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Fresh ideas, insights, and tips from

The Little Gym 

 

Extra Giggle worms / Good friends class

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Because of all our loyal and enthusiastic customers, we are ready to open another Giggle worm / Good friends class on Tuesday from 3.45 to 4.45 pm! As of Tuesday March 28th, it is possible to join this class. Is your child enrolled in another class at the moment and would you like to switch to the Tuesday? Please let us know by sending an e-mail or come see us at the desk.

Check the full class schedule here


Grade-school night out!

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On Friday, March 17th from 6.30 - 8.30 pm we will organise a very cool party for all our Grade-school kids who are joining the Hotshots/Flips and Twisters classes (6-12 years old). We will do all kind of fun activities in the gym and the lobby/birthday room. The evening will start with dinner, pizaaaaaa. So please let us know if your child has an allergy.

 

We look forward to this cool event for our Grade-school kids, do not forget to register your son/daughter.

 

Call: 020-4040798 or send an email: click here


Bring a friend week (*for members only)

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Next week we have 'Bring a friend' in all our classes from Monday March 6th until Sunday March 12th. All members of the Little Gym can bring a friend to their class and join the fun together.

 

Do not forget to sign up the friend as places are limited especially in full classes.

You can sign up by phone: 020-4040798 or by email: click here


Holiday camps during the Spring break..Sign up today!!

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The Little Gym will be open for regular classes during the Spring break from the 20th until the 27th of February. In addition to the classes we will have holiday camps for children from 3 to 8 years old, on the following days:

 

Monday, February 20th from 12.30-3.30 pm

Tuesday, February 21st from 2 to 5 pm

Thursday, February 23rd from 12.30-3.30 pm

 

Reserve your spot on time as places filling up fast. You can reserve the Winter break camps by phone;
020-4040798 or by email; amsterdam@thelittlegym.eu


So much to choose from

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A new phase has started in your child’s life! They are turning 6 and a whole world of new possibilities opens up for them and you. The offer of sports activities is more varied and can at times be overwhelming. What will be the best choice for you and your child?

 

Maybe you are very fond of dance or rugby and you would love to see your child enjoy these sports as you have done during your youth. Maybe the whole class is joining the ballet school and you child would like to join his friends?

 

Luckily your child has been working on a very strong foundation in their Giggle worms/ Good Friends class. They have grown stronger, more flexible and agile. They have learned to work together and be part of a team. Not that their improved physical abilities have opened up a new world of possibilities their class at The Little Gym will change accordingly….

 

Our Hot Shots and Flips classes are based on the official USA curriculum; it is all about learning cartwheel, handstand and back hand spring! The primary focus of a Hot Shots / Flips class is learning gymnastics skills. The groups will be divided based on individual level and specifically for those children that are ready for an even bigger gymnastic challenge, we have the Twisters class.

 

We challenge the children at their own level in a non competitive-environment where it is more important to try your best than be the best. Working with small groups and a ratio of one teacher to 7 children, every child will receive ample individual feedback. The themes of the classes specifically suit this age group with a strong focus on working together and helping each other to succeed.

 

Please come see us at the front desk with any questions you might still have. We are ready to discuss the different options for you and your child.


When your child goes to school!

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How time flies! Your little one is already turning 4 and that means ‘school’. Your child might be ready for it, but are you too? Perhaps you would like to read a little bit more about what you can expect.

 

As a parent you might worry that your child’s first period at school is too tiring. They will start with 5 days, having to complete many different assignments while sitting still for a long time. In addition your child needs to get used to a new group dynamic in a classroom and having to share the attention of the teacher with 28 other children. No wonder this can be exhausting! Luckily your child has had the opportunity to prepare for this upcoming challenge in our Funny Bugs class. They have learned to follow instructions, to stay with a group and to build a trusting relationship with an instructor. Now that the expectations of your little pupil are changing, The Little Gym class will change as well.

 

The Giggle Worms / Good friends classes are specifically developed for children 4 years and older to support them during this important new phase in their life. We offer these classes after school and during the weekend.

 

After a day of sitting still, your child will be eager to go to a warm and nurturing environment that they already know, where they can burn energy and be themselves.

 

Every child is different and each will have their individual pace to get adjusted to their new schedule. This is not only a big change for your child, but also for you as a parent!

 

We are ready to help you to find a suitable solution for you and your child. Please come and see us at the front desk to discuss the different options that we have to offer.


Join our Open Doors!

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An afternoon filled with fun, games, group activities and more.


On Saturday, February 4th from 2.30 to 4.30pm we invite everyone to our OPEN DOORS to experience our The Little Gym program. Come join us for a 'Serious fun' and active afternoon filled with games, age related activities and gymnastics. 


We offer fun activities for babies, toddlers, pre-school, kindergarden and grade school age groups (4 months to 12 years old). The Instructors will be their to help you with your questions about our programs. 
Members of The Litte Gym are also welcome to join the open doors, do not forget to bring your friends with children to this fun afternoon.

Put Saturday, February 4th on your agenda to make sure you will not miss the fun.

We look forward to see you all!


Bring a friend to The Little Gym *for members only

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Did you know that we have 'Bring a fiend' in class next week from Monday January 16th until Sunday January 22th. All members of the Little Gym can bring a friend to their class and join the fun together.

Do not forget, you need to sign up the friend as places are limited especially in full classes.

You can sign up by phone: 020-4040798 or by email: click here.



First aid workshop for babies and children at The Little Gym (*for members only)

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Make sure that you know how to deal with the most common accidents with baby’s and children.


During this workshop a certified first aid instructor will teach you how to act when a child is choking, has bruises or burns, a heavy bleed, broken bones, brain or spinal injuries or has taken something poisonous. Of course you will be able to ask any related questions you may have.

 

Come around on Wednesday the 15th of February for a coffee and an evening filled with useful information. The workshop on Wednesday the 15th will be in English.
Please note that we have the same workshop in Dutch, the Dutch workshop will be on Wednesday February 8th, same time.

 

Cost: € 25 per person (special price for members of The Little Gym)
Location: The Little Gym
Adress: Henkenshage 4, 1083 BX Amsterdam
Time: from 7 pm untill 10 pm

 

If you like to attend please contact:
Mieke Kooijman
tel: 06 14290910
email: info@kooijman-ehbo.nl

(Please note if you would like to join the English (Febr. 15th) or the Dutch workshop (Febr. 8th)



Happy New Year & Opening hours this week

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We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!!

This week The Little Gym is still closed for all the regular classes, as of Saturday, January 7th the classes will start again. Until then the the gym will be open for holiday camps for children from 3 to 8 years old. 

We look forward to see all of our members as of January 7th again! 


So much fun during the Christmas camps, come and join the fun!

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Still looking for a fun activity for your kids during the Christmas holidays?

We are having two weeks of Christmas camps for children from 3 to 8 years old. Last week we have started already and the children had lots of fun making their own The Little Gym Christmas tree.

To check the camps schedule click here and for more specific information or to sign up call us now 020-4040798.


See you during the Christmas holidays!!


Do you know what your little baby’s vision is between 0 and 12 months?

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As of next week we will pay attention to this in our Bugs (4-10 months) and Birds (10-18 months) babygym classes. Besides this we will pay attention to color recognizing.

To get to know more about your baby’s vision click here


Christmas camps at The Little Gym

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Join the fun during the Christmas holidays!

During the Christmas holidays we are open for Christmas camps for children from 3 to 8 years old. The Christmas camps run from Monday, December 19th until Friday, January 6th. 

Sign up now as places are filling up quickly, click here for the full schedule. You can call us on 020-4040798 or send an email click here


Sinterklaas event for members only

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On Saturday November 26th The Little Gym organizes specially for all our members a 'Sinterklaas event'.
To make sure everyone can fully enjoy the event, we decided to divide the day into two times for different age groups.

From 2.30 pm to 4pm we will focus on activities for the parent-child groups. This is the age group between 4 and 36 months.
From 4 pm to 5.30 pm we will organize activities specially for the 3 to 6 years old and the 6 to 12 years old.

During the Sinterklaas event you and your child are more than welcome to join in the fun, to shake hands with Sinterklaas,to be active in the gym, do some coloring, eat pepernoten and much more. 

If you want to join this active, fun Sinterklaas event please sign up before November 29th at the frontdesk or send an email, click here

Enrollment for the full season

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We would like to inform you about the different options for enrollment. At The Little Gym it is possible to enroll for a half season (until February 23rd) or for a full season (until July 23rd). We are happy to announce that a lot of you will be joining our classes until the summer; a full season!

Until November 20th we still offer a 5% discount upon enrolling for the second season. If you have signed up your child for the first part only, and you wish to enroll for the second part as well, come to the desk and we will help you reserve the spot.

Not only will we offer the 5% discount, but we will also be able to guarantee the spot in the preferred class. We have waiting lists for some classes, and we would like to offer you the option to reserve now. Especially for the Beasts (19-29 months), the Funny Bugs (3-4 years) and Giggle Worms/Good Friends (4-5 years) classes are filling up quickly.


Autumn camps are coming up!

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The Little Gym will be open for regular classes during the Autumn holiday from the 17th until the 23rd of October. In addition to the classes we will have holiday camps for children from 3 to 8 years old, on the following days:

Monday, October 17th from 12.30-3.30

Tuesday, October 18th from 2 to 5 pm

Thursday, October 20th from 12.30-3.30

Reserve your spot on time as places filling up fast.


Start of the new 2016-2017 school year!

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We hope everyone is enjoying a great Summer with nice weather, family and friends. We are having a great Summer full of camps and are already preparing for the new 2016-2017 school year. The new school year is starting in August and we are looking forward to see you all (back).

The new school starts on August 29th and will run until July 23rd. If you have not reserved a spot yet for you child in one of your preffered class yet, please ask one of the instructors to help or give us a call: 020-4040798 email: amsterdam@thelittlegym.eu 

You can find the new schedule here


Find The Little Gym Amsterdam on Facebook

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Follow and like The Little Gym Amsterdam Facebook page; link and receive regular updates regarding our program, team and other exciting events.



So much fun, celebrate your birthday party at The Little Gym!

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Your fully supervised, gymnastic based, private party will be filled with music, games, obstacle courses and of course laughter. This may be their first try at gymnastics or you could have a household of budding Olympians, the key to our parties is FUN, FUN, FUN !

Our parties are for kids of all ages, led by trained staff in our custom designed, bright and colourful gym including the very comfortable lobby (see above) where parents and young children are catered for. Bring wine and nibbles and relax whilst our team of instructors entertain the children. You have exclusive use of the whole facility for the duration of your party! We create your individual party to meet the needs of each child.

Our friendly team takes care of the whole party so parents and carers can just sit back and enjoy the FUN!



Get Up and Get Moving!

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The times, they’re changing, and it’s becoming even more difficult to keep our kids engaged, happy, and well, out of our hair. I know I’m not alone when I say that I have used my friends: television, computer, and tablet as a distraction for my children when I need 30 minutes of peace.

 

As parents, we know it’s not always easy, but are kids being exposed to too much technology? According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children spend an average of 7 hours a day using media including television, computer, internet, video games, and cell phones. In an ever growing media driven world, it’s becoming even more important to make sure your child is getting active every day.

 

So, how can you encourage your child to get active? Show them that being active is fun! Exercise as a family by going for a nightly walk, jog, or having a family soccer game in the back yard. You can also get your children involved in activities outside of the home like The Little Gym to help them appreciate a healthy and active lifestyle for years to come. Whether you’re running, jumping, or tumbling, get moving with your child to build the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits!


Our Top 5 Family Dinners

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You know how important it is that your kids eat a healthy dinner every night and we know how hard it is to get your kids to eat the food you want them to eat. If you’re tired of mac & cheese and frozen chicken nuggets, here’s a list of our top five healthy dinners that the whole family will enjoy.

 

  • Looking for a way to pump more vegetables into your kids’ diet? Let’s start with Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. The spaghetti squash is packed full of nutrients. The recipe also includes a healthy amount of celery, carrots, and tomatoes all disguised in the sauce. If you want to make it even healthier, try trading the ground beef for ground turkey.
  • These Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls are stuffed full of healthy things like black beans, spinach, and corn. If you want to make them even heartier try adding some cooked chicken breast. These save so well you might even want to make a double batch so your kids can eat them the next night, too!
  • We love burgers! As a parent you’ll love these Ultimate Turkey & Black Bean Burgers even more because not only are they made with healthy ground turkey but there is also a serving of protein- and fiber-rich black beans in each one. Add some sliced avocado to really make it healthy to the max.
  • We love this recipe for Sesame Chicken Salad because it’s a little out of the ordinary and easy as can be. Your kids will love eating the carrots, snow peas, chicken and pasta, especially when they’re the ones who mix the peanut butter dressing.
  • Your family will beg you every week to make these Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers, a fun play on the traditional chicken pot pie. You’ll be surprised how easy it they are to make. This recipe calls for chicken breast, celery, and carrots, but don’t be scared to add other vegetables to the mix.


Happy eating!


Benefits of Chores

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Do children need chores? According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, young children who are given household chores “build a lasting sense or mastery, responsibility and self-reliance.” And what parent doesn’t want that for their child?

 

The article also found that those who began chores around ages 3 and 4 were more likely to have positive relationships with their families, higher academic success and were also found to be more empathetic and responsive to others needs. Need we say more? Check out these 5 ideas for encouraging your child to help out around the house:

 

  1. Turn on some music while your child sweeps the kitchen or picks up their toys. Adding music to the mix will make doing chores more enjoyable for both of you.
  2. Kids love a good game – set a timer and motivate your kids to do their chore as fast (and efficient) as possible.
  3. Consider the way you approach chores – make it fun and let your child know that they are “helping” you by completing a certain task.
  4. Keep a chore chart - once your child has filled their chart let them choose a “prize” of their choice like staying up “late” on a weekend, ice cream with mom & dad, or a trip to your local children’s museum or zoo.
  5. Have fun with it. Making chores fun is the best way to encourage your child to complete their chores now and for years to come.

 

To read the full article, click here.


Nice Kids Finish First

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The Little Gym helps kids develop social skills, which studies find may be the most important factor for long-term success.


Science has confirmed it: nice guys don’t finish last. At least not according to a new study which suggests that kindergarten students who display pro-social behavior may be more likely to graduate college and have steady jobs. The 20 year national study tracked more than 700 children from kindergarten through age 25. The researchers found that young children that scored highest in social competence skills, such as sharing, taking turns, and listening, were four times more likely to graduate from college than those who did not. The study also found that, in some cases, these types of social skills may be better predictors of future success than academic skills.

Positive social skills are something that can be learned and improved upon throughout childhood. Programs at The Little Gym help children grow and develop social skills in a fun environment that provides a different context for learning. Games are purposefully designed to enhance social development and the non-competitive environment encourages children to play with each other rather than against each other. Children learn to become more considerate of one another, more aware of the feelings of others, and more willing to work together for mutual benefit. These essential life skills help children learn how to interact in positive and socially acceptable ways which helps them become well-rounded little people so that, as research now confirms, they grow into well-rounded adults.


Oh where, oh where have our dear manners gone? Oh where, oh where could they be?

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Good manners are not something that children will naturally pick up. Children need to be taught, reminded, and reminded again of the importance of having good manners.  Good manners help children become well-rounded adults. The trick is to teach your child manners that are age-appropriate so they are able to understand why manners are SO important!  Here are 6 manners that are at the top of our good-manners list.

 

  1. “Thank you” is a word that both parents and The Little Gym instructors cannot stress enough!  A simple thank you sends a powerful message of gratitude. When someone does something for you, gives you a compliment, gives you a gift, etc. it is important to always say thank you. When a child is old enough, a good practice is for children to write their own personal thank you notes when receiving a gift or spending time at a friend’s house. A written note goes a long way!
  2. “Please” or “the magic word”, is an important tool for children to get what they want. Please is a great manner to learn for even children who are not yet talking. If a child wants something it is important for them to use their manners by expressing ‘please’ and following it up with a ‘thank you’.
  3. “Excuse me” or “pardon me”, at a certain age children should learn not to interrupt adults when they are having a conversation. Rather, they should learn to wait their turn or say ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ if they need to interrupt. These phrases also work when in public and your child needs to get around a person who may be in their way, or when your child bumps into someone by accident. By using ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ your child will not only be heard but will be doing this in a positive manner.
  4. “Hello” and “goodbye”; Greetings and goodbyes are basic functions of communication. Beginning at a young age children should learn the appropriate way to address people when they enter and leave a room. Greetings and goodbyes are a great way to teach children how to interact with one another.
  5. Table manners; starting at a very young age children can learn table manners. Starting when children begin eating solid foods they are often re-directed when throwing or spitting food. This helps children learn what is acceptable and what is not. When children get a bit older it is important for them to learn basic table manners; knowing how to use your utensils, asking for things to be passed when they are out of reach, and asking to be excused when they are finished with their meals. Basic table manners follow children throughout their lives and helps parents enjoy their mealtimes as well!
  6. Be kind to others; it is important for children to learn how to be kind and positive. Teaching children that mean words and teasing is hurtful helps a child understand the importance of kindness.

 

Practice makes perfect – keep practicing and reminding your child of the importance of having good manners. Be repetitive, if your child does not say please then simply make them ‘say the magic word’ and they will begin to catch on! Often times role-playing is a great way to have your child experience the appropriate way to act in certain situations. Great manners go a long way and it is best to begin good practices at a young age!


Cold and Flu Myths

Cold and Flu Myths

It starts with a sniffle – next thing you know, the whole household is sneezing, coughing, and passing tissues. If you’re feeling confused about how to treat colds and the flu, you’re not alone. Separate the facts from the fiction and check out the top 3 cold and flu related myths.

 

Myth #1: The flu vaccine causes the flu: Getting a flu shot may cause symptoms that feel like the flu, but the viruses contained in the flu shots have been killed, or “inactivated.” which means they can’t cause infection. While there may be some achy side effects that can sometimes follow the flu shot, it just means your immune system is responding and processing the vaccine.

Myth #2: You’re more likely to get sick if you’re cold: Despite mom’s warnings that you should bundle up, being cold does not cause a cold. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, infections prevail in winter months because they are spread when more people stay indoors for longer periods of time and are in closer contact with each other.

Myth #3: Hugging and kissing are great ways to spread cold and flu germs: Cold and flu viruses like to enter the body through the nose or eyes, so a hug or a peck on the cheek isn’t likely to be dangerous. Don’t be afraid to give your sick child plenty of affection, and don’t worry that a kiss or hug will spread your germs to him (or vice-versa).

 

Many parents recognize The Little Gym as a safe and clean place in which to bring their children. We work hard to ensure each and every visit lives up to your expectations. Daily and weekly cleaning and sanitation helps keep our environment sparkly and keeps the germs away.  And if your child is feeling a little under the weather, our generous make-up policy allows you to attend a make-up class by simply calling us prior to the absence.


6 Ways to Build Confidence in Kids

6 Ways to Build Confidence in Kids

Parents are a child’s greatest influence. As a parent, there are many things you can be doing to establish and strengthen your child’s confidence. Here are 6 tips for strengthening your child’s confidence.

 

  1. Consider the compliments you give your child. Words of praise mean more when they refer to a child’s specific efforts or new abilities. Try using Specific Positive Feedback to focus on specific feedback rather than simply saying “Good Job”.
  2. Nurture your child’s special interests. Every child is unique, as parents and caregivers it is your job to help your children feel confident about those interests.
  3. Provide endless encouragement for your child. Your child will never forget the way you make them feel – that’s why it is important to be supportive of your child. Encourage them to reach for the stars!
  4. Do not label your child as anything – this may limit them and the way they feel about themselves as they grow.
  5. Extend trust in your child and let them make decisions.
  6. Focus on the glass half full – teach your child optimism. Teaching your child how to have an optimistic mindset will allow their confidence to shine!

 

Building self-confidence begins very early in life, it is important to set your child up for success. Use these simple tips to help your child become more confident. 


The Importance of Reading Aloud

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It’s no secret that reading to your child is a good thing – but do you know the positive effects reading has on your child’s development now and in the future? According to a recent study in Time Magazine, reading at home with your child early and often activates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language. The study also added that reading has been proven to expand a child’s vocabulary and helps to strengthen the bond between parent and child! Need we say more? Check out these four tips to help make reading together a daily habit:

 

  1. Read to your child in the morning when they wake up and each night before they go to bed. Setting aside special time to read together will help make this a daily routine you and your child will cherish forever.
  2. Keep books in every room throughout the house; in the bedroom, bathroom, living-room, and even in the kitchen! Exposure to books throughout the day will encourage your child to read more frequently.
  3. Introduce new books. Check out your local library and let your child explore all of the books they have to offer; your child will enjoy the ability to pick and choose new books each week.
  4. Most importantly, make reading fun! Create silly voices for different characters or actions; this will help keep your child’s attention and will even encourage a giggle or two!

Physical Activity can Boost a Child’s Attention, Memory, Self-control & Goal-setting

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Everyone knows that physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that it can also go a long way toward children’s brain development? The results of several studies involving grade school children suggest that daily vigorous physical activity can greatly improve children’s development in areas such as a child’s attention, memory, self-control, strategies and goal-setting.

 

In general, these skills develop rapidly through the elementary school years and then develop at a slower pace during adolescence.[1] The more vigorous exercise a child gets, the more the development of these skills increases and is reinforced. Think of kids on the playground who learn that by pushing themselves to run faster, they can catch who’s “it.” Or consider children shooting hoops who learn that, though it may be frustrating when they miss, the more they practice, the more consistently they’ll make it.

 

One researcher suggests that:

 

…in a period when greater emphasis is being placed on preparing children to take standardized tests, these studies should give school administrators reasons to consider investing in quality physical education and vigorous activity programs, even at the expense of time spent in the classroom. Time devoted to physical activity at school does not harm academic performance and may actually improve it. [2]

 

So what can you do to help boost your child’s brain through exercise?

 

  • Train as a family for a charity run or walk
  • Celebrate special occasions—like birthday or anniversaries—with something active such as a hike, a basketball or soccer game or a bike ride.
  • Play tag, jump rope, dance, or even play a dancing video game.
  • Get Moving at your local The Little Gym

 




[1]Davis PhD, Catherine L, and Norman K Pollock Phd. "Does Physical Activity Enhance Cognition and Academic Achievement in Children? A Review." Medscape. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/764365 (accessed February 6, 2014)

[2] Tomporowski, P.D., Lambourne, K., & Okumura, M.S. (2011). Physical activity interventions and children’s mental function: An introduction and overview. Preventive Medicine, 52(Suppl.1):S3- S9.

Pediatricians Call for Parent to Read to their Children Everyday

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Do you read aloud to your child every day? After numerous studies have been conducted to measure the importance of reading aloud to children, The American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new policy in telling parents to read aloud to their children daily.

 

Reading, singing, and talking to your child starting at birth has a significant impact on your child’s literacy development. During the first three years of a child’s life their brain is like a sponge, soaking up information and growing at a faster rate than any other time in their lives. That is why it is important to begin conversing with your child to enhance that brain development, and to ultimately set your child up for a lifetime of success.

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to use the five R’s of Early Childhood Education to help boost your child’s development. The five R’s are;

 

  • Read together. Again – read aloud to your child EVERY DAY starting at birth. This will help with your child’s literacy development.
  • Rhyming, playing, talking and singing together.
  • Routines and regular times for meals, play, and sleep which allows children to know what they can expect and what is expected of them.
  • Rewards for everyday successes – praise is a great reward!
  • Relationships that are reciprocal, nurturing and enduring.

 

Reading aloud to your child daily has so many benefits that will help your child enhance their vocabulary and communication skills at a very young age. Use the 5 R’s of Early Childhood Education from The American Academy of Pediatrics to help give you ideas on how to boost your child’s development starting at birth.


Let your Child’s Imagination Run WILD!

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Imaginative play is more than just fun and games. In fact, young children learn by expressing their imagination. Picture a child caring for a doll or stuffed animal, or a child pretending to be a fireman and saving the day. These children are creating life-like scenarios and acting them out. With pretend play, children are able to take on different roles, giving them the unique opportunity to learn social skills, problem solving skills, communication, and empathy.  

How can you encourage your child to use their imagination? Join the fun! Observe your child’s interest and get on their level, sit face to face with your child and imitate his actions. Keep it simple and take turns. Your child will likely mimic your actions as well.  Let your child’s imagination run wild and get playing today!


Is Your Child Getting Too Much Screen Time?

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In this day and age, it is impossible for children not to be exposed to screen time. From tablets, phones, computers, and television, technology is everywhere.  But how much screen time, if any is appropriate for young children?

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, “Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”

As easy as it may be to place your child in front of a screen, there is no evidence showing that electronic media has developmental benefit. Instead, put the electronics away and offer your child non-electronic formats of fun such as books, board games, and active play. Taking a “electronic diet” doesn’t need to be grueling, rather see the developmental benefits in limiting screen time now and in the long run.

Read the entire article from The American Academy of Pediatrics here: http://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/pages/media-and-children.aspx


5 Ways to Make New Mom Friends

Five-Ways-to-Make-New-Mom-Friends

Making friends as a new mom is not always an easy feat. It’s like standing in the cafeteria on the first day of school surrounded by strangers wondering where you fit in – but this time you’re at the playground, you have a baby on your hip, you just finished singing “The Wheels on the Bus” for the 1000th time, and you just want to have an adult conversation. Is that too much to ask?!

 

Whether you’re at the grocery store, the playground, or at The Little Gym, as a new mom you’re constantly scoping out potential mom friends, eager to strike up a conversation about ANYTHING. No matter where you are, making new mom friends does not have to increase panic or stress. Here are 5 tips for making mom friends with ease.

 

  1. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. No seriously. How are you going to meet an awesome new mom friend if you’re cooped up in the house all day? Put yourself out there by getting involved in a mom’s group or mommy meetup. Enroll yourself and your little one in a Parent/Child class at your local The Little Gym. Or head on over to the playground and scope out a mom that looks like you may have something in common with. It could be the start to a beautiful friendship!
  2. Find a friend? Get her contact information! Don’t be shy! Finding a new mom friend is like dating… if you find a mom you like get her number so you can see her again. If you guys don’t connect the second time around you can’t say you didn't try!
  3. Plan a play-date. Find a mom you like? And she has a little one the same age as yours? SCORE! Plan a play-date! This is the best way to get moms talking – to each other.
  4. Plan a “Mommy” play-date. Find a sitter or get your significant other to take the baby reigns, it’s time for a mom’s night out. Grab some drinks or dinner and enjoy a kid free night with your new friend. Moms deserve off nights too!
  5. Be yourself. This is the best way to find genuine friends that will last a lifetime.

 

Finding new mom friends may not always be simple, but having one or two really awesome mom friends can make a world of a difference. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, playground, or even your local The Little Gym, don’t be shy – strike up conversation and see where it takes you! There are plenty of fish in the sea and soon enough you will have a group of great mom friends that will last a lifetime.