When most think of exercise, they imagine running on the treadmill, lifting weights or going to the gym.
For kids, exercise simply means playing and being active. Kids exercise during recess, when they ride bikes or play tag. And it’s important to ensure that they’re getting enough exercise.
The Santa Clarita Valley is home to a number of gyms, but there are also options specifically for kids. Here’s some of the gym options for kids, many of which offer unique ways to keep your kids active.
Gymboree Play & Music
Younger kids anywhere from 6 weeks old until they’re 3 can participate in a 45-minute “Play & Learn” class with their parents or any other caregivers.
This class focuses on a combination of physical, cognitive and social development by learning through play, according to Aynur Oghlan, gym owner.
While teachers facilitate activities, Gymboree believes parents are a child’s best teacher and role model, so parent participation makes learning more successful, Oghlan said.
Every two weeks, they reconfigure the play equipment, creating a whole different experience that keeps children challenged.
Gymboree also has art classes for kids starting at 18 months until 3, music from 6 months until 3 years old as well as school readiness programs for 2-5 year olds. These classes allow children to be creative while working on their fine motor skills, memory and language development, according to Oghlan.
They invite anyone to go try a free class for anyone who wants to preview some of the activities they offer.
Gymboree is located in the Westfield Valencia Town Center at 24201 Valencia Blvd Suite No. 3402.
Like Gymboree, My Gym also offers parent-child classes for infants 6 weeks old until 13 months.
Then at 14 months, children transition into their “Waddlers” class, which introduces balancing, tumbling, hanging and agility skills to kids.
When a child reaches almost 2 years old, not only has their attention span grown to where they can focus for longer periods of time, but they are also able to confidently run and jump. This means they can begin to learn gymnastics with equipment setups that change weekly to keep things fresh.
My Gym’s classes continue to progress until a child is 4 and a half years old and they reach the “Ninja Training,” which focuses on developing agility, strength and stamina with activities that include relays, games, obstacle courses and conditioning exercises. Kids can continue with this class until they are 9 and a half.
My Gym also offers parent’s night outs, summer camps and birthday parties.
My Gym is a children’s fitness center located at 28331 Constellation Road in Valencia.
Fit2Play is unique in that it doesn’t have a set location, instead, the program offers classes at schools and local parks.
Lead coach and owner Aaron Booth offer kids age 2-12 sports and fitness classes. The younger children are taught the fundamentals, and the older they get, the more intricate and more advanced the classes get, Booth said.
“Kids have a lot of energy, so it gives them an opportunity to play and try out each sport,” Booth said.
They focus on one sport for five weeks, then kids have the option of either sticking with it or switching to a different one. By the end of the five weeks, they leave knowing the basics of that sport, Booth said.
Fit2Play is more than just a sports program, according to Booth. They focus not only on teaching kids how to listen, be disciplined and work well with each other but also healthy lifestyle choices like how to be active and eat right.
They offer various sports classes, all of which begin with warm ups, then basic drills and fun games pertaining to that sport and end with a discussion where the kids are allowed to ask questions.
More information can be found at fit2playkids.com.
Fun & Fit Gymnastics
Fun & Fit Gymnastics offer gymnastics and tumbling classes to children anywhere from 1 to 18 years old.
Their “Tumble Tots” program begins when a child first starts walking as a parent-child class for them to learn hand-eye coordination, eye-tracking and locomotor movements.
These classes are “child directed,” which means they are able to explore whatever apparatus excites them, according to Lahela Garner, marketing director.
Kids then move into actual gymnastics courses at 3 when they begin learning how to take turns and follow directions. As they progress, classes are structured by both age and ability level.
Fun & Fit also offers tumbling and trampoline classes for kids 6 and over as well as “Ninja Fit,” where kids are able to go through an obstacle course and complete challenges to get their heart rates up, Garner said.
Like My Gym, they too offer parent’s night outs, day camps, gymnastics or tumbling clinics and birthday parties.
Fun & Fit is a non-competitive gymnastics center located at 26620 Valley Center Drive in Saugus.
The YMCA offers swimming lessons to children anywhere from 6 months to 14 years of age featuring three phases, “Swim Starters,” “Swim Basics” and “Swim Strokes,” which are then broken into stages based on the child’s age and ability, according to Emily Larbaoui, healthy lifestyle counselor.
For those wanting to do it once a week, they offers lessons on Saturdays, and twice a week on either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.
The YMCA welcomes all skill levels, and even has a swim evaluation for those who don’t know what level their child would be at twice a week, Larbaoui said.
The Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA is located at 26147 McBean Parkway in Valencia.