Toddlers can start learning gymnastics at a surprisingly young age, and in order to stand a good chance of making it to the Olympics or becoming a professional gymnast it is definitely important that they do not wait until they are older to start learning this sport.
Gymnastics for toddlers can cost anywhere from around $500.00 to around a thousand dollars depending on a variety of factors. This includes the price of classes as well as the price of the equipment that they will need in order to work on their skills at home.
To help you see where I got my price range from, I will go over some of the main things that you will want to at least consider getting if not absolutely need if your toddler is going to be learning gymnastics.
It is the price of classes that most likely will come to mind when you are trying to think about possible costs for toddler gymnastics. There is quite a range of prices here depending on a wide variety of factors that I will touch on in just a minute, but the ballpark figure that you are likely looking at is somewhere around $12.00 to $100.00 per class.
Considering the fact that there is often at least two classes a month for the toddler age, if not at least once a week or more, this is not something that is going to be cheap. However, there are some things that are going to affect the price.
One of these things is the various discounts that it is possible to get if you know what you are looking for and are paying attention. For example, one discount that you can often find is that you can save money by paying for the class and enrolling your toddler ahead of time by a certain number of weeks.
There are also other discounts that some gyms will have, such as a family or a sibling discount which is where if you enroll one of your kids in a class then you save a certain percent of the price if you enroll one of their siblings in as well, and this is very nice if you have more than one kid who is toddler aged.
One of the things for you to keep in mind when you are looking for classes is just what your goal is for your toddler and how much you want to pay. Classes that meet more often can teach your kid a lot more, but these will naturally also cost more money. If your goal is for them to make it to the Olympics, then you might as well get them started off right though.
Then there are the classes that are more recreational and that focus more on the kids learning coordination, having fun, and expending energy with no real goals about turning out the next World Champion Gymnast. These classes will be cheaper both to pay for the classes and cheaper on your gas mileage too since they will not be meeting as often.
Another thing that can affect the price that you will have to pay for the gymnastics classes is where you live. There are some cities where literally everything is simply more expensive than things are elsewhere, and gymnastics classes in these areas will cost more too.
The equipment that a gym has will often be reflected in their prices, so a really nice gym with all of the latest equipment for your toddler to learn on is most likely going to come with a bigger price tag when it comes to classes. Since taxes cost more in the city, a gym that is located outside of the city can sometimes offer their classes a little bit cheaper because they do not have to pay as much for taxes.
Finally, there is also one more factor that can affect the price of classes. If a certain gym can boast having been the starting place for a gymnast who made it all the way to the Olympics, then most of the time this gym will charge more.
There are a number of pieces of gymnastics equipment that you can buy for your toddler, some of which is vital if you plan on them growing up to be a professional gymnast, and other parts of which are more optional to start with until they get a little older.
All of this equipment together will usually cost somewhere between $200.00 and closer to a thousand dollars if you to buy everything straight out, but this will cover practically everything that they might need when it comes to equipment for them to learn at home.
But, since that sounds like a lot, let me break down the costs even more to go over some of what that money is buying as well as a little about what you need to think about when getting the different pieces of gymnastics equipment for toddlers.
The Gymnastics Mat
This is the first thing that you should get for your toddler even if it is the only thing that you get them for now. This can cost around $30.00 to $80.00 dollars most of the time and is a vital part of getting a toddler used to feeling comfortable in doing things like rolls on the floor – if they are not already rolling around on the floor for fun.
Since a toddler is not mentally or physically capable of learning anything too complicated just yet, the most important thing about a mat is that is provides plenty of cushion to it. One of the reasons why this is important is because of the fact that the mat will be used with some of the other equipment.
For example, the bar is another piece of gymnastics equipment that you will likely want to get, and anytime your toddler plays around on the bars you should always have a mat underneath them so that if they fall they have a soft landing.
Finally, the gymnastics mat is also a very cost effective piece of gymnastics equipment that you can buy, if you make sure to get one that will last a while, since it is not something that your toddler will outgrow as they get older.
The Gymnastics Bar
This is one of the other pieces of equipment that you can get your toddler, and it is one that is more optional. They are not exactly doing much on the bar at this age, however if you plan on starting them seriously in gymnastics then you will want them to get started becoming more comfortable with the bars.
One of the reasons why the bars are more optional is also because of the fact that it is something that will be outgrown as you toddler gets older, therefore it is generally considered a wise idea to simply postpone getting this one item until your young gymnast is old enough to really use it.
This is especially true as this alone can cost an easy $70.00 all the way up to a few hundred dollars to buy it. However, some of the more expensive options are designed so that the height of the bar can be adjusted, so these might well be worth the price. Or, this is also one thing that you can actually make yourself which can be cheaper.
The Gymnastics Floor Beam
When your little one is still a toddler not only is it unlikely that they will be able to get on a beam if it is up off of the floor a few feet like a balance beam is, but it would not be safe for them to move around on it even if they could get on it.
Since toddlers are still developing their coordination, the best solution is to get a floor beam so that they can practice on something that is only a few inches from the ground. These usually cost somewhere in the range of $30.00 to $200.00 in order to buy.
One of the advantages of getting a more expensive option here is that some of these can be raised later on so that you do not have to buy a different one. This, like the mat, is also something that your gymnast will not outgrow as they get older, so it is much more cost effective to go with a quality floor beam which will last for a long time.
This is an area where the price can vary quite widely and which will depend some of the kind of gym and the classes that you plan on having your toddler go to. If you are going to put them in more of a recreational gymnastics class then you may not need to buy anything special for their clothing at all.
Even in these classes there will be rules about what can and cannot be worn, most of the time this is something like no zippers, buttons, snaps or anything that might get caught on something as well as the fact that the clothes should fit correctly so as not to be so loose that they are baggy or too tight so that they restrict your child’s movements.
On the other hand, if you are going to have your young gymnast going to a really good gymnastics class then you can almost guarantee that you will at least have to purchase a leotard for you toddler. These usually cost around $20.00 to $80.00 and depending on how many days a week that the class meets then you might could get by with only having one or two.
There are also a few other things that you can get for your toddler as well as a leotard. Most classes will require your kid’s hair to be up and out of the way, so a good way to do this is to get a matching scrunchie that will go with their leotard which usually will not add too much to the price of the latter.
Another thing that you might want to get is a pair of gymnastics shoes. Most gymnastics classes have the gymnasts walking around barefoot so as not to damage the foam that the floors in places are made of, but if you do not like this idea or if your toddler is prone to catching the flu from other kids, then you may want to get your toddler some gymnastics shoes.
Other Optional Items
There are a few other things that you can get for your toddler in order to really help them learn the first parts of gymnastics, and these are also for the most part great ways for them to play, have fun, and burn off some of their extra energy on.
Octagon barrels are, like you might guess from their name, barrels made of foam that are flat at both of the ends but instead of being round have eight sides to them. Even older gymnasts use these sometimes in order to work on their backbends since these will not roll away and yet are close to being the right shape that a gymnast needs to have for support.
Even though it is unlikely that a toddler would be working on a backbend, a toddler is perfectly capable of going over a barrel backwards and doing so is a great way to get a head start on getting them used to the backward motions that they will have to get used to later on in gymnastics anyway.
Along this same line are also other foam things like foam wedges. These are fun for your toddler to play on and they also help you toddler learn to balance themselves as they make up games that involve walking up and down the wedge perhaps pretending that they are climbing a mountain.
Foam shapes can be a lot of fun and, just as nice, they are something that is really safe to get as toys since they are not choking hazards, don’t really have any sharp edges, are not hard enough to hurt anyone or anything, and they also do a great job of helping your toddler to work on some of their motor skills.
How To Pick A Class For You Toddler
So, your bouncing bundle of joy is now a toddler and you have decided to put them in gymnastics because you see all of the advantages that there are to be gained by it. Or, maybe your toddler has started climbing the furniture, is rolling around on the living room floor, or maybe is even practicing balancing on the curb and so you feel that gymnastics would be something that they would enjoy.
Toddlers can start as infants in what are sometimes called Mommy And Me classes and which can begin at as early as 9 months old. However, most toddler gymnastics classes start with children 18 months to 4 years old.
These classes are usually only half of an hour long and work on simple skills like rolling, jumping, and basic balance, and teach abstract skills like body awareness, coordination, and improving both fine and gross motor skills. Toddler gymnastics build a foundation of knowledge and skill for Level 1 gymnastics, which can begin at age 5 or 6.
When looking at places that have toddler classes, if you are trying to decide which one out of your options that you should put your toddler in then the best thing that you could do is to look at the older gymnasts. If these are where you want your toddler to end up, then you know that that gym is a good place for you to go to.
If, on the other hand, you want your gymnast to grow to be super competitive but you fail to see this quality in the older gymnasts at a gym then you might want to look elsewhere. While there is no hard and fast rule that says that you are not allowed to change gyms later on, this is not something that is very fun to do.
There are multiple reasons why this is the case. For starters, if your change your kid’s coach then the new coach will have to learn all about their weak points and strong points before they can really begin to teach your kid effectively, and these are things that the old coach already knows.
Also, each gym will often have its own rules and even will sometimes have some unique customs which you will not know going into it and which can be a reason for a bit of discomfort. Finally, there is also the fact that most kids don’t like changing coaches and perform better when certain things stay the same.
Whatever gym you decide to go with you should make sure that the equipment is in good condition and that coaches are experienced. Ask about class size and how much attention your child will receive. This is your child’s first experience with gymnastics, and you want it to be a positive one.
Trust your gut here. The gym should have a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Coaches should be inspiring and encouraging, and not critical, especially at this young age. Ask questions of your coach in regards to their experience in gymnastics, their certifications, and their safety training and protocols. Finally, observe a class to see the coaches teaching style and demeanor with other students.