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The little book with BIG resources!

Indoor Pools Near Me: Kansas City Families

Are your kids getting restless around the house? Our house is ready for the pool-time weather, but we couldn’t wait any longer to dive into our nearest swimming pool. Indoor pools are the perfect solution! So grab your towels, throw on the swimsuits, (& leave the sunscreen at home), the pool is calling your name!

kids swimming lesson in indoor pool.


Indoor Pools (Swim Time!)

Whether your family is looking to escape the cold or the scorching sun, there are tons of indoor pools in Kansas City for your kids to enjoy. From Lee’s Summit to Liberty to Overland Park, our team found a pool near you. Find open swim sessions, swim lessons, classes, activities and more at these fun indoor pools around town. 🙂 (FYI: We separated the indoor pools by state and city to save you time)




Belton Community Center
16400 N Mullen Road



Harrisonville Community Center
2400 S Jefferson Pkwy


Blue Springs

The Blue Centennial Pool
2401 NW Ashton Drive

Blue Springs Family YMCA
1300 SE Adams Dairy Pkwy



Henley Aquatic Center
18200 MO 78

Co-Co Key Water Resort
9103 E 39th Street



Gladstone Community Center
6901 N Holmes Street



Liberty Community Center
1600 S. Withers Road


Lee’s Summit

LS-R7 Aquatic Center
3498 SW Windermere Drive

Legacy Park Community Center
901 NE Bluestem Drive


Kansas City

Gregg Klice Community Center
1600 Buck O’Neil Way

Southeast Community Center
4201 E. 63rd Street

Tony Aguirre Community Center
2050 W. Pennway

Park Hill Aquatic Center
8152 N Congress Ave

Cleaver Family YMCA
7000 Troost Avenue

Paul Henson YMCA
3100 Broadway Suite 1020

Red Bridge YMCA
11300 Holmes Road

Linwood YMCA
3800 E Linwood Boulevard

Swinney Recreation Center at Volker Campus
5030 Holmes Road


North Kansas City

1999 Iron Street


Platte City

Platte County North YMCA
3101 Running Horse Road



Platte County South YMCA
8875 Clark Avenue




Bonner Springs

Bonner Springs YMCA
2251 S 138th Street



AquaTots Swim School
11943 S. Strang Line Rd

Olathe Community Center
1205 E Kansas City Rd

Olathe YMCA
21400 W 153rd Street


Overland Park

Matt Ross Community Center
8101 Marty Street

Blue Valley Rec Activity Center
6545 W 151st Street

Jewish Community Center of KC
5801 W 115th Street

Prairie Life Center
10351 Barkley Street

Lifetime Fitness
6800 W 138th Street


Roeland Park

Roeland Park Aquatic Center– Pool currently closed for maintenance; updates on Facebook
4850 Rosewood Drive



Emler Swim School
3612 W 135th Street



Sylvester Powell JR Community Center
6200 Martway St



Elite Gymnastics & Aquatics
13600 W. 108th Street

Lenexa Rec Center
17201 W 87th St Pkwy

Lifetime Fitness
16851 W 90th Street


Kansas City, KS

Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City
10401 Cabela Drive

Providence YMCA
8601 Parallel Parkway


If your family is looking for other fun things to do, check out our 100 Free (Or really cheap..) things to do in Kansas City! We are FULL of ideas 🙂


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Family Fun at Jump City KC: A Recap from our iFamilyKC Kids Club Event

Our team here at iFamilyKC is excited to introduce you to new and exciting places all around town where you can enjoy family fun with your kids. One of the ways that we do this is through our exclusive iFamilyKC Kids Club events which offer you deeply discounted admission to fun Kansas City spots. We recently spent an evening with some of you over at Jump City KC in Belton. Didn’t make the event? Save BIG anytime you visit using our exclusive coupon on page 22 of this month’s issue of iFamilyKC. Erin, one of our Mom Squad bloggers, had the chance to check it out with her kids and shares our recap from the event today on the blog. Take a look…

Family Fun at Jump City KC: A Recap from our iFamilyKC Kids Club Event

Jump City KC

The trusty groundhog saw his shadow (which means 6 more weeks of winter, right?), but I am so ready for spring and warmer weather! In Kansas City we always seem to get one last blast of winter weather right before spring, so I’m thinking it’s not over yet.  Luckily there are some GREAT indoor places in KC and surrounding areas that you can take the kids to burn off some of that crazy energy. We had a chance to check out a super fun place where kids can do just that at the latest iFamilyKC Kids Club event, Jump City.

What do they offer?

Jump City is located in Belton, a quick 20 minute drive from the downtown metro area.  This place is HUGE! It has tons of bounce houses, giant inflatable slides, obstacle courses, bounce houses for the littles, gameroom, and concession stand serving pizza and snacks. The staff was super nice and accommodating. My kids had an absolute blast. We started out in the toddler area, which has some smaller bounce houses (perfect for toddlers).  And soon I was chasing my kids over and up and down and through the inflatable paradise.  We played games in the game room that has several affordable and fun interactive options.  It was nice to take a little break there and at the concession stand, since my kids were beet red.

What about parties?

Jump City is a fantastic birthday party destination! They offer several different affordable, fun-filled options for everyone’s budget! They do all the set-up and clean up and have a dedicated party room available.

How can I save on admission?

Daily admission starts at $8 a person and parents always play free! Check out jumpcitykc.com for more information! And be sure to check out the February 2018 issue of iFamilyKC (available online 24/7 at www.iFamilyKC.com) for $2 off admission.

Be sure to join our iFamilyKC Kids Club

If you haven’t already joined the iFamilyKC Kids Club, it’s FREE!  You’ll definitely want to get on the list so you can get in on the next super AWESOME event. Just click on the green banner below my signature to get on our list. Make sure you check out our main website, ifamilykc.com, for all the details on the Kids Club and much much more!

From iFamily to Yours,

Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Winter Break is nearly here and our iFamily Squad has got some fun things planned!  Take a look at this great holiday fun guide from Erin!…

winter break

Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Before we know it, the kids will be home from school for 10+ days!  If you’re like me, you are already trying to figure out what to do during winter break and planning fun stuff to do when bored at home!  Here’s a list of 10 fun things to do at home to beat the winter blues!  What’s on your winter bucket list?  Be sure to let us know in the comments what winter break activities your family has planned!

#1 Pajama & Movie Party

Put on your coziest pair of pjs, pop some popcorn, and watch family Christmas movies! We’ve got your holiday movie guide, broken down by age group, ready to go for you so be sure to check that out as you plan to watch your favorite family Christmas movies this season.

#2 Bake cookies!

Before Christmas, I love to get my kids together and bake cut out sugar cookies and decorate them!  They never turn out “magazine perfect” but my kids LOVE doing it and they are perfect in my eyes!  Here’s the recipe I use to our Christmas cut out cookies:

  • 1cup butter softened
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1large egg
  • 1/2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2tablespoons orange juice
  • 1tablespoon vanilla
  • 1teaspoon baking powder

Combine 1 cup butter, sugar, and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until well mixed. Divide dough into thirds; wrap in each plastic food wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

#3 Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

I hear we are supposed to get around 2 feet of total snow in KC this year! If the forecast rings true, it sounds like we’ll have plenty of opportunity to get out and play in the snow! Sledding, snowboarding, snowball fights, and snowman building are all things I’m going to add to our winter to do list!  Snow ice cream, anyone?  Check out this simple recipe for snow ice cream:

10-12 cups of snow

1 tsp of vanilla extract

10 oz of condensed milk

Mix together and enjoy!

#4 Host a Classic Board Game Night

Invite some friends over and bring out the classic family board games and compete against each other! Our Squad loves to host game nights at home and we’ve got your guide for fun games the whole family can enjoy. Let us know what your favorites are!

#5 Start a Book Series

Start a new book series to read aloud with your kids! Choose a series above their reading level to challenge them a bit!

#6 Make Your Own Fun

Make slime/goop/floam! There are so many recipes out there so the possibilities are endless!  Here’s a recipe we made recently called “Frozen Silly Putty”

1 bottle of Clear School Glue (147ml)

The same amount of water (147 ml)

1/2 teaspoon of Borax

1/2 cup hot water

A few sprinkles of silver & blue glitter

A few drops of blue food coloring

#7 Make Ornaments 

Homemade ornaments are such a wonderful gift idea for parents and grandparents. We made some super cute trees out of salt dough with food coloring and dipped their fingers in shiny paint to resemble lights on the tree!  You could also do handprint salt dough ornaments.

#8 Make a Winter “I Spy”

Create your own winter themed “I Spy” sheet with clip art images that the kids can find inside or outside the house!  See who can complete their list the fastest!

#9 Declutter the House

Make room for new toys and clothes and clean out closets/rooms.  Donate unused toys and clothes to charity.

#10 Get a Head Start on 2018

Work on your “Summer Family Bucket list” and come up with a list of ideas to do when school is out for the summer!


From iFamily to Yours,


Your Guide to Kansas City Outdoor FUN: Jacob L. Loose Park!

Welcome to Loose Park!

Just because it’s Fall, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors.

Loose Park Guide - Kansas City, Missouri


One place to enjoy with the kids this Autumn is Jacob L. Loose Park in Kansas City, Missouri. Located off Wornall Road, you’ve probably driven by this gorgeous park dozens of times. While you can admire certain attributes of Loose Park from afar, you may not know what lies behind the tree-lined entrance of this grand park. Before your family heads out for a leisurely walk or a day of play, here is the need-to-know information about Loose Park!

Loose Park Guide

First, a Little Loose Park History

Loose Park is the third-largest in Kansas City. The park was, “ a major site for the Battle of Westport where Confederate forces were routed by Union forces in the area in which the park is now located. It is estimated that 29,000 people were involved in the battle. The property at that time was owned by William Bent, a man who led wagon trains and traded with the Indians.” -KCPARKS.ORG. 

The park property was originally used as part of a golf course, until 1926 when Ella Loose bought the property. Ella purchased it to create a park in honor of her husband, Jacob Loose. In 1927, she gave the park to the City so all Kansas City families could enjoy the park’s beauty. Jacob Loose founded the Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company and died in 1923.


Loose Park Guide - Kansas City, Missouri


Park Features YOUR Family will Enjoy

At just about 75 acres, Loose Park is one of the largest and, in my opinion, best parks in Kansas City for all ages and lifestyles. If your family is active, you can enjoy a spacious playground & green space, a volleyball court, tennis courts and (in the summer months) a spray ground!

My kids love the playground! Especially because of the sand pit and mini rock wall. Not to mention, I enjoy the swings as well. We haven’t had the opportunity to play in the spray ground (pictured above), but it looks perfect for smaller kids!


Loose Park Guide - Kansas City, Missouri


If your family enjoys spending time watching birds, taking in the scenery, or enjoying a leisurely stroll Loose Park has more than enough room. You can explore the Kansas City Municipal Rose Garden, walk along park wide trails or sit and look over the lake.

There are plenty of benches spread throughout the park. During the Fall, the fountains may not always be on, but it still is a sight to see! Just ask the dog that jumped in to get a fish last week!


Loose Park Guide - Kanas City, Missouri


During Fall months, Loose Park is ideal for family photos and relaxing picnics as well. The scenery makes for great Fall photos of the family. I love taking my camera to the park and snapping photos of my kids. Loose Park is the perfect backdrop, especially during the Fall with the leaves changing colors.


Loose Park Guide - Kansas City, Missouri


Whether you are looking to get out and play or enjoy the scenery, consider heading to Jacob L. Loose Park! The park is open everyday from 5am to midnight, so you can definitely make a day out of it! Happy trails!

Tips for Your Trip from other Parents

  • Loose Park is a fun place for a picnic in Kansas City! LOTS of space to run and play.
  • Recycling is NOW available at Loose Park – Be sure to protect the environment during your visit.
  • Shelter rentals at the park are available May through October each year. Book early so you don’t miss out!
  • The park opens at 5am, so if you’re on the hunt for an early morning outdoor jog – Check it out!
  • Don’t forget to check out the Rose Garden at Loose Park!
  • Visit the park in the Summer- the kids can play in the Splash Park!

Jacob L. Loose Park is located at: 5200 Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64112

Do you have tips or questions about the park?! Drop us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

From iFamily to Yours,

A Great Spot for a Day Hike in Kansas City

One of our favorite weekend activities is to explore the various hiking trails around Kansas City. This last week we went back out to Cave Springs in Raytown.  This is one of our favorite places to hike. It has a lot of “attractions” that make it fun for the kids and allows for multiple destinations. That is one of the more difficult parts about hiking in Missouri.  It seems like there are no destinations to the hikes. Missouri day hiking doesn’t offer the breathless views at the summit. The following are our favorite destinations on this hike.

The Cave

This is always our first stop when we come because when you go to a park named Cave Springs it just seems right that the cave is your first stop. While the cave is not much to look at and could probably only fit five adults, it is the perfect cave to spark intrigue and imagination in kids. It allows them to test their courage by entering the cave with no real threat that comes with more traditional spelunking. My oldest daughter gets a little bit braver with each visit, making it the perfect Goldilocks challenge.

The Cascades

I am not totally sure what the true definition of a cascade is or if this would qualify. The name and the pictures on the internet make one think they are going to witness a real piece of grandeur. However, I do think this “waterfall” destination is dependent on the weather. We have seen the stream and fall at several different levels. Don’t get me wrong it is a beautiful landscape and makes for great pictures in the morning. It is similar to the cave in that in the mind of a child it is just big enough. It offers those perfect challenges that nature is so great at providing. The challenge being to walk up the stream on top of rocks so that your mom can get a picture. The fun and imagination keeps building with the next destination.

The Chimneys

While this last stop is not one made by nature but rather man, it is no less intriguing. As you walk up the trail you start see chimneys in the woods of to the sides of the trail until you come to a clearing that is full of old brick chimneys, the houses long gone. If your little explorer’s imagination isn’t sparked to life by the ruins am not sure what it would take. We read the sign to our daughters and they decided to memorize that, so they haven’t come up with crazy stories to explain the strange chimneys. This is where we usually do snack. You cannot take little people on a hike and not pack some snacks, it would be mutiny for sure.


There is a Scout Camp with a tree house right before the above-mentioned cave, but we have never gone to play on it. Or at least that is what it looks like from the trail. This could also be a highlight destination along the hike. But like I said I don’t know much about it as we have never ventured over to it.

The other bonus that is really fun about this hike is “Raytown Rocks”.  These are painted rocks that are hidden along the trail. If you find one you are supposed to carry it with you and re-hide as you hike.  Or at least that is what we do. The kids love this because it is like a treasure hunt.  They get to try and find a good hiding spot before we leave. We always go and check the spot when we come back to see if the rock is still there. This is a lot of fun for the kids!

This is a great place if you are new to hiking because it is close to town, it is one of the cleanest trails in the metro that we have been on, and it is a series of loops (so if you walk long enough you will always end up back at your car!) Seasoned hikers will also find this to be a fun hike because the trails loop and cross enough that you could put together a substantial hike and not have seen the same scenery over and over. Getting kids outside and on trails is a must in my book, the fresh air does amazing things to their personality and they get so many opportunities to test their courage and strengthens their decision-making skills for the rest of their lives. What are your favorite trails or hacks for taking small children out into nature?

From iFamily to Yours,

Work It Wednesday: 5 Ways to Prevent Over Training

Some signs of overtraining are obvious, while others you might not notice right away—muscle fatigue, persistent soreness, depression, elevated resting heart rate, loss of appetite, injury and insomnia are just a few of the warning signs. Luckily overtraining can be easily solved.  Connie, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares some tips on how you can prevent over training.  Take a look!

prevent over training

5 Ways to Prevent Over Training

I work out for a living.  It’s my job, it’s my passion, and it’s what keeps me sane.  But it is also something that I tend to do too much of.  There most definitely is too much of a good thing.  Working out too much or too hard can lead to injury, metabolism issues, and burn out.  It can cause fatigue.  You can make yourself sick. The dictionary states, “Overtraining is a common problem in weight training, but it can also be experienced by runners and other athletes. It occurs when the volume and intensity of the exercise exceeds an individual’s recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness.”

It is easy, especially if you are focused on a weight loss or muscle mass goal or a race, to lose sight of your need to rest.  Your body needs time to recover from a hard workout, rebuild itself and rejuvenate.  How much rest you need definitely varies from person to person.  Certainly, the better shape you are in, the easier the more intense workouts seem, and then it seems logical to think that you need less rest.  But that is not the case.  All fitness levels, body types, etc. need rest to recover.

Take a rest day or two 

Training 5-6 days a week can produce great results, but you will see even better results when you allow yourself to rest at least one-two days a week.  Take a break from the gym and let your muscles recover.  Go back refreshed, refocused and ready to take on a hard workout.

Vary your training

If you are lifting weights, change up the muscles you are working every day.  If you lift chest and biceps Monday, move on to triceps and back Tuesday and then legs on Wednesday.  Continue rotating and that will allow your muscles to recover from a tough workout.

Make sure you are eating enough 

Proper calorie intake can make or break a workout routine.  You have to take in enough calories to support your body through your tough workouts.  If you are trying to cut weight, you still have to eat to keep your metabolism revved and your body nourished.  It’s when you are not eating enough that your body starts to stress and hold on to what little fat and calories it is getting, leading to weight gain and a sluggish metabolism.

Foam rollers and stretching 

Roll out some of your soreness using a foam roller.  This helps relieve the soreness and tightness of overtraining.  Make sure to stretch—muscles tend to get tight after a tough workout, leading to prolonged soreness and loss of flexibility.

Take a break 

If you are really starting to feel fatigued and rest days aren’t helping, there is nothing wrong with taking some time off.  Stay away from the gym for a week.  Or if you have been doing cardio, lighten it to just walking for a week.  Put down the weights and take up jogging for a week.  Just give yourself a break.  Let your muscles recover.  Let yourself relax.  The gym will still be there when you are ready to come back.

Overtraining is a hard topic for me.  I tend to do too much all the time.  Between teaching classes, trying to get in the weight lifting I want to everyday and then getting in my cardio, I am working out sometimes two and three times a day.  And I am the worst injured person you will ever meet.  I do not do well with being injured or sick, as both take me out of my routine.  I have to remind myself that while exercise is good for me and what I enjoy, my body also needs rest.

Taking a rest day will not cause me to lose all my muscle mass.   If I miss one run or one stair stepper session I will not lose my cardio endurance .  I have to constantly tell myself to give it a rest and let myself recover.  I can’t teach when I am injured and I’m not a very good instructor if I am overly tired, so I am learning to find the balance there.

From iFamily to Yours,


5 KC Parks to Fall in Love with This Autumn

Erin, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares with us 5 of KC Parks for you to FALL in love with this Autumn season!

kc parks

5 KC Parks to Fall in Love with This Autumn

Fall is the perfect time to check out a new park or visit an old favorite!  I love October for many reasons but one reason being in KC you can get away with picnics and outdoor parties at the park with beautiful weather! There are so many awesome parks in our awesome city! We’re counting down the 5 best parks in the KC area! Which one is your family’s favorite?

Variety KC Parks

Several park locations in KC are adapted so that children of all abilities have a safe place to play.  Smooth surfaces, adaptive swings, fencing, ramps on the play equipment, stainless steel slides and roller slides, sensory activities involving musical chimes and drums.  Located in Independence, Leawood, Olathe and Tiffany Springs,

McCoy Park

Nice park with shelters for rent, playgrounds, spray ground, tennis courts, horseshoe pits. Located in Independence, MO. across from the Truman Library.

Loose Park

Well known park in KC with 75 acres of beautiful and historic land.  Fantastic rose garden, picnic areas, large shelter house for parties and events, and a playground with a sand pit the kids will love to dive in to! Spray ground open May 27th-September 4th. Located on Wornall Rd.

Shawnee Mission Park

1600 acre park includes 120 acre lake with boating, fishing, swimming, sail boarding, a giant off-leash dog park with 53 acres of land for your furry friend to run, picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds, Theater in the Park, archery and disc golf. You can even rent paddle boats, canoes and fishing boats!  What more could you ask for? Located in Shawnee Mission, KS.

Drum roll please…..

The number one park in KC has to be Penguin Park!

Kids LOVE the gigantic animals including a penguin, giraffe, kangaroo, and an elephant.  They have a separate area for the little ones to play and tucked away behind the park are some great walking/biking trails with a pond for fishing and watching geese. Located on Vivion Rd in Kansas City North.

Also worth mentioning:

Fleming Park

English Landing Park

Antioch Park

Dagg Park

Waterfall Park

The “Castle” and “Pirate” parks

Little Mill Creek Park North


Happy Park Hunting!

From iFamily to Yours,




6 Things to Expect On Your First Day at Gymnastics

Autumn is right around the corner here in the metro area and, like you, many parents are looking for fun activities to enroll their kids in for the upcoming school year. If gymnastics is your child’s preferred sport for the upcoming school year, you’re in for a treat today. We have a guest post submitted by our friend at Champions Gymnastics Academy on six things you should expect to see and experience on your first day at gymnastics. Take a look…


Things To Expect On Your First Day at Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a fun, dynamic sport that lets kids feed their dreams to let their inner circus performer, daredevil or Olympian shine. Pro Tips highlights 6 key things to know when beginning gymnastics.

How do they do that? Watching gymnasts hurl their bodies through the air while twisting and spinning, all the while under complete control, is an awe-inspiring thing. Being able to do it is another. While spunky students may, indeed, try to launch themselves in the air during that first class, the goal of the coach or instructor is to teach kids the fundamentals and have fun, so they will fall in love with the sport and therefore further develop their skills.

Don’t expect any Yurchenkos or full-in back-outs on day one. Use this guide to prepare your child, find out what to expect and pick up a few tips on making this a rewarding experience for all of you. Let’s get tumbling!

#1 Sights, Sounds, & Smells!

When you first walk into a gymnastics facility, it can be overwhelming and exciting. Something you may notice right away is a lot more equipment than when you watch a gymnastics competition on TV.  Do not be surprised to see mats shaped like over-sized building blocks — wedges, cylinders, bridges, rectangles — or even a “pit” filled with foam blocks.


The overall murmur of a gym filled with multiple classes taking place, punctuated by athletes punching off of beatboards, may feel like chaos. However, there is order to the rotations of gymnasts moving from event to event, activity to activity. If your child is easily overwhelmed, it may be helpful to have them watch a class or two before signing up to ensure they are excited about the opportunity and are able to deal with the environment.


Another thing you may notice is the somewhat “locker room” smell. Gymnasts at all levels work hard and a facility training athlete will often remind you of this the moment you enter.  Kids usually are not fazed, and for former gymnasts, that smell is the smell of “home.” So, whether you personally thrive on that aroma or not, just don’t be taken aback.


If the classes you have decided to enroll in take place at a community center or school gym, you may encounter a slightly different set up. For example, folding mats might replace a full floor exercise.

Equipment may need to be set up and broke down for each class or might be a bit sparser due to sharing the space with other activities. Generally, fewer classes take place simultaneously at any given time, and your class may be the only one happening in that window. This does not mean the instruction you receive will be better or worse than that of a dedicated gymnastics facility. The coach’s style and philosophy, how many students are enrolled and what works best for your own child’s temperament are what should drive your choice when you are just starting out.

#2 Down to the Basics

Much of an introductory-level class session will focus on developing strength and flexibility, as well as good listening skills. It will also help youngsters become comfortable with the gym equipment — and the often-discombobulating sensation of being upside down!

The types of skills taught can vary based on the age of the children in the class. For example, older students are able to understand complex instruction better than 2-4-year old’s. An experienced coach will tailor the instruction to the age group.

Generally, the class will start with a warm-up that often includes stretches and other exercises. Gymnastics for both men and women requires flexibility, and this is something that even elite competitors work on constantly. Many programs will make warm-ups a set routine so that eventually students can take turns leading the warm-up. After, the class typically moves on to instruction and practice.

You can expect skills such as rolls, handstands, bridges, cartwheels, as well as leaps and jumps, to be covered. If your child desperately wants to learn how to “flip,” let them know that the skills they are learning now are the foundation to build up to that skill. Before you can land a back tuck, you need to learn a backwards tuck roll. Before you go for an aerial, you must master the cartwheel. Each skill is a building block towards a more advanced skill. They should not try advanced skills on their own until their coach lets them know they are ready

#3 Come Prepared

This sounds a bit like stating the obvious, however coaches will tell you it is worth repeating: it starts with arriving on time. Being late may mean the athlete will not have had the time to warm up properly, not to mention the disruption to the other students when someone joins in late.

Bring your child to class clean, dressed and ready to participate.  Wear fitted clothes. Kids will be going upside down. You do not want them trying to hold their shirt down when they should be focused on their form and the safe execution of the skill at hand. For girls, a leotard and compression shorts are recommended. Avoid tights as the footing can be slippery. Leggings and footless tights are generally fine. For boys, a compression shirt or t-shirt which can tuck in and athletic shorts or compression shorts should work. Gymnasts may wear socks; if they find them slippery, they can be easily removed. At the beginner stage, special accessories such as grips or beam shoes are not necessary unless specifically directed by your coach.

  • No Jewelry

    If ears are newly pierced and earrings cannot be taken out, they must be low-profile studs. Rings, necklaces, bracelets (excluding medical) and dangling earrings should be left at home.

  • Pull Hair Back

    Since kids will be rolling, they may find a bun to be an obstacle on their head. Some kids prefer a braid so that on twisting moves their hair does not whip them in the face. Your child will quickly find what styles work best for them, but most kids will be fine with a simple pony tail or pig tails. The key is to keep it out of the face so it is not a distraction or something they need to swipe aside when they finish a skill. Elastic headbands can be another help here, so long as they have enough grip to not fly off when practicing.

  • Eat Long Before Class

    As stated before, kids will be going upside down. Upset tummies lead to a mess for the instructor, so ensure your child has had proper time to digest their meal before class starts.

  • Bring Water

    Even if the class is only 30-45 minutes, it sets a good habit for your child on the importance of hydration as an athlete.

  • Bathroom Before Class

    Finally, have them use the bathroom before class. Especially with the youngest students, when one kid has to go during class, suddenly they all need to go!

#4 On Spotting

Gymnastics is a sport that requires a great deal of hands-on help from the coach. And this is a literal hands-on. Spotting can range from nudging the gymnast to completely carrying the gymnast through the motion. Most of the time, in order to best support a child and be there in case they bobble or fall, the coach will guide the athlete at their midsection — sides, stomach, back and shoulders. The arms and legs are also spotted to help move a gymnast through a new skill. This not only helps the athlete feel the proper form and technique, it also helps provide a safer experience as new skills are being developed.

#5 What Parents Can Expect 

Many gymnastics facilities will have an area set aside for parents to hang out while class is in session. It is important to stay within these designated areas.

For some little ones, an audience is a big distraction. If they are constantly looking over to see if mom or dad are watching, instead of focusing on what the instructor is saying or what skills they are doing, you may want to consider using class time to run an errand or two.

At any age, avoid gesturing to the child to pay attention, or stepping in when the child is nervous about a skill. Well-meaning parents can quickly become a distraction for the coach, as well as the kids. If the coach does need your assistance, they will reach out and ask.

Generally, programs without viewing areas will offer specific days in the session to observe, typically the first, middle and final class. This way, parents can see progress and gymnasts can show-off what they have learned.

The rules and philosophies vary by gym, so ask questions if you are unsure of proper protocols.

#6 Be Prepared for Fun

Gymnastics should be fun from the beginning, filled with new friends and new experiences. And while there may be challenging moments as the gymnast progresses and the skills become more difficult, it’s hard to top that feeling when you learn — then master — something new!

Fair warning: the fun usually does not end at the gym. Many a parent has been dismayed to find the arm of a couch being used as a vault, the bed a perfect crash pad and walls filled with feet marks from “spotting” handstands. The whirling dervish of arms and legs going every which way is just a tell-tale sign that your son or daughter has fallen for gymnastics!

For more information on Champions Gymnastics’ incredible programs, camps, and classes, visit them online at cgakc.com or call (816) 360-9879. 


Planning Fun Family Outings With Your Kids In 7 Easy Steps

Is planning a fun family outing a chore in your household?  Today Liz, from the iFamily Mom Squad, shares some tips on how you can eliminate the chaos and put the FUN back into planning those FUN family outings!  Take a look…

Family Outings

Planning An Outing With Your Kids In 7 Easy Steps:


The splash pads of Kansas City are some of the easiest and fun places to take your kiddos this summer! Here are 7 tips I have found that help make this summer outing a success.

1- Avoid morning chaos by packing the night before. That seems so easy but that one extra step saves much time and frustration in the morning when everything is ready to go out the door.

2- Beat the heat! A great time To head out is around 9 am before the mid- summer sun hits its peak. Also, it’s not as crowded giving you the option to choose your bench or table in the shade. The same goes for the later in the afternoon when the sun starts to fade.

3- Timing is everything! Allow enough time to play & splash before you head home for lunch and the littles need their naps.

4- The best news, splash pads are free! Just in case things don’t go as planned you will not feel guilty spending any money.

5- Give a good pep talk. I have found with my toddler, getting her to jump up out of bed in the morning is easy when I tell her we are headed to the splash pad! She is so much more cooperative In the process of heading out the door.  She also enjoys knowing what’s going on ahead of time. I let her know where we are going, how long we will stay, what I’m bringing for snacks and what else she can expect from the morning there. In turn I let her know what I expect from her.

6- What to pack.  Snacks and more snacks. I swear my daughter is only hungry when she sees other little people around her eating.  In our bag is her swimsuit, water shoes, swim diapers, hat, towel, sunscreen, water, snacks or lunch in a small cooler & an extra change of clothes for the ride home. If you don’t want to carry an exhausted child to the car after the fun than make sure you bring the stroller.

7- What does mom wear? Be comfy, it’s hot out! You can find me in a tank, shorts and flip flops and often taking my turn to cool off in the water.  If you want to wear a suit and jump in with your kiddos, go for it mama!

There are a few great splash pads around the Kansas City area! Find one that’s convenient for your family, cool off and have fun!

From iFamily to Yours,


For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

Summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and that means that many of you are also super busy with sports and family fun. Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts today on coaching her kids’ sports teams. Maybe her thoughts will encourage some of you to do the same next season. Take a look…


For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

It’s that time of year when I feel like all of my evenings are spent at the ballpark.  My calendar is completely full of game times and fields.  While this can sometimes be overwhelming, and even a bit exhausting, I love it.  Let me say that one more time: I love the chaos and craziness that is coaching.

Last summer, I coached both my son and my daughter’s t-ball teams.  There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.  So, this summer, when my son moved up to machine pitch and I decided not to coach him any longer. I was looking forward to just being able to watch and enjoy and coach my one team.  Well, that didn’t happen.  I had so many kids I knew coming back, that I am now coaching two t-ball teams and helping run the dugout for my son’s machine pitch team.  This means coordinating three teams schedules, practicing with two teams, making sure my son gets to his practices and lugging around two teams worth of gear in my car all summer.  And I love it.

“There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.”

There are times when a practice gets a little crazy, or when a drill I am trying to run doesn’t go so well when I think “what in the world am I doing?” or “this is like herding cats!”  But then one of those cats comes running over and says “Coach! Did you see what I just did?” and I am sucked right back in.

As a coach of the youngest group of kids that play, I have to constantly remind myself, they are 4-7 year olds, they are not going to be able to make every play.  In fact, some of them may not make a play all season.  My job is to teach them the basics, and make sure they’re having fun.  What I didn’t count on when I started doing this again three summers ago, was how much fun I would have along with them.

“My job is to teach them…and make sure they’re having fun.”

Before I was married and had kids, I coached my step-niece in t-ball for three summers.  It was all girls and it was in my hometown.  We had so much fun.  I taught them to get their gloves in the dirt and keep their elbows up when they swung the bat, and they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.  I was invited to one of those sweet girls 13th birthday party this summer and was so touched that she thought of me and even remembered me.  There was no way I was missing that party.

“…they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.”

Just this past week one of my smallest kids on one of my teams came up to bat and said to me “Coach, I’m going to hit the ball really hard tonight.”  He always has been a very consistent hitter, making good solid contact, but being one of the smaller kids on the team, always got a single. After I checked his stance to make sure he was ready to hit, he swung through and just nailed the ball.  It went past all of the infielders and through the legs of the outfielder.

I was so excited I started jumping up and down and yelling for him to “take two!”  He made it safely to second base and I started dancing at home plate.  I had tears in my eyes and I was still wound up about it at 10:30 that evening.  There is just something magical about seeing a kid succeed and enjoy the game.

Coaching is sometimes totally frustrating.  Kids get tired, and bored and sometimes don’t want to listen.  Some drills don’t work the way I thought they would in my head.  And sometimes I am just tired.  But it is all so worth it.  It’s so worth it to see a kids face light up when they get a good hit or make a good stop.  Its so worth it to hear a kid say “Thanks Coach!”  I am not sure how long I will continue to coach my daughter.  Sometimes I wonder if I don’t just love coaching because I love the little ones.  We will find out eventually, but for the time being, I am going to enjoy every second I get to spend with my crazy t-ball players.

From iFamily to Yours,