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For Coaches Preschool classes

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gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Hi -

I have just recently started coaching two preschool classes and one parent/tot class. I have a lesson plan / book that has then do a series of things for two weeks then on to the next. I like the plans although I have to adjust them a little due to the size of the preschool area. My concern is that I feel that after a few rotation through the kids get antsy and I am not sure what I should move on to next.

I am sure that this will come with time. I am really enjoying it a lot. I just want to make it fun for them while they learn.

Any suggestions would be great. These classes are 30 min (parent/tot) and 45 min for preschool.

Thanks in advance
 
R

Rec Coach

Guest
Hi -

I have just recently started coaching two preschool classes and one parent/tot class. I have a lesson plan / book that has then do a series of things for two weeks then on to the next. I like the plans although I have to adjust them a little due to the size of the preschool area. My concern is that I feel that after a few rotation through the kids get antsy and I am not sure what I should move on to next.

I am sure that this will come with time. I am really enjoying it a lot. I just want to make it fun for them while they learn.

Any suggestions would be great. These classes are 30 min (parent/tot) and 45 min for preschool.

Thanks in advance

I'm assuming most of these activities are circuits as most preschool classes are...kids will usually go around a circuit about 3 times before they're ready for change. I've found the easier and most effective way is to change 1 or 2 things at a time. ie: if they're rolling down a wedge, change it to straddle roll, change bunny hops to bear walk, change forward to backward skipping...simple changes that are easy for the little ones to remember.

(I'm not sure about ideas for P&T classes....I was a substitute for one once.....never again! I admire you for taking those on!! lol)
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Thanks -

that is pretty much what I have been trying to do. I will switch how they walk on the little beam, switch the rolls, switch out jumps (straight, tuck, straddle) and change out some little skill mats (candlestick, knee scale, v-seat etc) after each kid gets two rotations. I don't change them all at once and try to leave any that follow the theme for those two weeks ( straddles, cartwheels for example) a little longer or through the whole class.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Grats on your classes! I couldn't stand the parent-tot classes when I first started coaching! After I had my own babies though, all that changed and I became a parent-tot sap.

The lesson plans are great and helpful in how you set up the equipment for them to use. Funny thing is, toddlers have their own ideas on how to use it! I'd be happy with 2-5 skills performed and not sweat it too much if they get creative. It's kind of a cool opportunity to teach the parents how to spot their kids little movement creations! They always liked leaving class with some spotting ammo for the stuff the child does at the park in my experience lol. As long as they can focus on a handful of skills, and the parents feel secure, then the fun of all the gym stuff to play with ensures a good time. If you can use some time in the pit or on a tumbletrak all the better! Good luck!
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Grats on your classes! I couldn't stand the parent-tot classes when I first started coaching! After I had my own babies though, all that changed and I became a parent-tot sap.

The lesson plans are great and helpful in how you set up the equipment for them to use. Funny thing is, toddlers have their own ideas on how to use it! I'd be happy with 2-5 skills performed and not sweat it too much if they get creative. It's kind of a cool opportunity to teach the parents how to spot their kids little movement creations! They always liked leaving class with some spotting ammo for the stuff the child does at the park in my experience lol. As long as they can focus on a handful of skills, and the parents feel secure, then the fun of all the gym stuff to play with ensures a good time. If you can use some time in the pit or on a tumbletrak all the better! Good luck!

Thanks Linsul,
our gym does not have a pit (yet - expansion on the horizon) but I do take them out to the tumble track towards the end of each class for about 5-10 minutes.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Thanks Linsul,
our gym does not have a pit (yet - expansion on the horizon) but I do take them out to the tumble track towards the end of each class for about 5-10 minutes.

np :) The parents play a big role in how/what the kids do in parent-tot, so my other bit of advice would be to gauge what drives their interest in the class. Whether they want skill driven time or just play and a new experience. It can be hard if you get a mix of parent ideologies, but thats where teaching them how to spot comes in handy! Gives you more time to go where you're really needed and know things are safe since you can't be everywhere at once! Good luck and grats on the expansion, exciting times!
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I like parent/tot classes depending on the "culture" of the class, because less carrying kids around for me...I'm lazy maybe? It is kind of annoying when a kid won't do something, runs away, etc, and the parent does nothing but you aren't sure whether they expect you to do something or if you'd be stepping on toes. Awwwkward.

I usually just redirect and keep talking to them (as well as change up the spotting station). When you can spread a circuit out on a big clear floor and play kid friendly music, beautiful things can happen. I've had a few weekend off time PS classes with an empty gym and it's such a wonderful experience. Unfortunately you're usually crammed in a corner somewhere with a million distractions for them to climb on. Makes me want to cry sometimes...anyway usually doing silly things helps and just repeating yourself.

Also you should keep in mind appropriate expectations of course, but you kind of have to gauge the extent to which they're testing the situation. If the expectation is basically reasonable (for the individual PSer...this is where it gets hard because a couple months at these ages can yield some disparate abilities) then there's some point where you have to draw that line in the sand and never let them cross it, or else the entire level of the class goes down and it's always an uphill battle to regain "control" as it were. I'm a pretty easygoing person and to some extent that's my biggest problem working with little kids. Also I have the attention span of an ice cube myself and I'm usually the one watching the clock ready to bolt to the next thing as soon as I can peel them off, so...yeah. But anyway the thing there is, if you're bored or acting bored they pick up on it and get antsy too. So I try to do silly voices, always talking to as many of them as I can, praising them with over the top and new adjectives, dancing, etc.

Anyway I usually repeat rules before anything happens while they are sitting...no running is a big thing for me in circuits. Sometimes the little kids forget but you can't let it go when they do - every time - go stop them and remind them no running from station to station (only running if the station involves running). Or whatever that particular rule is. Otherwise things can go downhill really fast when they start to get comfortable with you. I have a lot of ways I say things "seriously" without being too loud. I catch them, get down on their level, make eye contact, and go "ahhhhh!!!! I think I saw running! We can NOT run in the gym because there are a lot of people. I want to see you walk slowly like an elephant. Oh yay you can!"

Also sometimes giving them something to chant or a noise to make while they do a station makes it a little more interesting. Depending on the age. Always have a little colored mat or carpet or dot or chalk mark even if the station doesn't need it...find creative ways to put them so they can see exactly where their hands/feet/bottom goes on a bigger mat or block...this makes such a big difference for me. It defines the space more for them, gives them a visual reference so they can recall the directions faster, and they get way less likely to skip stations or just half run through them. If they whine about not wanting to do a station or wanting to stop, I say, "I bet you are really good at that one! You are? Show me!" They always want to show.

Yeah so I have no life...apparently.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Oh yeah and tumble track...let me just say, whoever invented that has my undying gratitude. It's probably added years to my life. No pit is rough.
 
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