Gym closed June 28-July 3

The gym in both locations will be closed June 28-July 3. Our offices will still be open for any inquiries, including registrations for Summer Term camps and classes, and Fall Term as well! See you on July 4 for Summer Term!

Jump North Van Welcomes Julie

We're delighted to welcome Julie to North Vancouver as our Facility Leader. You'll see her coaching and keeping things shipshape when you're in the gym (and maybe even bouncing around!) so feel free to connect with her with your questions anytime! Julie hails from Germany and by way of introduction we've asked her a few questions to get to know her better and shared her answers here: Q. How long have you worked for Jump Gymnastics? A. I first started working for Jump in 2009 when I was last in Vancouver. In May 2015 I came back and started working at Jump Yaletown and transferred to Jump North Vancouver at the beginning of September.

Q. Do you have a background in athletics or other sports? A. When I was four years old I started with track and field. My disciplines were running long and short distances and jumping high and far. I kept doing it for over 10 years. When I turned six I also started with horseback riding and it is still a big part of my life. My favorite sports these days are snowboarding and swimming.

Back in Germany I used to work as a sports teacher for an elementary school, as a fitness coach for all ages and as a swim teacher for children. I did my education at a private sports academy for three years and have been working as a sports teacher since then.

Q. What's your favourite part about working with kids? A. Working with kids is always a pleasure and fun. Kids are honest and straightforward, which makes work very interesting and varied. They always appreciate your work and are mostly open for trying new ideas for movements and games.

Q. Have you spent much time in North Van before you started as Facility Leader? A. I actually have never really spent much time in North Vancouver even though it is already my second time in Vancouver, but I'm enjoying discovering the North Van community. There is so much nature just around the corner. I am getting really excited about the winter, just grabbing my snowboard before or after work and heading up to one of the local mountains.

Q. What's the best thing about managing Jump North Van? A. There are more than just one best thing about managing North Van. I get to know a whole new community with its families. Also I get to work with a whole new coach team which I am enjoying. My work standards are always high and I like that I have opportunities to implement these.

Q. How did you end up in Vancouver from Frankfurt? A. My wish was to live in a different country for a year. I was looking for a city where I had a chance of improving my English, being close to the ocean and go snowboarding as much as possible. And here I am!!! Vancouver is made for me.

Q. What would you like Jump families to know about you? A. I feel so lucky having a second chance to live in Vancouver. My goal is for my English to become fluent. So please feel free to help me with this!

Backpack Safety for Kids

If your kids are anything like ours they pack for school each day as if they may need to go on a world tour at any moment. Extra books just in case. Check! Extra clothes just in case? Check! Extra pencils, pens and notepads just in case? Check! But bulky backpacks aren't good for growing kids so we asked Laura from Kids Physio Group (did you know they share our North Van space?) for her top backpack safety tips and ideas: Size: keep your little one's backpacks small and size-appropriate. They need enough room for their notebooks, agendas, lunch and iPads, and laptops (if they're at that stage) but that's all, heavy textbooks can be left at school and their three favourite novels can be left at home! And their pack should sit in the middle of their back, not sag towards their rear.

Weight: when fully loaded your child's backpack should not weight more than 10 – 15% of their body weight. You definitely don't want them to load their pack up with so much stuff that it causes them to tuck their rear under, that's the worst thing for their core.

Padded: when you're buying your little one a new backpack look for one with padded straps to reduce pressure on their chest and shoulders. And be sure to encourage them to use both shoulder straps to distribute the weight of their pack evenly.

And, of course, it’s never too early for kids to start learning to engage their cores and prevent back pain before it starts. Climbing, swinging, sports like our classes and active play all play a part in developing core muscles. As do laughing, talking and singing! So have fun, stay active and enjoy having your kids pack to school.

Goodbye Wes!

We're sad to say that Coach Wes will be taking a sabbatical this year! We're going to miss him but we hope he'll be back next year. In the meantime he and his family are heading out to spend more time with their family which is spread out all across Canada, though they'll mostly be in Laxgalts'ap (Greenville) BC in the Nisga'a Nation. We asked him a few questions what this year holds: Q. What inspired this decision? A. We are only given a limited amount of time in this life, and next year we're settling down with the commitment of Shantae starting school next year.

Q. What is next for you three? A. Our family will be reconnecting with our cultures, traditions, languages and also to share the gifts we have gained, while we are away. We will continue to inspire families in healthy lifestyles, fitness and physical literacy.

Shannon-Rose and I met at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. We participated in the opening ceremonies by "Welcoming the World" with our Traditional dances of the respected Nations. I'm Anishanabe (Ojibiway) from the Great-Lakes of Ontario and Shannon-Rose is Nisga'a, Tsimshian, Heiltsuk and Haida of Northwestern BC. These two nations are 3/4 of the country away from each other and we were blessed to met at this event. This holds significant value to us to continue our journey in sharing who we are and inspiring our nations.

Q. Is there anything you'd like to say to the Jump families you've worked with? A. A special thank you to the families we have met through and that allowed us into your lives! Please continue being "AWESOME" in your Gymnastic classes! We're so thankful for Jennifer Hood and Jump Gymnastics for all they have done for our family! We will miss you while on our journey but are looking forward to our return to share our experiences with you all.

We'll miss you too Wes and we look forward to hearing all about your adventures!

Making & Moving: One Stop Shopping

We're super excited about our upcoming collaboration with Collage Collage! Launching this fall, Make+Move is a unique class for kids from 3 to 5, it’s a chance for your little ones to shake their sillies out, get their art on and have a great time with quality programming from Jump Gymnastics and Collage Collage. This afternoon class combines an hour-long Jump class with an hour-long Collage Collage art class and it's set up so there's time for a snack in between the two classes. This is our first such collaboration (though we have grand plans for others!) and it's great to join forces with another local, independent business that we love. Our own kids have taken classes at Collage Collage and their programming is excellent, so being able to bring them to the North Shore feels like an amazing opportunity.

Anyhow, we know why we're excited about Make+Move but we also wanted to know why Erin, the (artistic) brains behind Collage Collage, wanted to get arty with us so we interviewed her to find out why:

Q. What inspired this collaboration? A. I've long admired Jen's programming at Jump, as well as having her and her family as clients. Sitting at a table for any kind of class can be challenging for any child, so I was looking for ways to include movement in our class, but time and space made that impossible. I loved the concept of honoring not just being creative in a class, but getting to move around too, in a healthy and thoughtful way. For our youngest clients especially, having the two classes run back to back means kids are having a fully engaging experience - for mind + body, all in one place.

Q. Why did you want to work with Jump Gymnastics? A. Their space looks and feels a lot like Collage Collage to me, open bright, edited spaces for children and families to feel inspired in. They're well-respected, and like I said before, I really like Jen. I met her as a client and fellow entrepreneur and when you know the woman behind the concept it really strengthens the interest in supporting the programming. Jen's authentic, and so is her business.

Q. You've got a big fall coming up with Collage Collage moving from your original location to Main Street so why expand your offerings now? A. We're on a bit of a growing bender right now! I feel like it's the best time to do it as the demand is there. This partnership with Jump lets us introduce ourselves to North Van, and lets us bring our programming to families there before deciding to bring a whole new location along as well. Main Street will give us access to far more families as well, and Make+Move is part of that trajectory.

Q. What are the benefits to kids of having a class that combines art + gymnastics? A. It allows kids to do a little bit of both physical + creative work - exploring both aspects in one time, honoring their need for both. I feel both classes will benefit from the kids attending having had a chance to learn in both environments. Kids do need both, and it's incredibly hard for families to find quality, thoughtful programming that hits all the marks and works into a manageable schedule. Gymnastics and Art in one class? That's one stop shopping if you ask me.

Date Night Insight

Ever wondered what goes on at Date Nights at Jump Yaletown and Jump North Van? From our perspective here's the scoop, you leave your little one(s) with us for a fun evening of gymnastics, crafts, games and a pizza dinner while you head out for some grown up time. But we wondered about Date Nights from your perspective so we checked in with one of our regulars who's been taking advantage of our Date Nights for awhile to see what they had to say! So without further ado here's Date Night insight from K, mother of little K:

K was hooked from the first night! It's hard to say what he likes best but I think it's the energy of the staff. When we pick him up he's always chatting about the games he got to play, how many turns he had on the trampoline, what the crafts and stories were and, of course, how many pieces of pizza he ate. And we love it because he burns off so much energy and then generally has a great sleep that night!

We love Date Night and find it way more convenient for our lives than getting a sitter. I don't have to worry about the logistics of arranging a babysitter, preparing dinner for them, tidying the house or getting them home safely at the end of the evening. Plus as we only have one child the cost is actually less than we'd pay for a sitter and it includes supper! We often take the Skytrain to Jump Yaletown so we don't have to worry about parking and we can have a drink or two and not have to worry about driving home. And as it's one of the only activities K asks to go to on a regular basis I have no guilt about having adult time as he thinks of Jump Date Night as a treat for himself as well!

We do all sorts of things with our Date Night evenings. Lately we've been going indoor rock climbing a lot but we also go out for dinner or meet up with friends in Yaletown and go shopping. Sometimes we'll just use that time to do errands. This summer we're hoping to get in some rollerblading and kayaking during a couple of Date Nights as well!

Date Nights run from 5:30 to 8:30 every Saturday Night in Yaletown and from 5:30 to 8:30 every second Saturday night in North Vancouver. They're $32/child (and the 3rd child in a family is free). Click here for dates and availability!

We're pretty sure you can think of lots of things you'd like to do with three kid-free hours, but just in case you need some inspiration we have some fun ideas:

 In Yaletown you could head down to Bella Gelateria for pizza and then get some of their amazing gelatos to go and wander along the seawall and take in the view. Or in North Van you could go for a climb at the Hive, which just opened next door to us,and then drop by Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers afterwards to sample their wares.

Swimming Week #365DaysofPlay

Summer holidays are fast approaching, which is why this seemed like a great time for #365DaysofPlay to focus on swimming tips for tots! We started the week with this fun video from Coach Julie with a few tips for getting kids moving their arms and breathing underwater, click on the image below to check it out:

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Then we enlisted the experts at Atlantis Swim Programs to share their tips on getting kids swim ready. Here are four handy tips to get your kids swim ready!

  1. Use toys and equipment to make pool time fun but don't rely on floating aids to keep kids safe!
  2. Using goggles to help children who are nervous to put their faces in the water – so don't be afraid to use them!
  3. Learning to walk, run, hop and jump in the water is important too! Even the youngest kidlets will experience buoyancy and learn how to make it work for them.
  4. Your head is very buoyant. Encouraging kids to dunk their entire head will really help them float and guide. Get them to make bubbles in the water as well!

We also just found out that Atlantis has opened a new pool in Arbutus Village!

North Van Grand Opening Party! You're Invited!

We're having a party to celebrate our new North Vancouver gym on Friday, June 5th from 2 pm to 5 pm and you're invited! It's all free but be sure to RSVP here to make sure you're in the draw for great door prizes from local businesses such as the Hive (we're very excited that they'll be opening next door to us in North Van), Bopomo (they take all our coaches' pictures and we think they're great), Raspberry Kids (one of our #365DaysofPlay experts) and more! When you RSVP you can book your kids' free gym time as well. There'll also be sweet treats, creative fun with Collage Collage, Jump-ing tunes and more. We can't wait to see you there!

Biking Week with #365DaysofPlay

It's a great time of year to get you and your kids back on your bike! Riding a bike – and learning how to ride a bike – is a memorable childhood activity and we've got great tips and recommendations this week for safe, fun riding for the whole family. We'll be updating this blog post daily so keep checking back for more ideas, tips and #365DaysofPlay cycling fun each day!

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Jump Play Donations

During Spring Break Play Times we challenged you to make donations to Crabtree Corner in lieu of payment and boy did you ever rise to the challenge! You used it as a great opportunity to do some spring cleaning and brought in children's books, toys, clothes and gear. Some of you even brought in new items and donated though you weren't coming in for Jump Play. This photo shows just a small portion of the donation.

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Goodbye & Good Luck to Kalifa!

There have been a lot of changes at Jump lately and they're all pretty exciting – think a brand new gym in North Vancouver and great new coaches just to name a few! But one change happening this week is more bittersweet. Kalifa, our Customer Service Team Leader, who many of you know, is moving on.

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Life Long Literacy

Our dream here at Jump is that teaching physical literacy becomes a larger part of the Canadian sport curriculum. Sure, every kid isn't going to become a competitive athlete, but every child should have this door open to them, just like learning to read or learning math. While we do see that change slowly coming to Canadian sport we're not quite there yet; and in the meantime we're committed to teaching physical literacy through our curriculum.

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Come #365DaysofPlay With Us

At Jump we've got big plans for 2015 starting with our #365DaysofPlay! As you may have already noticed we're posting an active play idea every day – and we will be for the entire year - that is all about inspiring families to find creative ways to build play into our busy lives. Look for the #365DaysofPlay hashtag on our Facebook and Twitter pages to see what we've come up with so far.

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Jump into 2015 with #365DaysofPlay

As we jump into 2015 we are more excited than ever to continue providing programming focused on giving kids the tools to succeed in any sport and stay active for life. And we know that the key to this mission is physical literacy: the tools and confidence to move your body in a variety of environments. Experts agree that the pillars to developing physical literacy in our youngest athletes (0-6 year olds) is the balance between well-structured, developmentally sound programs (like Jump!) and as much - outdoor, ideally - free play as possible.

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Fitness Tax Credit Increases!

The Child Fitness Tax Credit, introduced in 2006, allows you to claim fees paid for your child's sports/physical activity classes. The catch? There really isn't one. Children must be 16 years old or younger at the beginning of the year, and enrolled in continuous classes weekly (or more often) for at least eight consecutive weeks. Camps qualify too as long as kids are registered for five consecutive days. Currently you can claim up to $500 per year; just in time for the new year the amount will double so you can claim up to $1,000 on your 2015 taxes!

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