This is a review of the Mom & Tot class at Precision Gymnastics located at 1144 N. Plano Rd., Suite 104, Richardson TX 75081. We have attended the 11:30 a.m. class on Fridays twice and one class on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. The classes have been very small and manageable, in my first class there was only 2 toddlers and in my make-up class on Saturday there was 6-7 toddlers (and some dads!).
My poor daughter had the second child syndrome. You know the one where she just get dragged everywhere big brother goes and doesn’t get to do anything for herself. I specifically enrolled him in Mother’s Day Out an extra day when she was born so that I could stay home with her and we could do things, just her and me. In the fall we were busy with a MOPS group on every other Friday but really that was more for me than her. For a variety of reasons I decided to take a break from the MOPS in the spring. We have been filling up our time with a few playdates with friends her age but mostly we just come home & play or run errands. For the summer I really wanted to focus on doing some sort of class for her. She is so active, so I knew that I wanted to try a dance or gymnastics class.
I looked around (OK really I didn’t do much research, I thought of places and looked at their prices) Most local gymnastics places offer a mommy & me style class. Some start at 12 months, some at 18 months and some at 2 years. My son had taken a winter camp at Precision Gymnastics over the winter break and after looking at their cost compared to other gymnastics style classes we decided to give it a try. The Mom and Tot class is $25 a month…that is a fraction of what most classes like this costs and they offer you a free trial for the first class. I also liked that in the summer they offer unlimited make-up classes.
Precision is located about 5 miles north on Plano Road from Lake Highlands. Originally I thought that was WAY too far, but according to Google Maps it is just a few minutes more than driving to Lakewood. The gym has a large waiting room for parents and even a toy room for kids to play in. In the waiting area there are some couches, chairs and table space that all overlook the floor space. They offer snacks, drinks and even have an ice cream cart as well as a retail section with leotards and other gymnastic items. There are a variety of other classes going on at the same time, so the gym is filled with gymnasts of all ages.
The instructors ring a bell when classes begin and the students line up. They make sure the students know to walk on the white lines around the gym, mostly for safety but also because walking on a line is good for balance and coordinator. We went to the back of the gym and the toddlers jump on large trampolines. Morgan tried to get my daughter to jump in the center of the trampoline, but she was not having anything to do with that. So I just stood on the side and held her hand. Morgan then had the children pick out carpet squares to sit down on in circles. There is a variety of stretches which is funny to watch a 21 month old
try to figure out how to sit butterfly style or rock back and forth on her bottom. After stretching we move onto various exercises around the gym. They alternate the curriculum every week with one week focused on bars, floor and trampoline and the next will work on trampoline, balance beam and floor.
The floor exercise consists of various activities like rolling down a ramp like a straight needle or trying to do a handstand against the wall. They also do some forward rolls and drills where they have to keep their hands on the ground and kick their feet up (donkey kicks). I tell you, just to watch little 18 month – 3 year old kids do these things are kind of funny. I mean, I’m close to 40 and still don’t have full body coordination. Anyway, it is pretty cute to watch and try to help them, but again Morgan is there to tell me where is the safest place to support my daughter and smart ways to get her to figure out which body part should go where (like tapping the bottom of their feet and pointing to where they need to go).
My daughter LOVES the bar exercises. There is an area where there are 4 bars in a row and the children do different drills on each bar. On the first one they reach for the bar off the platform and they try to hold on for 10 seconds. Then they move to a different bar to try and do a forward flip. Next they move to a different bar where they put their feet on the bar and hold it followed by the last one where they do a back rollover. (I’m sure gymnastic enthusiasts are cringing at my lack of official terms, please correct me!!!)
There is a long trampoline that they kids can jump/run down then jump into a big pit of foam squares. I guess it is a struggle to figure out how to get out of the pit and it takes kids a few times before they can get it right. My daughter went in twice and will have NOTHING to do with the pit now. It is OK, they are very accommodating and do not pressure the kids at all.
They also do balance beam exercises for the kids. Again it is four beams set at a very low height and the children do different drills on them. Eventually your child should be able to walk on the beam by themselves, but most just hold onto your hands (they really suggest trying to hold them under their arms or back so they are not holding something and learn to balance better)….baby steps! They also try to encourage the children to turn and jump off the beam double footed and even raise their arms if they want to (future Olympians already!). On one of the beams they have to walk (or jump) over these small markers on the beam, this has been most challenging for my toddler…she thinks she is supposed to step ON them not over.
One of the great things I like is that the instructor really tells you how to secure your child safely but also gives you reasons why you are doing this exercise. For example, you want to hold them by their hips for certain activities so they can feel the motion come from that part of their body but for other activities you hold their shoulders and neck for safety. You are always next to your child helping them along and the instructors are also there floating between drills to help you too.
For $25 a month you get 4 classes and during the summer they offer unlimited make-up classes. I was sold after our first class, it was cheap, my daughter went to “nastica” as she called it and was grinning ear-to-ear when we left (oh and took a 2.5 hour nap). We would love to see some friends in our Friday class at 11:30. We might move the to 9:30 class in the fall depending on when my son has to be at Mother’s Day Out. And a side note: Precision used to be Canyon Creek Gymnastics and I apologize for the blurry pictures, I didn’t want to have my flash going off since there are other classes taking place as well.
<<<Update: We have been attending the same class at Precision for 6 months now. We are now on our third instructor. The level of structure and attention to safety has decrease with each instructor. I have been disappointed by the change in program overall.>>>
Have you taken a mommy & me class at at Precision or someplace else? How was your experience? If you check it out, please let us know what you think!