Putting Your Child’s Art Skills to Work on Their Costume

Halloween is right around the corner, and now is a time to start preparing your family for this festive holiday. Creating Halloween costumes is a fun tradition for many families. If one of your children has an artistic side, you may want to involve him or her in the costume design process. Here is a look at three ways that you can use your child’s art skills to create a Halloween costume this year.

Sketch Out Designs

Many children enjoy drawing colorful pictures of their favorite characters. Whether your child enjoys drawing imaginary characters or ones that he or she has encountered in books or movies, drawing is a great way to start the costume design process. A few sheets of blank paper and some markers will allow your child’s artistic imagination to flourish.

Visit the Craft Store

Your local craft store may have materials and patterns that you and your child can use during the costume creation process. Whether you have a specific costume in mind, or you are gathering inspiration, the craft store is a great location to start the costume design process. The store may even have seasonal classes or workshops that help kids design their own costumes.

Explore Your Own Supplies

If you already have a collection of art supplies at home, you can encourage your child to use these materials when he or she is making a costume. Even common household items, such as recycled cardboard and egg containers, can be repurposed and decorated to create pieces of a costume. The simplest materials can be transformed into fun costumes that will add an artistic flair to your Halloween festivities.

At Heart and Soul Kids Activity Center, we offer gymnastics classes and other programs that will encourage your artistic child. If you are interested in enrolling in gymnastics this fall, be sure to visit our Tucson location. Call us at (520) 818-7974 to receive additional information about the programs that we offer for kids of all ages.

How to Help Your Child Balance School and Extracurriculars

Extracurricular activities can be fundamental for a child’s development. During the busy school year, however, it can be easy for you and your children to become overwhelmed by all of your different responsibilities. By striking the right balance between school and activities, you can promote a healthy and active school year for your kids. Read on for an overview of some tips that will help you and your child balance school and extracurriculars.

Emphasize the Importance of Schoolwork

After school lets out for the day, your child may be eager to rush off to his or her planned classes and activities. However, as a parent, it is essential that you remind your child that homework and school are top priorities. To ensure that your kids are getting all of their homework done, you may want to ask to review their assignments and calendars at the end of each day.

Keep a Detailed Calendar

Calendars are essential items for any family. By maintaining a detailed weekly and monthly calendar, you can keep track of lessons, performances, tests, and other important obligations that may be occurring during the school year. Your calendar will help you to keep your entire family on track as they balance school and other activities.

Consider Multi-Tasking

Extracurricular activities can sometimes take up a chunk of your child’s time for homework and study. Depending on your child’s learning style, you may be able to encourage him or her to study or read while you are en route to a class or rehearsal. In order to squeeze all of your activities into the day, multi-tasking may become a key strategy for your family.

At Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center, we offer a variety of lessons and classes that will enrich your upcoming school year. If your child is interested in learning about gymnastics, dance, or tumbling, be sure to take a look at our upcoming class calendar. Give our Tucson location a call at (520) 818-7974 to hear more about the wonderful and welcoming experience that awaits your child at our facility.

 

Start Your School Year the Right Way

As the summer months start to wind down, it is time to start thinking about the back to school season. Along with shopping for new school clothes and supplies, you can ensure a great school year by signing your children up for extracurricular activities. Gymnastic classes and other healthy activities will encourage your kids to get active and have fun once the school day has ended. Read further to receive some more tips on how to start your school year the right way.

Meet Your Child’s Teacher

Before the start of the school year, it is always a great idea to take the time meet your child’s teacher. By making an introduction before the school year starts, you can set the academic season off on the right foot. As the year progresses, you can keep in touch with your child’s teacher by asking questions and offering to volunteer for school events or other activities.

Schedule Family Dinners

If your family has gotten out of a regular dinner routine, now is the time to schedule family dinners for at least one or two weeknights each week. Even if you are all engaged in after school activities, it is still very important to sit down and share a meal together throughout the school year.

Enroll in Extracurricular Activities

To ensure that your child gets a slot in his or her favorite activities, now is the time to start thinking about enrollment. Dance classes, martial arts, and gymnastics are terrific activities that will enrich your child’s experience during the school year. By taking the time to sign up before school starts, you will get a head start on creating your schedule for the year.

At Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center, we offer classes and camps that will help your family kick start the school year. If you are seeking friendly and fun gymnastics classes in Tucson, look no further than our popular center. To receive additional information about our current enrollment opportunities, give us a call at (520) 818-7974.

How to Bring Out Your Child’s Inner Artist

Creativity is a vital component of every child’s upbringing. It can help your child find different paths to a solution, and it helps develop critical thinking. You can bring out and foster your child’s artistry with simple steps, such as offering options and encouragement. Read on for more information about bringing out your child’s inner artist.

Observe Your Child

The easiest way to bring out your child’s inner artist is to observe her. Does she frequently dance through the house and sway to music, or does she take every opportunity to draw and color everywhere she goes? These clues are important to helping you figure out how to encourage your child’s inner artist. If she gravitates toward certain hobbies, then give her a brief lesson or simple supplies that might foster her creativity. If she does not grow bored with what you give her, then consider more advanced lessons and supplies.

Offer Options

If your child does not gravitate toward a particular area of art or creativity, then give her access to different options. Children’s activity centers and rec centers offer beginner classes in a variety of artistic mediums, such as music, dance, and drawing. You can also keep basic supplies around your home to see which ones your child gravitates toward. For example, crayons, washable paints, kids’ instruments, and karaoke machines are fun ways to engage your child and observe her reactions.

Encourage Your Child

Above all, always encourage your child to explore the world around her. This means trusting her to find her artistic way and supporting her throughout the process. Help her feel comfortable speaking about her favorite activities, likes, and dislikes. Engage in conversation, and participate in activities. These interactions are crucial to your relationship, and they will help you both bring out your inner artists.

Enroll your child in the different classes found at Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center, and we can help foster her amazing creativity. We offer onsite classes and mobile classes at nearby schools. Please visit us online and call us at (520) 818-7974 to learn more.

Why Extracurricular Activities Are Crucial to Childhood Development

As a parent, it is your job to expose your child to new experiences and educational opportunities. If you are seeking a great way to provide your child with learning experiences outside of the classroom, it is a terrific idea to sign him or her up for extracurricular activities. Gymnastics lessons, dance classes, and other after school activities can provide your child with important social, mental, and physical enrichment. Here is a look at why extracurricular activities are crucial to childhood development.

Build Social Skills

While your child will learn social skills and develop relationships during the school day, many of his or her social skills will be fostered outside of the classroom environment. When you sign your child up for extracurricular activities, you can help him or her have meaningful experiences with a group of peers. From resolving conflicts to working on teams, extracurricular activities teach a variety of social skills.  

Foster Emotional Growth

Emotional health is as important as physical health for your child. By signing your son or daughter up for extracurricular activities, you can help to encourage his or her emotional development. When your child forges friendships and engages in problem solving during after school activities, his or her emotional maturity will blossom.

Improve Physical Fitness

After school gymnastics lessons and dance classes can help your child improve his or her physical fitness significantly. The instructors at your gymnastic studio will encourage your child to get active and moving. Regular participation in after school activities will help to lay the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy physical fitness.     

At Heart & Soul, we will be thrilled to help you find the perfect extracurricular activity for your son or daughter. From gymnastics and dance to martial arts, our kids’ activity center in Tucson offers many different activities that are tailored for both boys and girls. For additional information about how our center can help to enrich your child’s weekly routine, be sure to give us a call at (520) 818-7974.

Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday with Heart & Soul

Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center wants to give your child an exceptional birthday experience. Under the care of a birthday specialist, your child and her party guests can enjoy themed games and activities inside the comfortable Heart & Soul facility. See what else comes with a birthday party at Heart & Soul:

Plan a Private Party

Heart & Soul will close to the general public just for your child’s birthday party. The party will be held for two hours, and it will be hosted by a Heart & Soul birthday specialist. This specialist will structure your child’s birthday party around different games, activities, cake-cutting, and food. Having a specialist is a great addition to your child’s Heart & Soul party, because you can focus on having fun with your child and her guests.

Enjoy the Facility

A party at Heart & Soul means a chance to enjoy the different areas of the facility. The activity center is fully air conditioned, so your child and her guests will be completely comfortable while playing volleyball or practicing their gymnastics skills. The Heart & Soul facility also offers a dance studio, obstacle courses, and access to the lobby for refreshments. Your birthday specialist will direct the birthday guests to where they need to be for games, fun, and food.

Pick a Theme

Parties are incomplete until they have a theme, and Heart & Soul has five great themes to choose from. Each theme comes with a list of activities, crafts, and games to enjoy. Each theme also includes 30 minutes for refreshments in the activity center’s lobby. Help your child to pick from one of these five fun themes: Sports, flowers & fairies, gymnastics, princess, and super hero.

Give your child the party of a lifetime with the help of Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center. We host memorable birthday parties near Tucson, AZ, and your child won’t want to miss out. Please call (520) 818-7974 to reserve a slot for your next party.

Get Some Extra Practice With Skill Clinics

At Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center, there are several different classes filled with students eager to learn. However, some children need extra practice and hands-on training to perfect certain skills. Heart & Soul offers various skill clinics in dance, gymnastics, and cheer to help these children get the extra attention they need. Here is a look at the benefits that come with skill clinics:

Hands-On Training

With traditional classes, students are learning alongside several other children. While the instructors and aids strive to work with each student to learn the necessary skills of dance or gymnastics, some students may require personalized training. With skill clinics, these students can learn and master dancing and gymnastic skills with the help of hands-on training by the instructors. This training is continually repeated to help the student feel more confident and better-equipped to perform the skill on their own.

Broken-Down Steps

Sometimes, children need the individual attention and ability to understand the skill that comes with skill clinics. The instructors in skill clinics will break down a particular skill into manageable and easy to understand parts. Students can learn and practice the basic foundations and movements of that skill until they truly understand how to perform it. By continually showing each skill in a broken-down fashion, instructors can better help an individual student learn how to safely and correctly perform a skill.

Extra Practice

Students should already be practicing their skills throughout the days and weeks in between classes. However, skill clinics are another way to gain extra practice. With skill clinics, students also have the benefit of knowledgeable, supervised practice to ensure they are learning all of the moves correctly and safely.

Come down to Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center where we have dozens of classes and skill clinics devoted to teaching children about dance, gymnastics, and so much more. Our knowledgeable instructors are amazing at what they do. We fill up quickly, so give us a call at (520) 818-7974 to book a skill clinic right away.

Take Advantage of Kids Night Out

Kids Night Out is a fun monthly event where kids are dropped off at Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center to enjoy a night of fun. Let’s take a closer look at how great it will be once you and your kids take advantage of Kids Night Out.

Your Kids Will Have Fun

The older your kids become, the more important it is to find safe, yet fun, entertainment for them on the weekends. With Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center and the regular Kids Night Out event, kids can have a fun and safe time. During Kids Night Out, your kids will have four hours of games, gymnastics, crafts, and so much more to enjoy. Kids Night Out is a completely structured night with a different theme every time. During this once-a-month event, kids can even enjoy some great pizza and a yummy dessert. After you pick up your kids from their Kids Night Out experience, they will not stop talking about their great night. You will also receive plenty of new crafts and activities to show off on the kitchen fridge.

You Can Have Fun

Having your kids enjoy a fun night out is great for the entire family. You can drop off your kids in the hands of the capable staff of Heart & Soul, and then you can enjoy four blissful hours to yourself. Of course, you can use this time to catch up on chores or work, but this is also the perfect time to enjoy some fun yourself. There are no rules saying that only your kids get to have fun during Kids Night Out; this is the perfect opportunity for you to enjoy a date night, a few hours of relaxation, or whatever else that will leave you feeling refreshed.

Take advantage of Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center and our famous Kids Night Out events. We believe that both kids and parents need some time to recollect themselves and have some fun. If you and your kids are looking for that opportunity, then call us at (520) 818-7974.

Heart and Soul Dance Project Dress Code

“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.” Looking the part is an important piece to the puzzle all throughout life. Just as we would not wear pajamas to an interview, it is crucial dancers show up to dance class with the proper attire. Dressing appropriately for class shows respect to fellow dancers and the dance instructor. It allows each dancer to focus on their dance training while creating unity among the dancers in the classroom. All dancers must be responsible for coming to class with the proper dance attire while also remembering to bring the correct dance shoes. Hairstyles are equally important when showing up to dance class. Having hair pulled back and neat allows dancers to move freely without the worry of hair hitting their face or getting in the way. Most dancers love the glitz and glam that comes with the sport. We are given the opportunity to wear magnificent costumes and to perform in front of audiences. Once a dancer steps into their costume, they are transformed. That is the magic of dance! Before we hit the big stage with the costumes, lights, and lipstick, we must remember that classes are the most important part of a performance. This is where all the hard work, dedication, and countless hours of rehearsal are spent. So please, show up ready to dance and dressed to a T.

Stretching Blog

When we sat down and started building our lesson plans for our pre-school and school age classes at Heart & Soul we knew that implementing warming up and stretching into them was an absolute must. We know that many parents wonder why we have their children stretch and especially why we spend time stretching, but let me tell you it is for a wonderful reason!

We start every class with 5 minutes of either a rapid movement game for the preschoolers or teacher lead cardio for our school age athletes. Starting a class this way allows the kiddos to warm up their muscles and their bodies, allowing them to get ready to move! The games that we play with our pre-school classes are what we refer to as gross-motor skill building activities, we focus on hand-eye or foot-eye coordination, learning how to kick a ball around an obstacle course, and building color knowledge. With our older students we make sure to get their muscles warm and their blood pumping with running, jump ropes, hula hoops and other teacher lead cardio activities. This ensures that every warm up is effective and FUN!

We spend another 5 minutes stretching after the warm-up activity. This is the time when we teach your kiddos about important body positions, alignment, and helping them build their flexibility. We hold stretches for 10-30 seconds, this amount of time allows the kiddos to lengthen their muscles without causing any damage. Holding a stretch longer than these times can cause permanent damage, like scar tissue and have negative effects on your child’s performance. We also make sure that we stretch both sides of our bodies equally, favoring a right or left side can lead to a multitude of physical problems later in life, so we like to make sure that every side of the body is stretched correctly. The act of following a weekly stretching routine will not only help kiddos build strength and flexibility, but it also helps to improve their concentration, focus and memorization skills. Setting the tone for the class by following the teacher during stretching, ensures that they will follow directions and listen more closely throughout the rest of class. This is also why it is incredibly important to be on time for classes, so that none of the warm-up is missed.

When we begin to build focus and memorization in young children, we know that it will help them throughout life! With the practice of stretching, it has been found to help with lessening pain related to growth plates, helping to build better posture, and it also has been found to lower the amount of sports related injuries over the life of an athlete. Listed below are some of the basic preschooler and school age stretching if you want to bond at home with your kiddos and stretch together!

Tumble with Me Stretching

  • Reach tall to the sky! Can you tickle your nose? Tickle your tummy? Tickle your toes?
  • Jump open your feet! Can you make a big rainbow to one side? And the other side?
  • Sit down in a butterfly stretch and make your toes kiss! Can you put your nose to your toes?
  • Open legs into a straddle! Can you tickle one foot? Can you tickle all the way to your other foot?
  • Reach tall in your straddle and TIMBER!
  • Bring toes together into a pike stretch! Say go away toes (point) and come here toes (flex)! Catch your toes!
  • Make a tuck position, place your hands behind you on the floor and make a table.
  • Come down and rock and roll in your tuck position!
  • Stand up and show your stick-finish-flare! (Ta-Da!)

School Age Stretching

  • Arm circles backwards and forwards (5 ea)
  • Crisscross arms in the front and back (feet shoulder width apart)
  • Trunk twists with feet apart
  • Roll neck side to side then hold while looking at their toes
  • Straight body then reach for toes, while keeping their legs straight
  • Squat down and jump to a push up position and do 5 push ups
  • Set knees down and stretch wrists on the floor
  • Do hip flexor and hamstring stretch
  • Right and left leg splits- hold each for 10-15 seconds
  • Middle split hold for 10-15 seconds
  • Roll hips back and sit in a straddle for straddle stretch hold right, left and middle for 5-10 seconds
  • Swing legs together into a pike position- reach and hold toes for 10 seconds
  • Bridge position for 10 seconds- have feet together with knees bent, pushing their shoulders over their hands
  • Rocking chairs x 3 to a stand