills and playing with other kids! I totally recommend it for all toddlers. And thanks for stopping by!

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  7. He looks like he's having so much fun! We take Mason to Gymboree and he loves it! I only wish we had started going sooner. #mommyfail . It's so exciting to see them really "get" things and understand what is going on and be able to predict based on a song or a cue what is going to happen next! I love watching him learn and grow!

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  8. We started when he was 11 months old because we just moved all the way across the US! I think it is a great way to meet other moms and kids. It is kind of costly, but it's the only activity that we pay for. I'm not sure how long we will keep going once he gets into more activities, but it's the best one for him at this age. I'm not sure if it works that same at all the gyms, but we have a membership and then pay a monthly fee. We have one home class a week that we always go to and then there are other classes that we can 'drop-in' if they are not full and they usually never are. So on average we go about 2 times a week. The more you go the better the deal as far as money goes. Let me know if you have any other questions and if you decide to go. Also you can try one class for free to see if you like it before signing up!

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  9. I figured so much! I was wanting a boy so bad so I am guessing the heart-attacking will last a long time. Be careful what you wish for, right!?! I love all his crazy stunts though... until he really gets hurt.. then I'll be mad lol

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  10. Sometimes he's really into the activities, but other times he just wonders and does his own thing. I try not to stress too much because I just want him to have fun. But of course I would like for him to learn to listen to other people and cooperate in group activities. It's the only organized play time he has. Do you think Marcus will ever go to daycare before he starts school? I have been thinking about it lately and I worry I am not doing enough with him.

    I love that we relate so well as toddler boy moms! It's chaos, structure, craziness, and routine all in one!

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  11. It was really hard to get on a schedule at first, even up until about 1. Being a SAHM is different because most of the time you do different things everyday and not all of them are at the same time. But I have tried really hard lately to make a routine during the day. So we are pretty set on eating and napping times. It has changed him so much in a good way. I really had no idea what I was doing being my first time. There is a huge learning curve! So many things you never even think about when becoming a parent. I love the Stroller Strides idea: exercise and then park play. And also it's with the same people so your daughter looks forward to seeing friends and feels safe. I would love to do something like that too!

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  12. I looked into all the options by use but we really didn't have many. The community center has a gym class, but it's only every 6 weeks or so. It is cheaper but I don't really know what the class is like so for now we are sticking with Little Gym. I would totally recommend it though. It teaches them so much, especially for those that aren't in any other structured learning or daycare, like my son. I love taking him and seeing how much he was learned and changed since the beginning. I would definitely say to try it out. I think they let to go to a class for free before signing up too.

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  13. We just signing our little one up for soccer tots hoping to run out some energy! We tried a gymnastics place but they didn't have much for her age - the place you posted looks fantastic!!



    Charlotte

    123-chachacha.blogspot.com
    Visiting from the Little Things link-up!

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  14. I remember you posting about that a couple weeks ago! It is pretty pricey but I think it's worth it. I'm glad Mason likes it so much. It's has been a good way to meet people for us too. It really is so cool to watch them pick up on things, it seems to happen so fast at this age!

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  15. Brittnei WashingtonMarch 9, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    This sounds so fun and a learning agility tool for a toddler! I never thought to try to bring my son to a place like this before. Thanks for sharing with us at Countdown in Style! Don't forget to stop by Friday to see if you are featured :)

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  16. Love this!! My baby girl has been going to baby gym for a few weeks now & we both feel sooo much better after we do. :) http://likeamorningcupofcoffee.blogspot.com/

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  17. April @ 100lbcountdownMarch 11, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    At this time, we don't pay for any structured play time, but we do go to a bible study that has play time. It's pretty cool. Bee is much more calm when out with others than at home. I took her to a little gymnastics play thing and they thought she did so well, that I should sign her up. At the time she wasn't quite two, and their classes started at three. She ran circles around the three year olds in ability and energy. We'll be doing that real soon. Thanks for stopping by and linking up with Countdown in Style.

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  18. It really has! He tends to be all over the place (which I am sure is normal for his age), but this helps him be a little more focused. I try to make more of a routine at home, but I haven't been very good at it. I need to be better at having certain activities done at certain time throughout the day. Just another job added to the list of SAHM, right?!?

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  19. This looks so fun! I want a little gym in my hood! Or in my house….! I’m so proud of him for learning the routine of clean up so well. I often think about what the future holds for Dylan and the crazy, wild, heart attack moments he is going to bestow on me. I’m kind of scared- I was such a safe (seemingly) little kid, I don’t know what type of crap I’m in for. Sigh, moms of boys. I love this post, the first paragraph is worded beautifully.

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  20. It really is so nice be able to go to a place where they can be active and get into whatever is there. At home, I have to always watch what he is doing and keep him from things. I know he get frustrated by it, but at the gym, he can run free and not be stopped :) I'm glad you guys enjoy it too!

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