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Meridian Gymnastics and Youth Fitness
Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for classes?
          Meridian has an online registration system. Class payments are monthly.  Meridian accepts payments in the form of cash, check, Visa, or Mastercard (debit or credit).  Online payments are made at the time of registration.  Classes are priced per month based upon time duration.  If you are registering more than one child, please note that there is a family discount.  The first family member pays regular class price, and any additional immediate family members receive $5.00 off the regular monthly class price.

Do you offer a family discount?
Yes! The first family member pays regular class price and any additional family members receive $5.00 off the regular monthly class price.  

What should my child wear to class?
            Girls wear a leotard/unitard.  Boys wear sweat pants or shorts with a t-shirt.  Clothing with buckles, zippers, or snaps should NOT be worn.  All long hair must be tied back.  Jewelry should not be worn to protect both the gymnast and the instructors.  All students must have bare feet for safety. 

My child has never taken gymnastics before.  Is there a specific class I should sign up for?
          All of our classes are appropriate for all levels of gymnasts.  Our lessons are planned with adaptations for the beginning gymnast through the more advanced athlete.  
In addition, classes are further broken into groups of similar age and ability level.  Whether your child is learning a forward roll or a back tuck, we have a place for him/her!  

What is the difference between a preschool and a tiny tot gymnastics class?  Which class should I enroll my three year old in?
          Tiny-tot classes are 45 minutes in length and parent participatory.  All children are required to have a parent/guardian/responsible adult with them at all times.  The emphasis in tiny-tots is exploration and socialization; the actual gymnastics skills are also important, but secondary.  Goals of a tiny-tot class include:  instilling a love of exercise; learning to follow directions; developing confidence (e.g. encouraging each child to say his/her own name at circle time and interact with the instructor); willing participation in group activities (including singing, gross motor activites, and stretching); following an obstacle course with parent guidance.  Skills that may be introduced include:  basic body positions (tuck, pike, straddle); walking across a low balance beam independently; forward rolls down an incline mat; front support on the uneven bars; and tuck, pike, and straddle jumps on the trampoline.
          Preschool classes are an hour-long.  Children are expected to be able to follow simple directions and enter the gym willingly without a parent.  These age-appropriate classes blend physical, cognitive, and daily living skills.  Your child will playfully learn basic gymnastics positions and skills, gross motor skills, and social skills.  Children begin to learn: gymnastics terminology, basic gymnastics positions, and fundamental skills on standard gymnastics equipment.  In preschool age classes, we reintroduce and build upon the most basic gymnastics positions and skills focused upon in tiny tots and also offer appropriate progressions toward more difficulte skills for children who have mastererd the basics.  
          If this is your child's first structured learning experience, we recommend trying the tiny tots class first.  Three year olds vary greatly in their readiness to participate without a parent, and in their ability to communicate with and take directions from someone other than their own parent.  If you are having difficulty choosing a class for your child, please feel free to stop in and observe a tiny tot or preschool class during our scheduled class hours and speak with a staff member following that class to answer any questions you may have.  Staff members can also be3 reached with an questions or concerns by calling
(978) 630-1100.

What happens during my child's class?
                      10 minutes of free time
                      Circle time
                      Song/Gross motor skills/warm-up
                      Stretching/basic body positions
                      Three 10-minute rotations

          Grade School:
                      5 minutes free time
                      Circle time
                      Aerobic warm-up
                      Three 15-minute rotations

Can I watch my child's class?
          Absolutely!  We have a comfortable heated and air-conditioned lobby/viewing area with tables and chairs, healthy snacks for sale, and toys available for use for your little ones not participating.  The large viewing windows allow you to see your child's accomplishments each week.  However, please refrain from entering the gym during class time, as it is distracting to both your child and the other children in the gym.

Can I leave during my child's class?
          Parents of
pre-school, recreational, and tumbling class students are welcome to leave and return at pick-up time as long as your child can use the bathroom facilities on their own.  If you choose to leave, please make sure we have an updated cell phone/emergency number on file.

If my child misses a class, can (s)he make it up?
          Yes!  Make-ups for currently enrolled students can be done in another class of the same
 age group and must be scheduled ahead of time.  Please call the gym at (978) 630-1100 to schedule a make-up class.

What is the parent's role in the tiny-tot class?  What should I expect?
      The primary role of the parent or adult participant in a tiny tot class is to be responsible for the safety of the child.  Safety  rules will be reviewed on the first day of class, and should be carefully followed throughout the year by all child and adult participants to ensure a fun and safe learning environment.  Parents should stay within reach of their child and should participate and interact with their child throughout the class.  Be ready to introduce new and different movement opportunities, and learn.   Be ready to introduce new and different movement opportunities, and learn and use safe spotting techniques.  Dress comfortably in athletic attire.  Pull back long hair, and remove jewelry.

          Parents should understand that children have a natural curiousity and will gravitate toward movement exploration but need parent direction.  Class begins with 15 minutes of free-time during which children are encouraged to explore the equipment and revisit favorite activities.  Let your child take the lead and show you what they most enjoy.  Following free-time, the entire group is called together for a 15 minute circle time and warm-up.  At this time, the instructor will lead the group in song and fine and gross motor activities.  Encourage the child to remain within the group for circle time.  If the child wanders, the parent should redirect the child back to the group.  Sometimes children have difficulty remaining at circle and keeping attention focused. At times it may be appropriate to remove the child from the group for a "time-out" in the lobby until he/she is ready to rejoin and participate in the group activity.  Our classes follow a predictable routine and we find that most children are able to adapt to the structured setting within a few weeks, so please don't be discouraged if circle time is difficult for your child the first few weeks of classes.  The remaining 15 minutes of class are spent engaging the children in a gymnastics obstacle course.  Your instructor will demonstrate the obstacle course and proper spotting techniques.  She will then position herself at a focus station where she will assist each child.  Your role is to lead your child through the obstacle course and assist them where needed.  Please understand that children will not perform the skills and movements exactly as the instructor demonstrated.  Remember, there is a wide range of ages in the class, and every child develops at their own pace.  The goal of the class is not to accelerate development.  Have fun and take pride in watching your child learn and explore new things!

What is the difference between a recreational gymnastics class and a tumbling class?
          Recreational gymnastics class students learn skills on the floor exercise, uneven bars, balance beam, and vault; the rings, parallel bars, air trak, tumbltrak and other training tools are also incorporated into our lessons.  Tumbling classes focus on tumbling skills such as cartwheels, roundoffs, front and back walkovers, handsprings, and flipping skills.  Students use the spring floor (which includes panel mats, incline mats, etc), tumbltrak, and trampoline.  This class is popular with cheerleaders.

How are children identified for the Levels Program?  What are the requirements for entry into the Levels Program?  Can I sign my child up?
          Please see our Levels Program page for more information.

Do you have a boys competitive team?
          Not at this time, but all of our classes are co-ed and all students are challenged at their own level.


Meridian Gymnastics and Youth Fitness
Meridian Kids Preschool
871 West Broadway
Gardner, MA 01440
Phone: (978) 630-1100
Email: meridian.gymnastics@verizon.net.

Updated 8/17/18

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