Dr Tessa Grigg and Bindy Cummings
GymbaROO-KindyROO classes are specific for ages and stages of development. They include activities that promote the development of physical, social, emotional, communication and thinking skills for each specific developmental stage.
The developmental program
Each week at Baby ROO and GymbaROO-KindyROO, you and your child will be guided through a wide range of fun and loving activities that are perfect for the developing brain and body. Each class involves music, movement, exercise, massage, climbing, balancing, swinging and lots of fun! Our mat-times are designed to cater to each age’s developmental needs. Children participate at their own level; there are children who prefer to watch and children who like to fully participate and touch and explore everything. Both are fine. Even when it looks as though children are not taking any notice of what is going on, they are absorbing information and learning, and this knowledge often appears later.
At GymbaROO-KindyROO we are working to help children become independent learners, who are resilient, can solve problems, and are equipped for 21st-century classrooms. Research confirms that the place to start this skill acquisition is with well-developed physical and motor skills.
Children build resilience in their GymbaROO-KindyROO classes by:
- Being provided with opportunities to practice and achieve goals, thus developing confidence through mastering skills
- Connecting with others, and developing a sense of security and belonging to a group
- Developing their character based on self-worth and confidence
- Developing emotional skills, such as; empathy and caring for others
- Developing a feeling of contribution. (This is one of the reasons we ask children to help put equipment away)
- Developing coping skills. For example, learning that there are safe ways to use equipment (even when they may have a better idea!)
- Developing the ability to effectively manage situations they cannot control. For example, understanding that one cannot always have the exact colour wanted, (sticks, parachute, bean bags etc.), however, there will always be an alternative
With all the above in place, the child is more likely to maintain control over their actions and choices, especially when confronted with challenges.
How to help this process during GymbaROO-KindyROO class time:
- Allow your child time and space to work things out, especially at equipment time
- Safely allow them to work through activity difficulties on their own – this helps to build bodies and brains. If everything is made too easy, then there is no extension and little developmental opportunity
- Refrain from giving children answers to questions asked by the teacher. It is the ‘puzzling’ or the ‘looking for a solution’ that creates neural connections
Children learn through the ability to repeat an activity multiple times. Even when the skill is mastered, they still need opportunities to repeat the skill in order to make it ‘automatic’, (i.e., not having to think about it), thus enabling them to move to the next higher skill level
How to encourage repetition at home:
- Repeat many of the activities from the class at home. Provide a mixture of challenges and activities they have mastered and enjoyed
- Look through the ‘Things to Do’ section in your weekly GymbaROO-KindyROO email, where we provide you with activities, ideas and suggestions
Dr Tessa Grigg (PhD, Dip Tch ECE and Primary) is the Research and Education Manager for GymbaROO-KindyROO. She has a wide range of experience teaching young children and adult students.
Bindy Cummings is a teacher, GymbaROO-KindyROO early childhood neurodevelopmental consultant and a long-time member of the GymbaROO-KindyROO Research and Education Team