How Gymnastics Can Take Your Preschooler To The Next Level

Brawn and brains, muscles and mind — nurture your preschooler on all fronts at NurtureStars, now with lower school fees.

By Ryan Wee        9 November 2021

Is your little one 3 years or older? Guess what, they’re not too young to do gymnastics and even vault!

NurtureStars Preschool, a joint collaboration between the renowned Kinderland Group and SAFRA, specialises in developing your little one’s physical and mental development at this critical age where they learn most rapidly.

What’s better is that you can expect lower school fees, now that NurtureStars has joined the Childcare Partner Operator Scheme. This scheme by the Early Childhood Development Agency caps school fees, and supports centres in improving the accessibility, affordability and quality of their childcare services.

With a curriculum designed in tandem with Japan’s largest sports academy for pre-schoolers, JACPA, you know your child will be in good, nurturing hands at NurtureStars. After all, we’re all familiar with the innovation and excellence of the Japanese!

Sports Day at NurtureStars (photo taken prior to the pandemic).

A joint study by Kinderland and NurtureStars found that children who had undergone a formal physical education curriculum outperformed their counterparts in all 5 aspects assessed: Grip, Crawl, Run, Jump and Toss.

NurtureStars’ fitness-focused programmes also develop kids’ social skills as they learn teamwork and how to encourage each other in the exercises.

Swinging by to tell us more is JACPA gymnastics instructor, Ms Misuzu Motoyama, lead instructor for NurtureStars.

1. What makes the JACPA Physical Education Programme special?

Ms Motoyama: It’s a gymnastic childcare programme for young children, based on Japanese physical education. Our children develop basic physical coordination using the vaulting box, gymnastic bar and other equipment.

Lead instructor Ms Misuzu Motoyama coaching children at NurtureStars (photo taken prior to the pandemic).

2. How does it benefit the kids?

Ms Motoyama: Our programme helps children understand and get acquainted with their bodies and discover what they can do through gymnastics. At the same time, they have a ton of fun and are motivated to exercise, while learning to be considerate and care for others.

We also play games with equipment like balls and skipping ropes, and help the children develop social skills as they interact and play with friends, picking up good manners and more.

The physical education programme not only increases their body strength and physical skills, but also guides them in values.

3. So when can a child start?

Ms Motoyama: 3 years old and above is the best age to start as your child will have sufficient body strength and brain development by then. It’s also when they can better communicate with the teacher and take instructions. I myself started learning gymnastics in Japan when I was 3.

4. Any difficulties a child might face?

Ms Motoyama: Some children may be afraid of the bar, due to a fear of height or of falling. Our instructors are always there to make sure they are safe and help them overcome their fear. We cheer them on and encourage them to keep trying.

5. What’s the most important thing for the children to pick up?

Ms Motoyama: We want all our kids to have fun and gain confidence in the physical activities. From my observations, most of the children are positive and excited to join in, though there are some who may be a little scared of some exercises at first. We guide and lead them to dare to try new things. And that’s what the programme seeks to do – help children have a positive attitude towards exercise and to enjoy it.

My hope is for us to reach more children and nurture them with a love for exercising and the joys that come with it!

NurtureStars Preschool @ SAFRA Jurong

NutureStars centres are at SAFRA’s clubhouses in Mount Faber, Punggol, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Jurong and Yishun. Learn more about NurtureStars and their programmes at