Not once in all of the years that JumpBunch has been offering sports and fitness classes for kids has there ever been a case where a child didn't want to play. They might have been shy at first or otherwise reluctant to "jump" right in, but the desire to do so was certainly there. Right now, I am thankful that we can look through the eyes of a child and be reminded as adults that play is a natural part of us all, and it is only with age that we start to choose not to make it part of our lives.
Sport is Play
Our classes are focused on introducing kids to healthy habits and movement through sports and active games. That description in itself is written for adults though, and we'd never give that pitch to the child to entice them into "signing up". For them we only need three letters...F--U--N. A side benefit of working in this world is that you get that constant reminder that kids have it right. Somewhere we start seeing sports and exercise as a chore or task, when to a child it is nothing more than play. And you know what play is? Fun.
Here are a few reasons why JumpBunch classes are just plain fun to kids.
- Music makes you move. Kids love music, and better yet they love dancing, jumping, and moving to music. The first line of our class theme song is "JumpBunch, we're moving our bodies, JumpBunch let's have a party!". See...fun.
- Things are non-competitive. Really, in JumpBunch the only way to lose is to not try. Kids love to simply try new things because again, that's what play is. As they repeat things kids naturally get better at them, but our class keeps things focused on simply doing and not doing them better or best.
- The equipment is just plain cool. Being age-appropriate, kids are drawn to colorful, soft, and textured nature of much of our equipment. Since most lessons allow kids to get individual pieces of equipment, they are engaged for much longer simply letting those little minds and bodies explore!
- They have a totally awesome coach. It's true that we only show up when it's time to have fun, and our coaches do love that rock star treatment. The adoration goes both ways though, and kids know that our coaches are as happy to see them as they are to see us!
Make Play of Your Sport
Take some notes from what makes sport and fitness fun for kids. It truly is a choice we make as adults in abandoning the innate desire to move and be active. Our mission is to start early with kids and reinforce the connection between fun with fitness for a lifetime. Spend some time watching kids in some sort of movement or sports class. You can probably learn more from that than much of the other things we typically watch in a regular adult day!
- Get some music you love and let it be part of whatever you do to get moving!
- Take the pressure off and drop those expectations that you have to be great. To quote a pretty successful company line, "Just do it."
- Find an activity that lets you explore and stay engaged...cool equipment helps!
- Stay active with a great coach or simply find some friends who can "play" with you every week!
Again, just be thankful for some of the many things kids can remind us to never forget. In our world, that is that sport is play, play is fun, and we all need some of both regardless of our age!