We make sure our safety equipment ensures you and your partner are all smiles as you learn basics to grow you human pyramid.
Acrobatics means different things for different people. In a Holiday Acrobatics Day at your centre, we know 3 things will occur as we get into the joys of working together.
Prior to starting an acrobatics day, children play games which build their trust in each other. It may seem like a small matter, but younger, smaller children often find it easier to trust, whilst older children have developed fears around their personal abilities and boundaries. With the injection of a lot of fun, smiles and starting with basic, ground level skills ensures a gradual building of trust between 2 or 3 children. This is expanded later in the session as more children are added and the skill level or challenge set is expanded.
2. Respect for Others Grows as We Learn About Our Bodies and Boundaries
To balance on another person’s body or shoulders requires an understanding of how and where to place hands or feet safely. Children simply don’t know why something might hurt their partners without being expertly taught. During the preparation phases, children learn not only the safety aspects, but what it feels like being in both positions.
Once children experience the feeling of being a base or a balancer, their understanding of the level of skill and what is important quickly grows. This is very important to ensure their team’s well being at all times. Not only do they need to learn the skills from all aspects, they need to be taught how to enter (start) the pyramid and exit (end) the pyramid.
You will continue to be amazed by the development of new variations on shapes, balances and skills. Simple 2 person balances may have a many as 50 variations, a number that grows every time we conduct an acrobatics day at a holiday care centre.
3. Physical Challenges Require Mental Focus and Learning
When you watch your acrobatics day it is easy to see the physical skills required. Trust and mental focus, though not visible are evident to the trained eye. Whether it is a wobble, a look in an eye or the inability to achieve the outcome the group wanted, all are signs of the need for strong mental focus.
Simple balance skills take time to develop. Your holiday acrobatics day is the ideal time to apply shortcuts to fast improvement. Coaching programs, designed with the end in mind gently guide children through each step of the process.
We like to demonstrate a highly complex skill at the start of the session and watch the look on children’s faces as we tell them they will be doing this by the end of the day. We then return to the basic elements required for the development of their own acrobatics activities.
Different groups learn in different time frames, mainly because of exposure to gymnastics, dance or martial arts prior to attendance at the acrobatics day. Within these sporting experiences, children have learned how to focus and learn skills more quickly. This carries over directly into their acrobatic ability.
Regardless of where your vacation care children’s experience, they will be all smiles and immensely proud of their achievement within an acrobatics day. It is a great joy to see them discuss their achievements with parents and siblings at the end of the day. Excitement and pride glowing on every face.
Ryan Williamson is a gymnastics and movement expert.