Monday, February 9, 2015

Linna's first gymnastics class at mini-hops.

If you have a 3-year-old like we do, you know that they just never seem to stop bouncing around. While we were back home in Minnesota for a visit this fall, we decided to sign Linna up for a few gymnastics classes, so she could burn off some of her excess energy and learn something new. I did some online research on some gymnastics schools in the Twin Cities, and decided to enroll our 3-year-old at Mini-Hops in Minnetonka, as a few of my fellow Minnesota Mamas recommended it. Although I never took classes there, I knew about Mini-Hops when I was growing up. The school has been around since the late 1970s, so it's a pretty well-known school with a great reputation. Mini-Hops is also a non-profit, so it's not crazy expensive like some other gymnastics school in the Twin Cities.

(This is Linna at her very first gymnastics class at Mini-Hops.)

(In the big gym with Coach Stef.)

Linna was put in Coach Stef's "Just Me" class on Tuesday mornings. Coach Stef is the director of Mini-Hops' preschool programs, and is simply amazing with the kids. On Linna's first day, she grabbed Coach Stef's hand and headed into the gym without any hesitation. The kids would go from the smaller gym to the big gym during their 40-minute class, learning how to use the uneven bars, monkey bars, trampolines, incline mats, and the foam pit. The gym is set up in a parent-friendly way, where spectators can watch the classes in each gym from behind a glass window. Linna loved when her Nana and Bompa (my mom and dad) would come watch her classes, because she could show off her new tricks! The teachers and coaches at Mini-Hops do a really great job at letting the kids decide what they'd like to do, while encouraging them to try new things. The kids also learned from each other by watching their fellow classmates try new skills, which I feel gave our daughter some much-needed courage and encouragement (she's a bit hesitant to try new things).

Stretching with Coach Stef in the big gym.

Candy corn on the balance beam for Halloween week.

Walking up the wall with Coach Diane.

During the month Linna was at Mini-Hops, she learned how to do a forward roll on her own, and really built some upper-arm strength by practicing on the bars and rings. She loved the long trampoline in the big gym, and the ring-swing in the smaller gym the most! The best part is that Linna was completely happy there. She was always excited to go to class, and felt so proud of herself when we left. One day, Linna had a new male coach/teacher in her class, and while I thought that she'd be intimidated by this, she actually warmed up to him right away. It was nice having a little change of pace, as we've been used to having female teachers in Linna's dance classes in the past.

We are currently looking for a gymnastics school here in Singapore for Linna to join, but we'll be signing up for another round of classes at Mini-Hops when we're back home in Minnesota visiting this summer. If you're looking for a reason to check it out, Mini-Hops offers FREE trial classes for new students. So really, what do you have to lose?! We hope to see some familiar faces when we're there!

Linna's favorite... the ring swing!

Linna's Tuesday morning class at Mini-Hops.
Mini-Hops Gymnastics
131 Cheshire Lane, Suite #100
Minnetonka, MN 55305
(952) 933-2452

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