At the beginning of each new year we all search for new theme ideas to have fun with In our Kindergym programs. There are so many to choose from, so I thought I might brainstorm as many as I can. Feel free to add more in the comments section.

Hands, Feet, Heads, Feelings, Manners

Up down and all round, Forwards and backwards, Big and small, Fast and slow

Colors, Numbers, Shapes, Letters, Making Music, Senses 

Zoo, Farm, Jungle, Australian, Monkeys, Pets, Dinosaurs, Frogs and Ducks, Horses, Insects, Reptiles, Birds, Sea Creatures

Summer, Sunny, Spring, Rainy, Fall, Windy, Winter, Snowy

Waking Up, Bedtime, Pyjama Party, Afternoon Tea, Clean Up, Cooking, Shopping

Cars, Buses, Trucks, Bicycles, Planes, Boats, Trains, Construction, Traffic Safety, Space, Travel around the World

Australia Day, Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, St Patricks Day, 
Melbourne Cup, Party, Olympics 

Gardens, Flowers, Trees, Camping, Picnics, Beach, Backyard Fun

Super Heroes, Fairies and Elves, Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, 
What will I be when I Grow Up, Circus, Cowboys and Indians, Pirates, Teddy Bears Picnic,
Disney, Dr Seuss

I hope this helps you in your class plans!



Do you have a set routine to start your class and let your participants know the fun is about to begin?

Please keep in mind that Kindergym programs are run differently where ever you go, with many different methods of organisation. I am happy to share my ideas with you.

For my gym, I like to allow 5 minutes for my participants (parent and child) to enter onto the floor before class begins to have a quick opportunity to explore the environment that has been set up and have a look at the theme ideas presented. This time is without any directed teaching from the instructors. It is a great time for the instructors to greet and meet all the class members personally and ensure that information is collected about the members of the class.

After this five minutes of exploration a piece of music will play to indicate that it is time to come together on the floor to begin the class. This music never changes and the parents and children come to understand exactly what this means within a few weeks of joining our program. It is fun to watch the reaction of the children who are busy exploring the gym when the music starts . Immediately they stop what they are doing and run to the floor area with smiling face ready to begin the class.

Once assembled together I always start with a bright and cheery hello and ensure that any new members to our class are introduced at this time. Next comes our "Hello Song". The actions of this song are adjsuted to each age group so that they become more challenging as the child continues through our program. It is the same each week and the children always know exactly what is expected of them.

So next time your class is about to begin and you shout through the gym trying to gain the attention of your participants, think about how you can set up a system to make things run smoothly and effectively.

Hope this helps....love to hear from you!



How about this theme on Nursery Rhymes. It was great to hear the children's voices as we sung each rhyme. So much was achieved throughout the lesson.

Here is a snippet of the ideas used throughout the plan:
1. Our warm up song used shakers to upbeat nursery rhymes
2. We practiced our jumps and landings over cellophane flames on candles to Jack Be Nimble
3. Row, Row, Row Your Boat with the parents worked active flexibility on the hamstrings by sitting in pike and straddle.
4. Twinkle, Twinkle practiced our star shape and transference of weight, getting ready for our cartwheels.

Out in the gym, the adventures began. Here are a few of our ideas:
1. Jack and Jill: a high and wide hill made to log roll down
2. Humpty Dumpty: sit children on top of a box, allow them to jump to a crash mat below
3. London Bridge: our wooden bridge was placed on top of our see saw, so when the children got past the middle it went "clunk" down to the other side.
4. Little Miss Muffet: inflatable balance discs we're placed on the floor with spiders. As the children attempted to balance, the parent said the rhyme and threw the spider at them to catch....or run away!
5. Rock A Bye Baby: in our hammock tied between bars
6. Baa Baa Black Sheep: three bags of wool to throw into a bucket while standing on the beam

There were so many activities throughout the gym that promoted movement patterns and the fundamentals of gymnastics. It was great! I always love this theme, as the ideas are endless.

Young children can remember technique for skills the best by providing key word, rhymes or songs.
It is important to recognise that the K.I.S.S (Keep it short and simple) principle should be used at all times. The amount of words you use will vary according to the child's age and development level.

Forward roll:
Two year old: Hands down, head down (2 key points)
Three or four year old: Tall, small, roll like a ball (3 key points)

It is a great idea to ensure all your instructors are using the same key words, rhymes or songs.



Sammy The Snake
(Reptile theme week)
Sammy is a mighty snake, who curls up very small
(Children squat down low on their feet)

And when he stretches up and up, he really grows quite tall
(Children stretch upwards and stand on their tippy toes)

He likes to slither, slide and squirm
(Children squat and drop to the floor and move around on their stomachs)

And roll from side to side
(Children will roll from stomach to back and back again)

But when he eats lots and lots, he really grows quite wide!
(Children jump up to their feet and open their legs into the side splits and hold)



Handstands are very important in the gymnastics pyramid of skill achievement. Many years are spent trying to have the correct shape, shoulder flexibility and strength to order to master this skill. We are easily able to start in our Kindergym programs with the help of the parents, our modified equipment and eager litle participants.
Here are a couple of pictures of modified handstands in action.

Supported handstand on small mountain or plank from a testle at 4 years of age. Not perfect yet but we will keep working on those shapes!



At the end of every year, I always give my parents who have children heading off to big school a hand out with all the information they need to make the transition into gymnastics classes a smooth one.
What are the differences in your classes between Kindergym and Gymnastics classes?
Time of the day?
Length of class?
What actually happens in the class?
What is your teacher : child ratio?
What should they wear?
What else should they bring?
What time of the week is best?
What may happen in the first few weeks with behaviour?
Are the parents able to view the classes?
What skills will they be learning?
How will the parents understand how their child is improving?

These are some of the questions you may think about providing in a handout so that the transition is smooth and easy. Also so that you are not answering the same questions time and time again.


Here are my little TIGGER THE TIGER kids performing on gym balls with their parents and helpers.


Our first week back for 2012 and it was my birthday! So we had a party with a DORA theme - all week long.
It was a great theme to play with.
*  We began our class with a warm up song "Dora's Party Mix". We danced with our ribbon sticks...of colors pink and orange.
*  Everyone got a bag (Dora's back pack) filled with objects as the "back pack"song played. All the kids knew it! I told them not to peek inside. They were only allowed to use their hands and not their eyes to find me a balloon (not yet blown up). Before the class I had blown up orange and pink baloons and placed them in a big bag. When they found their balloon I told them that they could have a balloon that was already blown up from my bag that matched the color of theirs. We then bounced the balloon into the sky following the lyrics to a song that told us to bounce it on various body parts.
* "Back pack, Back pack" played again and the children knew exactly where to go. This time they had to reach their hand in and find a star. I had laminated A4 size yellow stars.
* Parents held the stars above the children's heads as they jumped up and tried to touch it.
Dora has a song "Reach For The Stars".
* Next everyone was asked to place the star on the floor as we were about to play Musical stars! Parents and children moved in a circle around the stars and when the music stopped they had to stand on a star.
*Back pack" played again and the children ran their bags to listen for the object that was next.
A ball!
* All children sat in a circle with their legs crossed with the ball slightly in front of them. The teachers sat in the middle and told the children that they were going to be SWIPER! It was swiper's job to try and steal a ball from someone. If the children wanted to stop Swiper they had to put their hand out and say "Swiper no swiping"!
This was fun. Even the children who were usually very quiet spoke in a loud voice. Lots of giggles all around.

Hope you enjoyed reading just a few of our Dora theme activities. Let us know your thoughts.


Teaching landing positions in Kindergym

We all know how important it is to teach the children how to land safely so each week our Kindergym classes practice as part of their routine.
We dance through our warm up song holding our hand held apparatus (such as ribbon sticks, pom poms of various sizes, shapes and textures, scarves, etc.)
After this song is finished we lay our apparatus on the floor to make a visual line in front of our feet. We all stand behind our line, clap and count 1,2,3! On 3 we jump to the other side and show our landing position...many refer to it as the "MOTORBIKE " position. Knees bent and arms in front of the body.
This begins at the age of two and continues upward.
The jumps over the line may vary...star, tuck, half turn, forward then backward. There is so much you can teach them over these lines if you think about it.
In our three year old class we even started counting to three in french....un, deux, trois. I was amazed how quickly they remembered this.
Many of our parents say their children will line up objects on the floor at home and count 1,2 3 and practice their jumping and landing.