Little Gym: Excercise for Infants
Curiosity rules the mind of a recently mobile baby. But it also begs the question, How much is a tiny environmental investigator really physically capable of?
"The basics would be the balance and the coordination," explained Little Gym program director Sheila Robertson. "I think self confidence is the biggest thing too."
"I've seen so many children too that have come into gym so timid because they haven't been in that social setting," Robertson said. "Social awareness is a huge thing to for the children of those stay at home parents, for them to have the opportunity to socialize and just build self confidence in a group setting."
"He absolutely loves it. He's learning how to jump and do rolly-pollies," said parent Vicki Fisher. "I didn't know how he was going to interact with other children. I didn't know what he was going to do. I thought possibly he wasn't going to do very much but instead it's the complete opposite."
Classes are offered for babies as young as four months old. Mom or dad go with them until they're three, then there are more independent classes until age 12.
There's no hard scientific evidence infant exercise programs provide benefits beyond the opportunity for baby-parent interaction. But most doctors KOMU spoke with say they wouldn't discourage the idea of "Baby Gym".
It's a very stimulating environment and making sure your kids understand being active is part of a healthy lifestyle, getting into that habit as early as possible is a great idea. And as a bonus, it seems to help parents out too.
"When we're going through those forward rolls, sometimes they can be a little nervous manipulating those little bodies in different ways," said Robertson. "It's really nice to see them getting a little more confident and comfortable in handling their children in different ways."
"I'm in an environment where it's safe for him," said Fisher. "So he can just run off and I don't have to worry about him hurting himself."
All of the parents feel their children are learning new skills. Whether its balance and coordination, listening to and following directions or just how to play nice.
So, how much does it cost? The parent-child classes average out to about $13 a week. That's for an hour once a week.