The Little Gym is a place that we hold close to our hearts in our home. We started at The Little Gym when Jameson was only 4 months old. There weren’t many classes or activities available for that age and I was excited to have an activity to do with him. At that age, I was excited to stretch his legs, see him smile, and help encourage him to practice rolling over. It is crazy to see how far we’ve come since then.
As Jameson has grown, we went from practicing rolling over, to sitting up, to crawling, standing up, walking, running, jumping, and the list goes on. Our weekly The Little Gym classes have been an opportunity to focus on building new skills in a safe and spacious environment. When Jameson was learning to crawl and walk, he made the most of his progress during his classes at The Little Gym. In addition to working on gross motor skills, the instructors share information on how our little one’s minds work, while giving us ideas for activities to practice at home with them and ways we can interact with them to help their brains grow and thrive.
Almost every week, Jameson does something new that surprises me. I absolutely love going to The Little Gym because seeing even the tiniest change from week to week is so impressive and I would not notice all those things at home. I leave every class feeling so happy and my heart is so full. The class structure and routine is great for growing children and this is where I notice the most growth in my son. From the first week he finally helped put the balls away on his own, to the week he turned his hand the correct way when reaching for his stamp at the end of class, to when he grabbed onto the rings and hopped off the platform and hung on his own, to running and diving over the “hot dog” into a forward roll with no fear, to the week he decided to climb up onto the low balance beam by himself and try to walk along it. I could see the concentration in his face that it took, and he was determined.
The Little Gym fosters Jameson’s independence in the best way. We, as parents, are encouraged to let our children lead the way and to try to stay as hands off as possible to let them problem solve on their own. It’s pretty amazing what he can do when given the opportunity, without me jumping in to help him too quickly. He loves to take off on his own and get to playing almost as soon as we arrive. I love that he is free to be able to leave the group and wander if he chooses. It allows me as a parent to relax and be happy knowing he is enjoying himself doing what he wants to do, instead of being forced to stay with the group. This also encourages his independence and it is interesting to see what he will choose to do and try without anyone else guiding him.
We feel so blessed to be able to take Jameson to The Little Gym every week. We grow individually and closer together each week while spending that time together during class. Since we don’t have any local family and had very few local friends before Jameson was born, the team members at The Little Gym have been some of the most constant presences in Jameson’s life. They have watched him grow and they get excited with me for each new milestone. Miss Stephanie was even the first person he ever reached for to hold him from my arms. No matter how many children are in our class each week, I always feel like Jameson always gets individual attention and support, as do the rest of the children. The team members do a great job of making everyone feel like family, and we are so lucky to be a part of that family.