Developing self-confidence in children at Le Petit Gym/The Little Gym

Developing self-confidence in children at Le Petit Gym/The Little Gym

There will never be enough people in Canada to help our children develop physical literacy. It takes a community to raise healthy and happy children.

Seriously fun and interesting

Le Petit Gym, also known as The Little Gym, is helping to change that by providing high quality physical activity programs for children from as young as 4 months up to 12 years. The mission of the organization is to grow children’s self-confidence.

As soon as you walk through the door you feel like a kid again, and you might be inclined to test your own physical literacy. At the centres, children learn basic motor skills through play in activities, including gymnastics, dance, and karate.


Le Petit Gym/The Little Gym

Where: L’Assomption, QC; Laval, QC; St-Laurent, QC
Who: Ages 4 months to 12 years
When: Year round
Activities: Gymnastics, sports skills, karate, dance, and more

The concept was first introduced in the United States more than 35 years ago by founder Robin Wes, a physical education teacher from South Africa, who opened the first location in metro Seattle.

He envisioned a place where children could develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. He believed that physical education should not be taught in a context of competition.

Le Petit Gym in Quebec (and Canada)

There are three locations currently in Quebec: the Assumption, Laval, and Ville Saint-Laurent (The Little Gym has locations across Canada. Find a gym.).

Rafik Hanna Gerges and Nadia, who have three children, began their “serious fun” experience when they enrolled their daughter in a preschool class. They hoped she would improve her flexibility and self-confidence.

They immediately witnessed a change in their daughter, who became a young girl shining with confidence and equipped with physical abilities she didn’t have before. Rafik and Nadia wanted to share their discovery with other parents.

For them, The Little Gym’s success comes from the success of the children. “When children become confident, we and our instructors are happiest. Our goal is to do what’s best for each child,” they told us.

As parents, they are aware that their peers like to know how their children are progressing and how each of the activities is designed to help the children, so parents are invited to gatherings where they can ask questions. And they are provided with tools from gym partners that can help them assess the progress of their toddlers.

“When you help children develop their motor skills, you see them shine,” said Rafik and Nadie. “And their parents see how we and [The Little Gym] are making a difference in their lives.”

The basis of the program: Three-dimensional learning

There are three components to the programs at The Little Gym:

Get moving!

Physical activities to burn that boundless energy, plus build flexibility and strength, develop balance and coordination, and encourage agility, rhythm, and overall fitness to launch a lifetime of healthy habits.

Brain boost!

Designed to expand the mind and develop a love of learning, these exercises foster sustained concentration and decision making, prepare for or reinforce school lessons, and nurture problem-solving and creative expression.

Citizen kid!

These activities teach life skills like sharing, working in a group, listening, and leadership—all skills that translate to a well-adjusted, well-rounded superkid.

Activities for every season

The Little Gym offers a number of activity sessions in each season to meet the developmental needs of each child and also to give them an opportunity to practice a variety of physical activities.

Through activity hubs children have access to quality training to develop physical literacy, in a fun and engaging atmosphere.

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