When a Fun Toddler Activity Isn’t

I had high hopes for enrolling Norton in gymnastics.  I was hoping for a fun toddler activity.  More specifically, I was hoping for a fun toddler activity where Norton would get to be around other kids and improve his toddler social skills.

I figured that Norton loves to run around and he loves to jump.  Jumping on the couch was a favored pastime.  He loved to do things with his daddy, and with a new baby on the way, gymnastics would be a guaranteed way for him to have some one on one time with either me or his dad.  With that in mind, why wouldn’t gymnastics be awesome for him?

It turns out that it wasn’t.  Sometimes Norton would just cry a lot.  Sometimes he’d run around and not cooperate, and the husband would spend the entire session just chasing after him.  In fact, one of the rare times that I’d seen my husband lose his temper was after a gymnastics class.  He’d just completely had it.  Norton ran off, he tried to snatch the husband’s glasses off of his face, and he point blank would not cooperate.

Once I was physically recovered from the birth of Eudora and my c-section, I gave gymnastics a go.  Maybe we’d have fun together.

We didn’t.  By the end of that class, I’d felt like I’d burned more calories and lifted more weights than I did after a back to back session of ChaLEAN Extreme and Turbo Jam.  Norton screamed.  He was miserable.  He fought.  I had a headache.

That was when I realized that continuing this weekly torture was… well, stupid.  It wasn’t a toddler bonding activity for either parent to have with Norton.  It wasn’t a fun toddler activity.  There were no toddler social skills being developed.  Instead, it was just plain awful, and it was disruptive for other kids who actually wanted to be there.

So, we dropped it.  I quickly realized that Norton was far too young to understand the value of sticking something out.  Instead of deciding to continue on with a weekly activity that absolutely no one enjoys, we’ve decided that we’re better off going to the park with Norton on the weekends.  This way, Norton gets to do a fun toddler activity with his daddy, and everyone is happy.

Did you ever try a fun toddler activity with your kid that wasn’t?  When did you realize that it wasn’t working?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I’m so sorry you didn’t have a wonderful experience. I’m a gymnastics coach and I’ve worked with lots and lots of toddlers. How old is your son? Some kids just are a little young even if they’re “old enough.” It’s also possible that the coaching style and activities weren’t designed well for that age group. Definitely don’t give up on gymnastics totally. Maybe wait until he is a little more settled with the new baby and try again.:)

    • Oh, he’s two. It wasn’t the fault of the gymnastics coach. She was great, and the other kids seemed to get into it. It just didn’t work out for him. I just can’t understand why he wants to swing off the table and jump on the couch, but he doesn’t want to do the circuit thing. 😛

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