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Great thread! For the first several Christmases after dd joined team, her "big" Christmas present was some sort of gymnastics equipment. First was the 4x8 panel mat, then the low beam, then the parallet bar. Two years ago we found a great 10 x 16 panel mat on Craigs List for $100, and though not strictly a Christmas present, it was our big gymnastics purchase that year. This was the first Christmas in a long time that she did not get any gymnastics equipment, though this summer someone gave us a mini-tramp. I guess the idea of the original purchase was for practicing at home, which doesn't happen--nor do I want it to anymore with the number of hours she spends at the gym. But the equipment is used all the time to "play" gymnastics in the same way that kids play school. She is constantly making up floor and beam routines for various levels and often has mock gymnastics meets with her friends. The mats have been especially worthwhile as many have mentioned because they are great for sleepovers and playtime. The big mat on its side makes a great room divider/ fort. Last summer, one of the local college girls held a little gymnastics camp out of her backyard. She borrowed all our equipment for it and asked if we would be willing to sell it to her. I didn't want to sell-I could definitely see my daughter some day wanting to be the one holding the camp and needing it all.
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Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
Region 7
A floor beam (the kind that folds in half, soft) and a panel mat, when DD#1 was level 4 (about 8 yrs ago). DH already had a chin up bar that, for a while, Little Monkey was practicing her squat on (jumping from a chair to bar, lol).

No one has touched the beam (except the cat) in about 3 years. It lives under our couch. The panel mat is used by DS for his play wrestling matches :D

Jen H.

Proud Parent
Sep 9, 2011
Charlotte, NC
An 8'beam that is in her bedroom that she uses a fair bit, and that I trip over consistently. :p
She does all kinds of strange things on it, from getting dressed on it in the mornings and laying on it while reading.
Our cats are also excellent on the beam now too!;)
I toyed with the idea of a tramp, but realized that it would get trashed by our dog and that at least one of my children would harm themselves on it.
Sep 1, 2011
I just bought a door pull up/sit up bar for about $15 and a thick folding mat for about $30. I bought them just because dd will have 'homework' - conditioning and stretching and will need the bar. The bar is now only used for hanging and the mat has become a tent :\


Proud Parent
Dec 13, 2010
We have a 8' folding beam that gets used once in a while. She seems to go in spurts with it. It gets more use when it is in her room. We also have a pair of panel mats that came with the beam, they actually velcro under the beam so it sits right in the mat. Nice with the floor beams since it can't go underneath. The mats by themselves get used a ton, by everyone. She uses them to sit in oversplits mostly and I use them when I work out.

We also have a chin up bar. This was our first investment as she used to struggle a lot with chinups and pull ups. She still uses it a lot, although not always the way she should.
May 17, 2010
Region 5
We were given a folding beam back with Q was in the pre-team training. It's been used off and on over those last 3 years.

She has a chinup bar in her closet, per her request a few years ago. She uses it daily.

Beyond that? Nothing. I'm a big "gym is for gym" person. She's there plenty. We don't need it at home, too.
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Jul 26, 2011
DH made DD a bar when she started gymnastics this summer. The girls love to goof around on it (it's the height of the low bar), but it's currently sitting in the shed due to the snow outside :)
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