On the eve of KinderGym’s 40th birthday, Tea Tree Gully KinderGym Head Coach, Andrea Browne reflected on why the program has grown in popularity to now boast over 600 members and the importance of teaching children young how to move.
“Originally, we started the program as our gym was not used during the day. Now, we just love the enthusiasm the children bring into the gym each week,” said Andrea.
KinderGym is one of Australia’s Australia’s leading fundamental programs for children aged 0-5. Programs are delivered by fully accredited KinderGym coaches who provide a wide range of movement activities that encourage young children to think, create, construct and solve problems with their own bodies.
First as a parent herself, then a volunteer, to an accredited Team Leader to be a member of the member services team and knows firsthand how the program supports children develop the basic movement skills needed for life.
“There are multiple benefits for the children to encourage, social skills, motor skills and spatial awareness. Learning safe landings, even learning to crawl in some cases. It’s also a wonderful one-on-one time with their caregiver,” said Jane.
“Parents nowadays are so busy; it’s it’s something that they can do for one hour with their child, once a week that’s just for them both to enjoy.
“All of us have special memories of children and families we have worked with over the years. Watching the children grow and gain confidence through their time at KinderGym is very rewarding,” explained Andrea.
“Several years ago, I worked with a young child who attended our KinderGym program. During her first session, her mother explained to me that her daughter had “Selective Mutism.” She would speak to close family members only. It took her a very long time to attempt new skills, and she was incredibly shy.
“There were often tears, but her Mum recognised the importance of these classes and stuck with it. After several months, this little girl ran up to me at the start of her session and said to me, “”It was my birthday on Saturday, and I had a party!”
“I asked her if she had a cake and she replied “Yes! It was chocolate!” She then ran off to join the rest of the class while Mum and I were both in tears,” said Andrea with such pride.
KinderGym lessons are planned with children’s age and stage of development in mind. The program benefits children not only physically but also socially, emotionally and cognitively.
Since KinderGym’s inception in South Australia 40 years ago, the program has grown rapidly, with close to 350 clubs running KinderGym programs nationally, teaching fundamental movement to over 35,000 children.