3 year olds and forward rolls - help

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Hi, I have got a group of 3 year olds that are having difficulty in tucking their heads in for their forward rolls. We do them assisted down a wedge and also have a new drill where they egg rock forwards and backwards on a block to stand on the floor. Has anyone got any idea's for more drills that are fun for these kids.


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
Not really a drill but my 2 and 3 yr old preschool classes they do a straddle forward roll down the wedge mat. I make sure they have a fairly good staddle and stretch big & tall with arms by their ears. Then I have them lean forward and place their hands on the mat. I will then tell them to touch their chin to chest while showing them what it means by gently pushing on the back of their head so their chin tucks.

I have a couple that are struggling with it too, for them I will try to hold their head in the correct position as I help them slowly roll forward.

Not sure if this is any help.
Sep 23, 2009
We have them hold a small bean bag under their chin- using their chin to press it to their chest. When they roll they are squeezing it and try to stand up still having it under the chin. The kids that do not tuck their heads will drop the bean bag. It works really well.
Jun 26, 2009
Cool idea. I have a set of two year old twins (in addition to my 8 yo gymmie) that take a rec class. One can do a forward roll easily and the other gets stuck on her head. They are both always trying to do them with their big sister and the one gets really frustrated when she can't. This seems like a easy thing to suggest that might help her get the idea of tucking her head.

I coach preschoolers a few mornings a week at my DDs' gym and I have noticed that when you tell them to look at their belly button, they really tuck their heads as they strain to see it :)


Bare in mind, younger than 5, possibly 4 and the kids still have large heads in proportion to their bodies.

I generally teach the deck squat (rock to candle in tuck or straight and stand from there ) as a basic. Sometimes they do it on a wedge mat or panel mat.
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