“When is the best age for kids to start gymnastics?” is a common question we get from parents. This question can be tricky to answer, but we’ll try our best to do it through this blog post.
So… what’s the best age for kids to start gymnastics?
In our opinion, the best age for kids to start gymnastics is whenever they feel ready for it.
USA Gymnastics, the country’s governing body for elite gymnastics, says the optimum age for kids to begin training is between two and five years. Competitive gymnastics is a young person’s sport, after all. For instance, the gymnastics age limit for the Olympics is 16. Starting kids young if they want to compete in the sport will give them a leg up.
Then again, it’s not unheard of for gymnasts to reach the elite levels even though they began training later than most child athletes. For example, Brazilian artistic gymnast Daiane dos Santos started gymnastics at age 12 after her coach discovered her at a playground. She was already 20 years old when she won the gold medal on floor exercises at the 2003 World Championships. This made her the first Black person and the first from South America to win the event. Dos Santos went on to represent Brazil in the Olympics thrice and has two FIG skills named after her.
Of course, not every child who gets into gymnastics grows up to become an elite athlete. Some kids develop a desire to compete, while others just do it for fun. Gymnastics is meant to be a fun sport, so kids should do whatever they want with it.
The pros of starting them young
That being said, there are advantages to getting kids started in gymnastics young. In the formative toddler years, gymnastics can teach children balance, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and other physical skills that can help with their development.
An early start in the sport can teach toddlers essential social skills as well. In parent-toddler gymnastics classes, the young ones learn how to listen politely to instructions. Because they get to work with their parents, coaches, and other kids, they also figure out how to function as part of a team.
As your child progresses through gymnastics, they’ll develop discipline and self-confidence. They’ll also realize the value of staying fit and will likely keep at it throughout their life. Even if they don’t grow up into elite gymnasts, your child will form lifelong habits that they can take with them when they leave the gym.
The best age for kids to start gymnastics is whenever they feel ready for it. But if you want your child to receive the benefits that the sport offers, you can sign up for parent-child gymnastics classes near you.
OMEGA Gymnastics’ Recreational Program has a variety of classes for all ages, including parent-toddler classes. You can also enroll your child in our Discovery Preschool Program, which combines classroom instruction with sensory play and active recess. Call or email us with your inquiries today.