Don't Miss The Little Moments
I have been taking my kids to kindergym now on/off for nearly 24 years. It is a fantastic place where your pre-school children can romp about at full speed playing to their hearts content with bigger and better pieces of equipment than they could have access to anywhere else. They can climb and swing, bounce on trampolines and ride bikes around and around the huge space in safety. They can create with building blocks, even build forts and enjoy clambering all over them. Learn to balance on equipment that is safe and built just for their size, bounce off trampolines and practice tumbling on the softest matts you ever saw. Kindergym is held in either a huge hall or gym full of colour, life and buzzing little people.
You can jig along with the kids to all the latest toddler tunes whilst you enjoy watching them learn to throw mini basketballs in baskets. They learn to jump on trampolines and wait their turn, they learn about sharing and playing alongside other children. There is the ball pit where they can slide in to at full speed launching themselves in to a sea of coloured balls. It is a place where you and your child can enjoy these experiences together, you are there to supervise and encourage your child. The tinkling bell signalling the close of the session is always a treat, watching your child shaking their sillies out never gets old.
After all these years I find I can no longer enjoy kindergym, I still go each week because my son just loves it and I do enjoy spending the time with him. However, I find it too hard watching many of the other children being ignored by their parents. Watching a little girl successfully learning to twirl the hula hoop for the first time, calling out to her mother with no response. Watching that same mother never stop to look, not even a glance at the insistent little girl, just continuing on her more important conversation. Watching a little boy strapped safely in the coolest swing known to man suspended from the ceiling, legs dangling, head down and clearly bored. His mother distracted talking to her mobile phone, not noticing that he stopped swinging 5 minutes ago.
Children running about wildly, forming mini gangs and playing dangerously with no one noticing. Watching as gaggles of women are deep in conversation, barely pausing for breath, eyes never leaving their group. Parents sitting along the sidelines in seats, refusing to participate, with zombie like stares aimlessly scrolling through their mobile phones, missing their child whizzing by on their bike and their hopeful glances from across the room. Witnessing a child's crestfallen face as they look up to see that Mum or Dad didn't notice their latest trick is truly heart breaking.
Kids are little for such a short time, we are all guilty of being too busy to notice. We try and fit so much into our lives that we forget to stop and enjoy the journey along the way. I know I am certainly guilty of it, yet for the 45 minutes of kindergym once a week you should be able to shut out the rest of the world for just a little while. Shut them out and keep your eyes open and enjoy watching those special little people. Don't blink or you may miss them ...