First Supervision of Mini Children's Birthday at our Ninja Gym

Today I supervised for the first time a “mini children’s birthday” at our Ninja gym. That’s a 60 minute long event geared towards children aged below 10 years. In this post I’d like to quickly sketch what I did with the children as — among other reasons also as a mental note to myself.

You can see our recently built course area for mini children on the picture below. It’s the area on the left. (These are not my legs if you wonder πŸ˜„)

Image of our β€œmini children” course area showing a five step (without space in between), a small warped wall, a corded ladder, some bars and more
Image of our ‘mini children’ course area, courtesy of the gym’s owner on the Facebook page (in German)

So what did I do?

  1. Greeting
  2. Introduction round: everyone says their name, age and favorite animal 🐢 🐱 πŸ’
  3. I asked the usual question of what we should always do before sports and why.

    The answer is warm up for reasons of injury prevention and improved performance. Interestingly, none of the children mentioned the first reason, but one of them mentioned the latter — in their own words, of course.

  4. We began some light warm-up, sprinkled with some (non-dangerous) exercises challenging coordination.

    In my experience with older children at our gym, such coordination exercises have proven to relax the atmosphere and to be funny compared to some other “boring” warm-up exercises. Boring in the eyes of children, that is.

    On a side note, when I am training my own body, I usually choose another set of warm-up exercises for myself. Sure, it overlaps with the ones I do with clients, but I also focus much more on controlled articular rotations (CARs) of every joint. For example, I often do hanging scapula CARs on a bar. Some of the CAR exercises are not easy to get right on the first try — not even on the first 20 tries, e.g. I needed weeks to get thoracic spine CARs flowing. Hence, I do not see a point in doing the harder CARs with one-time visitors and especially children. Instead, I favor some of the easier CARs and some compound exercises.

  5. We continued by everyone showcasing their animal in the spirit of “Animal Walks”.

    If you haven’t heard of animal walks before, check them out. A coach colleague of mine is particularly fond of them and in particular masters the gorilla movement! 🦍

  6. We then went through the following obstacles present among others in the mini children course area:

    • “Five Step”
      • with hands jumping from left to right
      • without hands jumping from left to right
      • just running on one side — suggested by one of the children
    • Warped Wall

      • the usual way
      • running faster such that they arrive at the top of the wall in a “upper straight bar dip position”
      • choosing the minimal distance from the wall from which they can still start running and be able to reach the top

      Since these variants were mostly still too easy for them, we continued with (partially, not for all children):

      • starting completely on the wall
      • starting in a squat on the wall such that the back is facing the wall

      One of the children forgot their sport shoes, hence only wore socks, which made the warped wall really difficult for them. Then, one of the other children helped them from the top of the wall and I spotted at ground level due to safety reasons. To me, this looked like a great social interaction between both kids πŸ˜„

    • Moving Ring along Rope with feet supported on Cargo Net

    • Corded Ladder

    • Balancing Bars (on floor)

    • Climbing along Pipes

    • A run including

      • “Five Step”
      • Warped Wall
      • Balancing Bars
      • Climbing along Pipes

All in all, I’d say the set of obstacles worked nicely. Potentially, it was a bit too easy for the elder children (some were 10 and 11), but given the time frame of 60 minutes, I’d say that this didn’t bore them too much — I hope! I heard we get new obstacles for this mini course area anyway in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

Navid Roux
Navid Roux
Computer Science M. Sc. Student

Academically interested in formal systems for knowledge representation; recreationally in love with sports.