If you’ve ever thought about getting your child active while building self awareness and confidence, then the Tots & Tiddlers group (alternatively known as pre-school gymnastics) at Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby might just be the thing for you.
Travel back in time to six years ago and you would have found me here with my eldest child, Kai.
We started here in the 10am session (there are several throughout the day every Thursday during term time, dependent on age) and within weeks I noticed a great difference in the way that he interacted with other children – and what a natural he was at gymnastics.
Fast forward to now, and he is now an eight-year-old who has won two silver medals as part of the Corby Gymnastics Academy, also based in Corby!
So it was little wonder that I decided to take Ruby here too.
As she is three, we currently attend the 11am session. Each session lasts for 45 minutes and costs just £3.90.
The sessions are run by qualified coaches and include a variety of climbing and fun gymnastic apparatus.
And the equipment available changes weekly, so there is no fear of boredom setting in!
Ruby can be a little wary of new people and surroundings and during our first two sessions it took a little while for Ruby to settle in.
However, on our third visit, the change in her confidence was amazing. Whereas she initially stayed by my side, now she runs off and decides what fun she is going to have!
The great things about Tots & Tiddlers is that at this age the children can basically choose what they want to go on.
So whether it’s climbing, balancing or doing pike tucks while on the bars, it’s their choice.
And every time they do well or make an effort to complete a task such as balancing on the beam, they’re rewarded with little ink stamps on their feet (one of Ruby’s favourite parts as she gets to choose which colour/design stamp she gets! Don’t worry, the stamps are just stamper pens which have designs such as lips and stars – and they easily wash off).
There is also a star turn each week which involves completing part of a course set out by one of the coaches.
For their efforts they get a star sticker – which may not sound a great incentive to us adults but it works a treat for the children!
As they progress to the later classes (which Ruby hopes to attend within the next few weeks) the structure changes slightly and is led more by the coaches, with the parents watching from the viewing area upstairs.
At the end of the session it’s time to all sit down in a circle and have song time, including the goodbye song – which Ruby knows all the actions too!
The finer details
There are several classes that take place throughout the day which is dependent on the child’s age and ability.
Children may be moved up a class if their ability exceeds what is expected of their age group.
Classes are every Thursday (term time only):
10am - 10.45am – children under 2 years
11am - 11.45am – children aged 2-3 years
Midday - 12.45pm – pre-school beginners class
1pm - 1.45pm – children aged 3-4 years
1.45pm - 2.30pm – advanced class
Each session costs £3.90 and is payable weekly.
It’s worth noting that by attending these classes, your child can move straight into a class for Corby Gymnastics Academy once your child is at school – which is great as the waiting list for the academy is currently over a year long!
Where you’ll find them
Lodge Park Sports Centre Shetland Way, Corby, Northamptonshire, NN17 2SG
Telephone 01536 400033 or email.