Every parent wants to ensure their child gets fit and healthy from a young age making it second nature for them to go and play rather than being stuck indoors behind a screen.
The key, however, is to do so without them realising they are getting fit by making it exciting and building their enthusiasm.
“Tumble Tots is like gymnastics but more fun so kids don’t realise what they are doing as they are just playing pirates and running about,” explains Sarah Delaloye-Dean, a Tumble Tots coordinator based in Seaford.
Designed by British Olympic gymnastics team coach Bill Cosgrove more than 30 years ago it was designed to develop a child’s physical skills of agility, balance, co-ordination and climbing using the brightly coloured Tumble Tots equipment.
The structured physical activity encourages children to enjoy the challenges of developing new skills and gives them the chance to experience the satisfaction of success - conquering that forward roll or walking along that bench unaided.
Alongside getting kids more active the programme was also built to develop a child’s positive personality traits including confidence and self-esteem.
“It is good for enhancing balance, motor skills, agility and core strength,” reveals Sarah.
“And it can help with a child’s confidence.
“We had one girl whose mother said it was life changing.
“Before she came to Tumble Tots her daughter was really nervous about anything that wobbled.
“We have these wobble boards and at first she wouldn’t even get on it, then she would but holding on to someone’s hand, but now she can do it completely unaided.
“She came in one day on a scooter and her mother said before she wouldn’t even go near it.
“It just makes you so happy to see children go on that journey and grow and develop.”
The skills are built using bars, trestles, balance boards, ladders, balls and hoops to encourage all aspects of play but also their physical motor-neuro education.
The children are split into different age groups; babies from six months to walking, walking to two years old, two to three years of age, three to five years old with each session unique according to the age and the stages of the child’s development.
All the sessions follow a format but the structured nature of each one increases as they get older.
Each sessions is 45 minutes long and combines fun, excitement and challenges but in a safe nurturing environment.
Sarah has been involved with Tumble Tots for about 10 years.
She bought the original franchise and then sold it to Wave Leisure, a not-for-profit trust and social enterprise which promotes well being, fitness and healthy lifestyles for all the family, who hired her.
“I took my own children as I had heard about it before and loved it,” recalls Sarah.
“We moved to Seaford and I was looking for something to do and found out about it in a magazine advert.
“When I bought the franchise it was an already established business, so I just invested in what was already there.”
Working across East Sussex Sarah still runs sessions and loves seeing kids get fit and have fun.
Sessions can be bought in eight week blocks or paid for as they go.
The first session is free, and classes can be found in Lewes, Portslade, Hove, Seaford, Peacehaven, Haywards Heath, Worthing and Cuckfield.
For something fun to do with your child which ticks all the right boxes in terms of development, fitness and confidence boosting Tumble Tots is definitely worth looking at who knows what it could do for your child.
For more information about Wave Leisure go to www.waveleisure.co.uk
Pictures: Simon Dack/ Vervate
This first featured in the March edition of etc Magazine, pick up your copy now.