If you were the kind of person who tripped over the agility mat at school – and you’re worried your kids may have inherited your ineptitude – then the opening of The Little Gym in Ibn Battuta Mall has been an absolute blessing. Great movement and gymnastic classes for babies all the way up to tweens, these sessions encompass mat, bar and beam (and yes, your heart is in your mouth the first time boisterous Ben attempts a handstand). Parents join in with kids up to aged 36 months, but once they hit three years old, they’re on their own. Mum and dad can, of course, watch their progress through the glass walls as they tumble, bounce and run around, getting rid of some of that annoying energy in the process.
All classes are age-specific and taught by qualified, friendly instructors who seem to have an endless supply of patience and energy. Brilliant for some indoor exercise, and for promoting balance, coordination and confidence, our gym tester, Nadia Comaneci, absolutely adored her trial session and is nagging us to go back. Classes stop during the summer, but The Little Gym runs morning and afternoon camps for kids aged three to seven years, with the gym action interspersed with crafts in the on-site arts room. The new semester starts in earnest on September 12, with more classes than ever before. Keep an eye on the website, www.tlgibnbattuta.com for details.
The Little Gym (04 445 6850; firstname.lastname@example.org) Taxi: Ibn Batutta Mall, Persia Court (near Paris Gallery). Annual membership fee is Dhs250 per family and includes sibling discounts, as well as reduced rates on birthday parties and camps. Enrollment for the 20-week term from Sep 12 2010 to Jan 29 2011 costs Dhs2,050.
Sign up to the new semester at The Little Gym before the end of August and pay Dhs1,895 for 20 weeks instead of the normal rate of Dhs2,050