Before Beth could even walk I knew I wanted to take her to Tumble Tots classes, they looked like so much fun and had such a good reputation. Beth’s little friend who is a few months older than her was already attending and her mum was raving about how great it was and the confidence it had given her little girl …. and also they all looked so cute in their little yellow Tumble Tots T-shirts.
We joined the same class as Beth’s friend although there were many to choose from in our local area, this one was also held at a lovely new center with a very smart playground – if Beth could manage any more physical activity of course.
Tumble Tots Walking to two years old class
On our first day we proudly joined the queue to get Beth’s sticker for her back so that everyone knew who she was … but also as the sticker was on her back she didn’t get distracted trying to remove it from herself and could concentrate on all the great activities that were ahead of her. The class had a lovely feel to it and everyone was really nice and friendly. Beth couldn’t wait to get going and it wasn’t long before she had no intention of sitting on my lap to sing the songs – she wanted to be in the middle dancing to them instead.
There is a circuit of equipment around the outside of the room with A-frame ladders and soft foam shapes that look like a wedge of cheese and clear tunnels. The equipment changes every few weeks so they don’t get bored with doing the same circuit and it is very relaxed in that they can either go round the circuit in order or go on the same piece of equipment again and again. There is also an activity in the middle, sticks, bean bags or scarves – Beth was obsessed with the sticks, as soon as they came out she’d spend ages poking them in to a traffic type cone. It can feel a bit awkward sometimes when you’re at classes and your little one is the only one that’s not doing what they’re “meant” to be doing but this class wasn’t like that at all. Beth would often spend a good while just doing a lap of the room and running as fast as she could around the equipment, I guess she’d not long discovered her legs and running with this much space was great fun – it wouldn’t take her long to burn off a bit of energy and then she was back to focus on the very important matter of climbing and crawling.
Tumble Tots Two to three years of age class
Before I knew it, it was time for Beth to move up to the next class, she was nearly two and as her friend had already moved up we were keen to join them and it felt like the right time for Beth too.
The next class has a bit more structure of 4 stations rather than one big circuit and after singing in the middle the children are split in to 4 groups and assigned a station. When they arrive at their station they are shown what to do and then it’s time to get going climbing and crawling with more challenging equipment and higher A-frame ladders and Beth took to the new equipment very well. They have a certain amount of time at each station and then get two whistles, first a warning whistle to say they have 1 minute left at their station, the next whistle tells them it’s time to get on the train (of people) to go to the next station and the process repeats itself until all 4 stations have been visited (one of which is focussed on the sticks, bean bags or scarves rather than them being in the middle as before).
Tumble Tots Singing
At the end of both classes everyone joins in a circle again and sings a song or two, sings happy birthday to any children with birthdays and at the end of term the rainbow parachute comes out which is great fun. After the singing the children collect a Tumble Tots sticker and then it’s time to get their socks and shoes on to go home.
Taking a break
The transition from the first to second Tumble Tots class was a bit tricky for Beth and the ladies who ran the class could not have been any more supportive and reassuring that it can in some cases take a little time for the slightly different process to click with little ones – it’s teaching them different things, listening, waiting, etc. and we persevered, but for Beth she just didn’t understand, she just wanted to get on with the climbing. It was a really tough decision to make but when I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t Beth and it wasn’t Tumble Tots it made the decision so much easier – it’s like all good things, sometimes we need a little break from them to appreciate how much we love them. It’s only been one week that we haven’t gone to our Tumble Tots class and I don’t know about Beth but I am certainly missing it already and as soon as she has passed this “phase” and understands about being patient and listening we will not hesitate to get Beth’s name back on the waiting list.
Going back to Tumble Tots
The good thing is that they have classes up to the age of 7 so I KNOW we will be going back to Tumble Tots. It’s hard sometimes but I am often reminded that children develop at such different speeds and I do believe that this is the only reason we’re not getting Beth’s little yellow T-shirt washed and ironed for this weeks class because I cannot recommend Tumble Tots classes enough – the equipment is clean and safe, it teaches them how to climb safely and for me most of all the ladies that run the classes seem to love what they do and make it a fun time for everyone.
Tumble Tots in your area
To find your nearest class, just take a look at the Tumble Tots website for more info.