Gymbaroo for Toddlers
At Ryde & Rydalmere GymbaROO we provide a fun exciting place for toddlers to explore and learn. We have a definite routine (so loved and important for young children) that allows us to concentrate on gross and fine motor development, balance and coordination, music and dance, and climbing and tumbling. There is a child-oriented theme each term and a weekly topic related to that theme. Our classes are divided into age appropriate groupings.
Our toddlers are known as penguins, koalas, wallabies and kangaroos. Penguins are those who are gaining confidence with their walking (12-18 months), koalas are our climbers (18-24 months), wallabies are our beginning jumpers (24-30 months) and kangaroos are our big jumpers (30-36 months).
Each class begins in our mat room when we all sing the ‘hello’ song together. It is here that each week we learn age appropriate exercises to build muscle tone, body awareness, spatial awareness, gross and fine motor skills and motor concepts. We balance, tumble, roll, crawl and leap around the mat. The class also incorporates massage (so important for physical and emotional well-being), small equipment to enhance manipulation skills and hand-eye-foot coordination, and the social, rhythmical enjoyment of dance.
Mat time includes our special treasure bag time which follows the theme for the term. This is loved by children and is important for language, social interaction, tactile experiences and imagination. It reinforces the word for the week which is quickly flashed to your child. This stimulates memory and pre reading skills.
Time on our specially designed equipment will give your child the opportunity to practice and develop skills of climbing, jumping, swinging and rolling. We have a whole room full of equipment which the children can explore. Teachers are always nearby to offer guidance or teach new skills. Our equipment includes a trampoline, swing, trapeze, ladders, climbing frames, balance beams and much more.
Each session concludes with music and parachute time. We have lots of instruments like tambourines, shakers and tapping sticks which help the development of fine motor skills, hand eye-coordination, music appreciation, handedness and memory.
We finish with parachute games and our ´goodbye´ song and everyone goes back home with the week’s word and picture for their GymbaROO visualisation book to use and talk about at home.
Carers also get a handout on the neurological theme for the week to enhance their knowledge on child development appropriate to the age of their child.
Neuro Developmental Milestones
Penguins: 12-18 months
• Stands freely without holding on
• Walks – usually with a wide stance
• Starts to run, arms out for balance, eyes fixed on the ground
• Rides a push-a-long using both feet
• Hangs by hands
• Loves climbing
• Loves to be held by feet and hung upside down
• Puts hands down for the parachute reflex
• Moves forward for objects while in the wheelbarrow position, being held at hips or thighs
• Utters first words
• Follows one-step commands
• Climbs stairs with assistance from adult
• Enjoys simple picture books
Koalas: 1½ – 2 years
• Runs with smooth stride and balance
• Bobs (bent knees)
• Begins to jump – usually not with feet together
• Throws with two hands
• Moves forward for wheelbarrows when held at thighs or knees
• Drawls line and dots
• Hangs from overhead ladder. Can move hands from bar to bar with help
• Walks up stairs holding onto rail
• Starts to attempt exercises without help from adult
• Lies on tummy on floor for massage
• Opens and closes hands to hand rhymes, enjoys action games
• Throws ball through ring.
• Catches ball rolled along the floor
• Uses about 20 words
Wallabies: 2 – 2½ years
• Jumps up and down – usually with 2 feet together
• May jump forward on command
• Follows two-step commands
• Tic-tocs independently from side to side
• Moves forward for wheelbarrows when held at the knees
• Climbs up and down stairs holding onto rail
• Loves climbing
• Swing under overhead ladder by hands, with help
• Uses 50 or more recognizable words
• Joins in nursery rhymes and action songs
• Joins in most exercises without adult help (though will need assistance for some actions)
• Lies in homolateral crocodile position
Kangaroos: 2½ – 3 years
• Jumps up and down smoothly
• Jumps forwards and backwards
• Jumps off boxes and steps
• Recognizes several colours
• Stands on one leg for several seconds
• Swings under overhead ladder (with support)
• Moves forwards and backwards with for wheelbarrows when held at the knees
• Rides a 3-wheel tricycle
• Uses more than 200 words! Has extensive conversation ability
• Holds pencil by three fingered grasp in preferred hand
• Loves ball games
• Tic-tocs easily
• Changes sides in homolateral crocodile
• Visualizes where puzzle pieces go, internally visualizes movements and uses visualisation skills in pretend games
• Follows simple rules of games conducted by an adult