For plenty of us, our first encounter with sports was probably soccer, “Pee Wee” football or maybe gymnastics sometime in elementary school. I had no interest in soccer when I was younger, so I went for gymnastics in 3rd grade. My Thursday nights were spent at the local YMCA walking carefully over a balance beam, practicing forward rolls over the uneven bars and doing cartwheels until I was dizzy. While I remember there being younger kids in some of the classes, I can tell you there were not toddlers (and certainly not babies) running (or crawling) around.
Fast forward 19 years and there I was, walking through the doors of KidsFirst in Blue Ash for my son’s first tumbling class. I was cautiously optimistic, and excited to see exactly what Tumble Bee at KidsFirst was all about. Off went our shoes and socks, and in we went with our hopes high. We strolled past the bigger kids doing the familiar endless line of cartwheels, and even bigger kids at various skill levels. Then we found our little corner and I knew instantly he was going to love it.
A little, closed off portion of the gym set aside just for little pre-walkers. Mats shaped like stairs to practice climbing, tunnels, baby-safe mirrors to crawl on, swings to work on balance, and trampolines and bosu balls for bouncing. James was instantly squirming to get down and romp around with the other babies. He crawled faster than I’ve ever seen him move, exploring every inch of the Baby Bee corner and he wasted no time warming up to the friendly and helpful instructors who helped him move through each exercise!
Not only was it great exercise for him — and efficient at burning off some serious energy — it also gave him a fantastic opportunity to spend some time with other kids his age. The smile on his face was well worth the drive from the west side to Blue Ash (the 3 hour nap (!) he took after the class was also worth the drive!).
Tumble Bees at KidsFirst in Blue Ash has been offering tumbling classes for kids of all ages since 1975, focusing on “developing happy, healthy, responsible children.” You can bring in your little one as early as 6 weeks (Bonus: those classes are free from 6 weeks – 4-6 months!) up until their 6th birthday. Each class works on different skills and challenges, both physical and social and the little ones end with a few minutes of music, bubbles and peek-a-boo with the parachute. What else could a baby (and parent) ask for?!
Emily grew up just north of Cincinnati in Hamilton, OH and now lives in Western Hills with her husband Jim, their son James and their lunatic yellow lab, Rosey. Emily graduated from Xavier University (Go Muskies!), and is now a stay at home mom after working in marketing and promotions for local radio and TV stations.
Emily spends most of her free time visiting the manatees (James’ favorite) at the Cincinnati Zoo, shopping at local antique shops, or singing Beatles songs with James who typically just stares at her like she’s crazy. Emily hopes one day he’ll join in but for now she enjoys his giggles. She also enjoys photography and has quickly turned into a Pure Barre addict while trying to melt away the daily milkshakes she consumed while pregnant. So far it’s going well, but Skyline frequently gets in the way.
Emily loves to write and is looking forward to connecting with other Moms in Cincinnati while writing for Cincinnati Parent.