Janet of Hatboro, PA
ideas: Teaching kick overs. The children can easily fold, or unfold the mat in 1-3/8� increments to experience success at every inch through ground level.
Shannon H. of Dahlonega, OH
Ideas: We use our folding panel mats as "walls" for our kids to tumble through. Our cheer students need straight round offs, our gymnasts put a low beam through the "hallway" and our preschoolers use it as a maze!
Joanne B. of San Gabriel, CA
1. Performances outside the gym, of course (including at Dodger Stadium every summer)
2) Press handstands
3) Standing vertically for kids to do handstands against
4) Splits (over splits with first the front, and then the back, leg elevated)
5) Extension to our Tumbl Trak (ours is 30 feet long - adding an 8' panel mat at the end gives us a longer Tumbl Trak without the extra cost)
6) Building forts during our sleepovers!
ideas: learning cartwheels. The small rainbow panel mats are best for these. Fold the 4 panel mat in half, student places one hand on each color & jumps feet across the mat. We begin this with our 3 year olds & use this drill through our beginning Rec classes. It allows them success without worrying where their feet land (other pre printed mats have exact feet landings on them & the little ones get frustrated).
Jeff L. of Burbank, CA
ideas: creating a �Cartwheel Canyon� by standing the mats up on end to make walls for the kids to perform cartwheels between.
Runways for our little ones, Tunnels (sides and top), keep folded for conditioning and stretching. Cover the top of a cheese mat for a firmer surface, Landing mats, Hang over bars for safety. Hang over P-Bars for preschool so they can walk on a bridge, Line tumbling. I can go on and on...
Allen P. of Ohio
We stand our panel mats on end, accordion them out and place a parachute over the top creating a Circus tent for our pre-schoolers.
Susan M. of Flemington, NJ
ideas: One of my favorites is to make them into tunnels for our parent-tot and 3-4 yr. old classes. The little ones just love anything that they can climb under and hide out in!
Diane H. of Downers Grove, IL
ideas: A vault runway for preschoolers. This helps with the little ones understanding the concept of the one to two foot jump(approach). This always works!
Marcella A. of Carson City, NV
ideas: Train straight-arm back extension rolls. The gymnasts� first measure by lying on their back with just the �ponytail� or 1/2 head hangs off the panel mat. After they decide where to start from, starting in a sitting position, the gymnast rolls with straight arms, backwards towards the handstand, and then they �pop� into their handstand, when their head starts off of the edge, they open up into the handstand position. (the panel mat that is our favorite one for this drill is the 5x10. the mat is folded all the way up, and the gymnasts lays lengthwise on the top of the folded mat.
Troy of Marble Falls, TX
ideas: We use our panels for everything.. Straight-arm rolls off the edge(back ext. rolls), cartwheels/round offs both on to and off of them, back walkovers and back tucks opening a panel one fold at a time as the master the skill. We use them for front handsprings on the Tumbl Trac, as well as conditioning.(plyos,arch/hollows,toe raises, push ups. Pretty much the panel is the most used mat in our gym.
Aimee D. of Pepperell, MA
ideas: Race Cars. One child sits on �The Car� the other pushes him across the floor. It�s a Great conditioning activity, and the kids love it!
ideas: Training boy�s parallel bars. We stack them up the same height as the p-bars and then we can have 2 boys working!
Marcus M. of Kerrville, TX
ideas: We stack the panel mats across the tumbling strip and use them for plyometric jumps and elevated leap stations for our students.
Dawn B. of Plainville, CT
ideas: A lot of uses including standing up in front of a window to block the sun rays on our vaulting run way on a sunny day or in front of a window during a sleepover to block out light from the parking lot.
Suzi D. of Stow, MA
ideas: Mat warm-up:
Place a column of 4 panel mats two feet apart.
first we zigzag run between the mats, then we are ants taking tiny steps up and down our mat hills or lengthwise across the four mats, then we are frogs jumping up and down onto and off the mats, then we are leaping lizards leaping from mat to mat, then we are kangaroos jumping over each mat... you can zig zag your mats and bear walk forward and backwards..there are so many ways to do this aerobic warm-up! Have Fun!
ideas: EVERTHING: spotting blocks, color stations (on the stripes for the younger set), teaching block, f handsprings, cartwheel & round doffs over the folded, forward over & round offs off longways and completely folded with the barrel on top to make the barrel higher for the small children. BUT I must tell you that a lot of our preschool time is spent on the Rainbow / Multicolor Mat. We have one that is 4 x 4 and one that is 5 x 4. I call it rainbow magic. Our students have more success learning cartwheels with foot on color, hands on next two colors and hop over to the 4th than on the hands, feet mat. When they can go over the rainbow colors I start them long ways and let then stand in front of one color of their choice. They are asked to stay on the one color as they reach long and big for their cartwheel.
The next step is a line and the fat floor beam that you make years ago (in a set of 3--please make more) with the rainbow mats butted against the sides (making it just like the colors). From there we remove the mats...but we're not finished...we move them over to the low beam and put them on top of the fluffies against the sides to show them that it is just like a colored strip.
One of the best uses of our folders for team is to place them on the Tumbl Trak to simulate a rod floor.
Jessica D. of Gardner, MAideas: our Halloween Maze. We open them up on their sides and connect a bunch together to make a maze. We add strobe lights and a parachute cover along with glow in the dark decorations inside to enhance the effect.
Alie F. of Milwaukee, WIA canyon for squaring up beam skills (two panels standing upright and parallel from one another, perform a skill in between them)A mini-runway, for teaching preschoolers vault hurdles(cover the end of the spring board with the panel and hop from one foot to two onto the board)
Idea: We use our folding mat for a variety of training drills...the most beneficial one we have been using lately is for a backhand spring. We stand the gymnast in front of the folded panel mat and with a spot they jump back into the backhand spring placing their hands on the panel mat and by using their upper body strength snap thru the backhand spring landing on the floor. We have found this makes them jump harder on the take off and also builds their strength thru the snap thru enabling them to achievethe backhand spring sooner.The other drill, which is most common, is we stack up 1 or 2 folding mats and learn back tucks off of them. As the spot gets lighter we take away a mat or unfold it enabling the gymnast to do the skill.
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