No Sugar for a Year!

Every once in a while a read an article or hear about something that makes me say “Wow, that is pretty cool, I wonder if I could do that with my family?” Here is an article that makes me say just that, I wonder if I could go a year without sugar….and could I persuade my kids to follow me. I would love to do this, and I think I could and what intrigues me the most is how the kids would behave differently. I do not support the use of sugar in our household, no “pop” or “soda” or white sugar to put on cereal etc but it is close to impossible to have a sugar free diet unless you make it a commitment. This family did it, so I think a “congrats” to them is deserved and I wonder if I could see a difference in any behaviors if every family that brought their child to The Little Gym also tried this for a year.

Dare I say “food for thought!”?

Sugar free for the year!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Slater

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To Clean up or Not Clean up….

Ever feel like you go from room to room chasing kids around and cleaning up after them? Yea me neither…..I will admit at times it drives me crazy, other times I let it go and try to live in the present. So what if my house is a mess, I will clean it up soon, just not right now. I would rather spend a few extra minutes talking with my kids, my wife or playing a quick game of soccer in the back yard. I look at it this way, on my death bed I am not going to say to myself  ”I really wished I would have cleaned up the house more often…” I would like to think I would reflect back and say that I spent as much time as I had with my kids, messy house at times and all. I was happy to stumble across this article that talks about cleaning up, or not cleaning up. Since she promotes not cleaning up I like her even more.

Clean up later

Thanks for reading,

 

Slater Crosby

 

How to Discipline??

As a parent of 3, and running a small business that deals with children under the age of 12, the word “discipline” comes up every once in a while…….. I am not an expert in this area, or pretend to be, but this article is a great read.

How To Discipline

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Slater

 

New Year’s Resolution

As the big day came this year I tried to think what my New Year’s resolution would be for the year. In general I feel that New Years is the most over rated holiday that exists, but I do like the idea of looking at last year and trying to make a resolution. I only like one resolution, not a list of 10 – that gets too overwhelming and I lose the focus with too many focuses…

This year’s resolution is not a new idea or thought for me, but one that I feel is the most important for me year in and year out and I was reminded about it just the other day.

I was running into the mall for a few last minute gifts and I came across this scene.

At the top of the escalator stood a very cute 2-year-old girl, who was crying and looking up at her daddy for a little love. Dad was on his phone texting and looking at his wife as to say “hey deal with the crying girl “ and the mom was on her phone texting or searching the internet for a better deal and shot the same look back to her husband. So there it was, a crying little girl who just wanted to be held or given some attention by her parents and neither one of them had the time of day to peel their eyes away from their phones to spend some time with their crying daughter. It seems so simple when it isn’t you in the situation.

Enter my resolution.

“Live in the present” is my resolution and this is what I wanted to tell this young couple. However I think I would have been beaten up by both of them in a matter of seconds.

Have I ever done this? Probably…I am not a perfect father nor do I pretend to be one or play a perfect dad on TV. But I do work on this ‘live in the present’ all the time. Embrace the moment you are in, do not think about where you would rather be or what you would rather be doing, embrace the moment you are in. Period. It is simple and it will lead to a much happier life and before you know it your kid will be off to college and you will rarely have a shopping mall experience with your daughter ever again, so make the most of it.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Slater

It’s time for a brand new Learning Unit!

December 16th – January 12th

(TLG is closed 12/24 – 1/1)

Swing-a-long, Sing-a-long

Parent/Child Gymnastics Classes (ages 10 months-3 years)

For three weeks of classes, we’re going to explore how music is central to your child’s development and how music can aid in learning motor-skills. Did you know that developing a sense of rhythm positively affects a child’s ability to coordinate their movements during physical activity?! Another awesome benefit of music is its ability to enhance children’s language development. The rhyming and repetitive nature of nursery rhymes mimics the sound of “motherese” – the higher-pitched sing-song soothing pattern of speech that babies respond best to. Plus, children learn and retain information better if it’s experienced by multiple senses at the same times

Show, Show, Show Your Roll Gently Down the Cheese

Pre-K Gymnastics (ages 3-6)

This learning unit was designed to highlight the importance of music in our curriculum. Research shows that musical experiences improve memory and cognitive brain function in children. Plus, music encourages motor development, creativity, and body awareness. Over the next three weeks, you’ll notice how and why we use so much music throughout all of our classes – it can inspire movement, emotions (like relaxation or excitement), and cognitive function (catching the rhythm and helping with memorization)… wow!

Sports Play Buffet

Pre-K Sports Classes (ages 3-6)

Multi-Sport Preparation for Mid-Season Showcase

The sports classes will get a physical and mental workout as they review specific skills, techniques, and game-play procedures from a variety of sports that we have covered so far this season. The cognitive challenge comes in as they distinguish activity names and equipment and match them to the correct sport! This sports review will help them develop a greater sense of confidence in their understanding and performance of the related skills.

 

Rhythm Rodeo

Pre-K Dance Classes (ages 3-6)

This learning unit is a fun focus on music, rhythm, and movement. The kids will work to keep time to the music when they dance! When movement is performed to music, both sides of the brain are more fully activated, allowing information and learning to be retained more completely. The dancers will also work on learning a short, “mini-dance” routine!

 

Continental Cartwheels

Grade School Gymnastics Classes (ages 6-12)

A high-powered focus on cartwheels and cartwheel-related skills comes into play over the next three weeks! There is so much to be said for repetition when it comes to core strength and learning new physical skills. And just for fun, we’ll add in a fun lesson on geography. The kids will also be challenged to put skills together in a specific order for some “mini-routines”, which has them working hard to remember what’s next, make it connect, and still keep their bodies tight and in control!

It’s time for a brand new Learning Unit!

It’s time for a brand new Learning Unit!

December 2nd-15th

Watch the COLORS Run

Parent/Child Gymnastics Classes (ages 10 months-3 years)

For two weeks, an added focus will turn to color awareness, recognition, and memorization. When learning colors, the thinking is more abstract: we have to memorize a concept! This type of thinking can improve your child’s memorization skills and further develop their language skills.  You’ll get to explore the three stages of understanding colors that children experience: Matching, Identifying, and Naming, and how all of these colors in the gym actually encourage learning by stimulating your child’s brain!

Hand-eye Heroes

Pre-K Gymnastics (ages 3-6)

The next two weeks will allow the kids to concentrate on their hand-eye and foot-eye coordination through fun activities with both friends and parents. We’ll use both gymnastics AND other sports-related activities to enhance this learning, also challenging them to think and move fast.

Pre-K Sports Classes (ages 3-6)

Tennis, Volleyball, Soccer, and Football

The sports classes will get to explore and review all four of these sports in the next two weeks! One week will allow them to focus heavily on their hand-eye coordination, and the next week will be a foot-eye coordination workout… can you guess which is which?

 

What HUE are you?

Pre-K Dance Classes (ages 3-6)

This learning unit will enrich the creative movement experience of dance by expressing the feelings and moods associated with colors! The dancers will use color to better understand and execute patterns of movement, and they’ll start to break down the principles and steps involved in creating and remembering dances.

 

Back It Up!

Grade School Gymnastics Classes (ages 6-12)

This learning unit has a strong skill-building, get moving focus on BACKWARD tumbling skills. It is common in gymnastics to travel backwards just as much, if not more than, we travel forward! Backward skills require more strength, force, body awareness, and coordination, so get ready for a couple of awesome workouts and challenges

Thanks for reading!

Slater Crosby

Teaching Confidence….with strangers

A big part of what we teach at the little gym is for kids to be comfortable.  Comfortable with who they are and who they aren’t, what they can do, what they can’t do, and helping the kids to celebrate their uniqueness. It is an easier concept for parents to grasp than young kids, especially as they start to look at others and compare themselves and wonder, “Do I look like that?” “Am I as fast as that person?” and then get a sense in where they fit in. The next step to wondering if they fit in is to judge themselves against others and then create their self-worth.  I know I am over exaggerating this process a little bit, but this is the process that kids and people go through whether we like it or not.  The goal for any parent, educator and instructor at The Little Gym of Edina is for the kids to be happy with who they are as a person-as corny as that sounds. It’s true, we know we can’t change a person entirely and make them a different person, it’s about finding your strengths and being happy with what you have, not yearning for stuff you don’t have. This is true in all aspects of us as a person, athletically, emotionally, spiritually and personality wise. The earlier people can figure this out the better.  No matter how many squats I do, I will never have a larger vertical jump than Michael Jordan, never. I have to get over that and move on, but just because I can’t jump high doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy sports or basketball. I am also a crier, big time and I kind of hate it, I can’t get through a soccer banquet or much less anything else kid related without getting choked up.  I wish I did not have always stand in the back and “go to the bathroom” at times to catch a breather but I do. Again, it doesn’t mean I am not a man, a good father or a loving husband, it just means I hide more than others when I know I do not want to tear up publicly.

So where am I going?

What if I asked you to pose with a random person in a picture, and then asked you to be slightly intimate with them. Not kissing, but close and show emotion. Asking you to let it all go, let the barriers down and play the game of trying to find something about this total stranger that you can show emotion towards, and pose in a picture. Could you do it? My question to you is how comfortable are you with yourself and how are you raising our kids to simply “love the one your with”?  (Yes this song quote is taken a little out of context but it works!) If you think you could take the picture it shows that you are comfortable with yourself and able to expose yourself briefly to a total stranger and know it will all be ok. I am not sure if I would cry in the picture, but if asked the right questions I could come close. This photographer did this and what the people said after is pretty amazing. Please watch.

http://elitedaily.com/news/world/photographer-puts-two-strangers-together-for-intimate-photographs-and-the-results-are-surprising/

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Slater Crosby

It’s time for a brand new Learning Unit!

 

October 14th – November 3rd

Teetering Tots

 Parent/Child Gymnastics Classes (10 months-3 years)

 

Balance and body control is the name of the game for the next 3 weeks. We will focus on the children’s core muscles (tummy, back, chest) and how important they are to controlling balance and coordination. We will try lots of rotating activities, like spinning, rolling, and rotating enhance your child’s inner ear development which is their balance control center, called the Vestibular System. Plus, we will even spend some time talking about the huge importance that your child’s feet have in their development! Stay tuned in classes to learn more about why it is so AWESOME to give them the opportunity to be in bare feet…

Balancing Betty & Stable Abe

Pre-K Gymnastics Classes (ages 3-6)

 

These two characters help us add a fun element to the all-important learning of Balance and Stability (body control) in gymnastics and in life! Their increasing ability to control their body will benefit their gymnastics skills as they learn to maintain different body shapes and positions. It will also aid them in improving their agility – learning to initiate, sustain, and stop different movements of their bodies.

Pre-K Dance Classes

 

The dancers will build on the body basics they learned in the last learning unit by concentrating on more balancing skills and bringing awareness to their center of gravity. Plus, they then have to understand and execute the body control it takes to maintain that center of gravity. They will also be challenged socially and emotionally to take on new movement qualities and dancing “solos” in front of their peers.

Pre-K Sports Classes

 

Repetition is the key to mastering any skill! The sports classes will have a chance to do just that as they review soccer & golf these next three weeks. Since they already have a basic understanding of each sport, they will have the opportunity to try some drills this time around that will help improve their body control and balance.

 

Fly Tight & Balance Right

Grade School Gymnastics Classes (ages 6-12)

 

The grade-schoolers will gain an enhanced understanding of how those Olympic gymnasts seem to actually “fly” through the air! We’ll work on the ability to have a strong, tight body by flexing and firming certain muscles to maintain body shapes through the entire skill. This enhanced body awareness will really pay off as they keep practicing! Their ability to control their body will also be tested by adding in some equipment and movements that give them a power boost.

 

 

 

Thanks for your time and thanks for reading!

 

Slater and The Little Gym Crew…

952-924-0083

 

The Benefits of Letting Kids Lose…..

I came across this article the other day and it is an argument that is gaining popularity and momentum. I personally think there is something to be said about letting kids lose; not “everyone is a champion” and deserving of  a medal. Where I disagree is if an educator can’t find something about a child to celebrate or award during the year than that teacher is not teaching properly.  Whether you are in school or sports you need to find areas about everyone to embrace and compliment. As a teacher/coach/educator I believe it is your job to inspire all kids and get them to believe in themselves to the point that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (Aristotle).  Enjoy the article and let me know what you think.

Let the kids lose? 

 

Thanks for reading,

Slater

Nice Coaching…Really

I find this story inspiring, not because it aligns with my vision of ‘create olympic quality children, not olympic quality athletes’ but because he is not only talking about creating better people, he is doing this against huge odds. It is easy for me to practice what I preach teaching kids gymnastics to kids 4 months-12 years old. The parents get it, they understand the philosophy behind The Little Gym of Edina and understand at this moment of their life competitive anything is the wrong thing to push. But playing your senior year missing a football game is serious, let alone a week plus of practice. With potential scholarships on the line where and every missed game is a missed opportunity to show your college that you are worth the scholarship. Pulling the entire team from practice and games is risk with potential program downfalls and out-lashes, however it was the right move on many many levels. I respect this coach that I have never met and hope when push comes to shove I can find the strength that he has shown. I can’t wait to follow up in a couple weeks and see how many kids played the first game and earned their jersey’s back, I did hear that some kids transferred to a different school to avoid the missing practice, a game, and a huge life lesson. I predict that the team will go undefeated after this reality check.

The coach that benched his entire team

Thanks for reading,

 

Slater