7 September 2021

Fun At-Home Gymnastics for Toddlers

Enjoying a day in with your little one? A rainy day inside is the perfect opportunity to have some indoor fun with your toddler!

Mats, foam pits and exciting equipment can make gymnastics seem a bit more exciting, but sometimes it’s best to bring it back to the basics. All it takes is for you to be actively engaged, to clear some space and try some at-home activities to get your toddler started with gymnastics!

The Floor Is Lava Balance Activity

Challenge your little one with an exciting activity that builds their balance with ‘the floor is lava’
. This activity gives toddlers a clear path that they must walk along to avoid the lava on the floor. Be careful, if they step off of the path they must start again!

Step One: Clear an open space for the activity.

Step Two: Create a clear path for your little one to walk along, this can be done using a piece of string or a skipping rope on the floor (like a balance beam without the height).

Step Three: Have your toddler place the heel of one foot in front of the toes of the other foot as they walk along the line. As they become more confident balancing on the path, you can create obstacles using toys or pillows and challenges such as walking backwards or hopping along the path.

Donkey Kicks

Donkey kicks are great for getting your little one to move their body in a new way. Donkey kicks help children to become more comfortable with weight-bearing, build
upper body strength, increase proprioception and eventually build up to a handstand.

Step One: Find a soft surface to get started on.

Step Two: Show your little one the correct body positioning, placing your hands firmly on the floor and jumping slightly while keeping your arms straight. Be sure to stress to your little one to keep their arms straight. Often, as they jump, the fast transfer of weight can cause them to bend their arms.

Step Three: Help your little one to get into the donkey kick hands-down position. Next, encourage them to kick their legs backward like a donkey does to the air behind them. Be sure to stay close by to ensure that their arms remain straight as they get used to the straight-arm feeling. 

Step Four: If your child is comfortable and confident with donkey kicks, try a new variation! Instead of jumping with both feet, this time leave one foot in the air and hop on the other. This helps them become more comfortable with this kind of weight-bearing in preparation for a handstand.

Log / Pencil Rolls

Log rolls or sometimes known as a pencil roll are a fun way for children to build confidence in risks through movement. This movement also allows the child to experience vestibular stimulation in a safe and exciting way.

Step One:
Find a soft surface to get started. Make sure the space is free from hard surfaces and furniture – perhaps the grass would be a great place to try log rolls!

Step Two: Have the child lie down, either on their front or back with their body stretched out. Make sure they keep their feet and ankles glued together.

Step Three: The child then begins to roll onto their side and continues to movement to complete a full rotation of the body, remaining in this stretched out position. The child’s hands can either be by their waist (log roll) or stretched out above their head (pencil roll)

Step Four: A fun challenge now is to get your child to roll in the other direction!

Step Five: If you want to get yourself or another child involved in the activity, why not try Partner Log Rolls too. Lie down, stretched out in a line with partners holding each other’s wrists (or ankles). Try to complete a few full rotations of a pencil roll whilst maintaining the grip. Here’s a tip – communication is key!

Final Thoughts

There you have it, three fun at home gymnastics activities to enjoy with your toddler! If your little one enjoys these at-home gymnastics activities, why not give KinderGym a try? Gymnastics can help your little one to develop incredible physical capabilities, social skills and a love for activity.  Find a Gymnastics WA member club near you!