Do you think your child is the next Shawn Johnson or Gabby Douglas? Do they practice their floor exercise in your living room and stick a perfect dismount off the jungle gym? Gymnastics might be something they would enjoy. Here are a few things to think through before enrolling your kids in gymnastics in Des Moines.
Gymnastics is great for developing kids’ motor skills and building body strength. It’s also great for flexibility and balance in both boys and girls. Even if your child does not intend to go on to compete in gymnastics as they get older, learning the basics are great for cheerleaders, dancers, stage performers, divers and others. Gymnastics is also a great confidence booster and since it’s an individual sport, kids can learn at their own pace.
Competitive gymnastics is known for the pressure it places on its young athletes. Due to the pressure to stay small and light on their feet, eating disorders are also an issue within the sport. Many gymnasts also suffer strains, sprains and fractures to their young bodies. Overall, recreational gymnastics is safe, but you will want to make sure your child is properly supervised and spotted.
Gymnasts tend to have small compact bodies. But, all kids love learning how to do cartwheels and doing headstands, including toddlers. During early gymnastic lessons, kids learn how to warm-up properly and also begin to understand key elements of the sport including flexibility, balance, control and body awareness. As children progress in age and ability classes will start to vary. Kids may begin to develop technique practicing on the various apparatus used such as the balance beam or vault.
Younger Kids: Young gymnasts typically attend a half hour to hour class once a week.
Older Kids: Intermediate and advanced gymnasts may attend ten or more hours of practice a week, plus they will attend weekend meets.
- Shoes (young kids can go barefoot)
- Practice Clothes (leotard, booty shorts, capris and other accessories)
- Competition Items (Team Uniform, Warm-Ups)
- Registration Fee: average $25 (may be a one-time or annual fee)
- Lessons: start at $10 per class per week (will depend on number of classes enrolled in)
- Practice Clothes: $5+
Competition: (In addition to costs above)
- Competition Lessons: start at $10 per class per week (will depend on number of routines participating in)
- Competition Fees: $25+ (annually)
- Shoes: $25+ (can look for used shoes)
- Uniform: $25+
- Travel Expenses: $100-$500 average per event
Please keep in mind that most people ease into gymnastics. As with anything, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
Local Gymnastic Gyms
There are several gymnastic gyms scattered across the metro. A handful are listed below. Schools/Community Education and city parks and recreations departments also offer tumbling and gymnastics for younger kids.
Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute – West Des Moines
Indianola Tumbling Center – Indianola
Jacobs Gymnastics – Waukee
Mid Iowa Gymnastics – Grimes
Sapphire Gymnastics Academy – Urbandale
Triad Gymnastics – Ankeny
What are your experiences with kid’s gymnastic classes in Des Moines? Share in the Comment section below.