Youth Development Programs

Bouncing Bears Gymnastics

Movement is at the very core of how children develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, and of course, physically. Our movement education program, Bouncing Bears and Beyond, provides children 12 months and older with a safe, fun, kid-oriented environment where we focus on the total well-being of each child. Our gym is full of challenges for growing muscles and minds. Equipment is set up to enhance gross motor skills and effectively utilized to keep kids productive through their entire class. Through themed lesson plans, the students experience a variety of bouncing, tumbling, swinging, balancing, rhythm, and body awareness activities, with gymnastics skills developed along the way. Through our programs, it is our goal to increase each child’s physical and creative confidence.

Bouncing Bears Gymnastics (Ages 12 months-5 years)

Bouncing Bears is a unique and integrated program that will challenge your child as he or she develops physically and socially. Your child will be exposed to activities that enhance flexibility, balance, rhythm, and motor skills. Age-appropriate classes incorporate music, dance, puppets, relays, games, gymnastics apparatus, skills stations, and creative obstacle courses. An emphasis is placed on community and socials skills, as well as the Y’s core values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

PARENT-CHILD TODDLER CLASSES:

Little Bears (Ages 12-23 months, with parent) &
Big Bears (Ages 24-36 months, with parent)
Meet new friends at this fun-filled gym class for toddlers and parents! Play time in our Kid Zone will foster your child’s coordination and motor development in swinging, balancing, climbing, running, jumping, rolling and more. The class is set up with exploration time, circle time including the incorporation of songs and weekly themes using a variety of props such as puppets, ribbons, instruments, parachute, and more. This program has plenty of action, music, and fun!

CHILD-ONLY PRESCHOOL CLASSES:

Dynamos (Ages 3-5)
Your independent child will enhance their motor development by exploring a wide variety of movement concepts and skills in a safe and positive environment through the use of obstacle courses, skill stations, and a variety of games and activities! During our 45 minutes of fun and development, we will work on basic gymnastics skills (forward and backward roll) and progressions for more challenging skills (handstands and cartwheels), basic sequencing, staying with a group and following directions, as well as social interaction skills. Children are challenged at their own ability levels and praised for their interaction and efforts. Seasons: Fall & Winter.

Gym & Swim (Ages 3-5) Combination Class
This 90-minute combination class features two specialties in one class! In the first 45 minutes, children will develop their skills learning basic tumbling and preschool gymnastics through stations, circuits, and games. The second half of class features a 30-minute swim class taught by a YMCA swim instructor. Children will be accompanied by their gym instructor and MUST come prepared with their bathing suit on under their gym clothes. Drop off in Kid Zone/Pick up in the Forese Family Pool. Those interested in participating in only the gym portion of this class may do so, space permitting. Please contact Donna Carpenter at 203-920-1639 or by email. Seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, & Summer.

Little Flips (Ages 3-5)
This structured class focuses on movement education and creative expression through the use of developmentally appropriate gymnastics skills. Our preschool program is a great way to improve your child’s self-confidence, flexibility, body-awareness, and listening skills. Season: Summer.

Move & Groove Gymnastics (Ages 3-5) Combination Class
Have your little one move and groove in this energy-filled 60-minute combination class! The first 30 minutes will focus on building rhythm connections to a variety of music and dance styles; exploring creativity and using our imagination and self-expression to build confidence. Class will finish with 30 minutes of gymnastics, building fundamental movement skills. Seasons: Fall & Winter.

Hot Shots (Ages 4-5)
Each class incorporates a warm-up, obstacle course, skill & station practice, and group time utilizing fun games, relays, parachute, and more! With an increased attention span and improved strength and flexibility, progression of skills are acquired more easily. Combinations of skills are presented to improve their memory. Social skills, problem solving, and creative thinking are emphasized. Target skills: tuck, straddle, and straight jumps, run, jump, and roll, inverted hang on rings, hopping on one foot, cartwheels over block, and so much more! Seasons: Fall, Winter, & Spring.

Bouncing Bears Open Gym (Ages 4 and under, Pre-K)

Open Gym (Ages 4 and under)
Opening Wednesday, September 1, 2021! Free with a Family Membership or when enrolled in a Bouncing Bears Gymnastics class; $15.00 for all others. Please note: a limit of 12 children are allowed per Open Gym time. Parents are required to stay and supervise play.

Registration is required and may be done up to 3 days prior to each Open Gym. Each individual child must be registered to attend Open Gym. Non-members and local Y reciprocity members may not register for Open Gym unless they purchase a day pass prior to paying for admission.

Days: *Mondays & Wednesdays
Hours: 3:15-4:00 PM
Location: Kid Zone
Fee: Free with a Family Membership or when enrolled in a Bouncing Bears Gymnastics class; $15.00 for all others.

*Open Gym days/times are subject to change and will vary during vacation weeks.

For additional information and any questions, please contact Donna Carpenter at 203-920-1639 or by email.

School-Age Gymnastics (Ages K-8+)

Our recreational gymnastics program offers a variety of classes designed to be fun and challenging and that will enhance your child’s overall athletic ability. It is a great fit for kids who want to learn gymnastics skills, stay fit, build strength and flexibility but don’t want to commit to long hours in the gym or partake in competitions. It is our goal to help each and every gymnast enjoy the sport of gymnastics and discover their potential in a positive and encouraging environment. Please contact Donna Carpenter at 203-920-1639 or by email with any questions.

Kinderbears (Ages K-6.5 years)
This class is designed as a bridge between our preschool and grade school programs for children who need more of a challenge and can follow directions. Students will work on tumbling skills similar to our Novas 1 school-age class and more equipment-specific skills, as well as fun games and activities each week. Season: Fall, Winter, & Spring.

Novas: Level 1 (Ages K-7 years) Beginner
This class is for those ready for a structured format in our recreational gymnastics program. Our goal is to instill confidence and help children develop basic gymnastic moves that will help them improve involvement in all sports. This class is taught with a strong emphasis on tumbling and allows each child to develop at their own pace. Seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring.

Novas: Level 2 (Ages 7+ years, some experience) Advanced Beginner
Focus is on learning and improving basic skills including cartwheels, handstands, backbends, rolls, kick-overs, back handsprings, and bar & beam moves. We will challenge athletes individually to help improve their gymnastics skills. Seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring.

Supernovas: Level 3 (Ages 7+ years, experience required) Intermediate-Advanced
This intermediate-advanced class is for those who have mastered the basics, including back rolls, cartwheels, and handstands. We will focus on refinement and more difficult moves and combinations. Seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring.

Move & Groove Gymnastics (Ages K-8 years)
This 90-minute class features two specialties in one class! Each class features 45 minutes of aerobic exercise incorporating a mix of fun dance styles, followed by 45 minutes of structured gymnastics. All classes start in the Mind Body Studio.

Tap & Tumble (Ages K-8 years)
This one-hour combo class offers children the chance to explore tap movements as we work on rhythms and coordination, and tumbling. Tap Segment: 30 minutes of basic tap to more complex moves, with great music! Tap shoes required. Gymnastics Segment: 30 minutes of tumbling and gymnastics progressions. Seasons: Fall & Winter.

Make-Up Policy

Missed classes due to illness may be made up in another class during the session, space permitting. Please schedule a make-up class in advance with your class instructor or by contacting Donna Carpenter at 203-920-1639 or by email. If a class is cancelled by the Y due to inclement weather or an emergency, every effort will be made to offer a make-up class. Please note: if a participant cannot attend the make-up class, no credit/refund will be issued.

Class Rules & Procedures:

  • Only one parent per child allowed to participate in Little and Big Bears classes.
  • Masks are required to be worn by all unvaccinated individuals, including all children ages 2 and older. View the New Canaan YMCA’s mask policy and reopening protocols in accordance with current CT state guidelines.
  • All children in drop-off classes must bring a mask and water bottle with name clearly marked. Should a child’s mask pose a safety issue while tumbling (slipping over their eyes or around their neck) we will have them remove it.
  • Workout Attire: shorts and a t-shirt, sweats, or leotard (please note: no shoes, socks, tights, dresses, or jewelry).