“Sporty” kids’ activities have a wealth of benefits that go beyond just motor skills. Involvement in toddler sports makes for healthy exercise, socialisation, and learning sportsmanship and camaraderie. Take note though that kids who get into sports at a very young age do not necessarily become better athletes later in life. At best, he will discover his preferred sport quite early.
Toddler Sports Versus Sports Training
Sports’ training is not really ideal for children until they are around 7 years old. Aside from the fact that kids from 2 to 5 years old are too young to understand organised sports, their bones are still developing and may become prone to injury if subjected to rigorous training. Nevertheless, most experts recommend “general movement and play” in lieu of training in sports like soccer, gymnastics, or rugby. (Yes, there are rugby classes being offered for kids as young as 3!)
Tips for Choosing Kids Activities for Toddlers
When choosing a sports activity for your kid, think of these three things – Safe and Age-Approriate, Non-Competitive, and Fun. And you may also want to go for variety. Such kids’ activities are best for little ones.
Safe and Age-Appropriate. There are organised classes that take this to heart and have exercises developed especially for 2-year-olds or 5-year-olds. As previously mentioned, sports training is not ideal at an early age; it is best kept for later when she is around 7 years old or older.
Avoid Stress and Competition. Experts say that the stress of competition is too much for kids until they are around 8 years old so it is best to leave competitive sports out until they are around that age.
Go for Fun and Recreation. Do you feel like your little one could become an athlete? Don’t be in a hurry to immerse him into athletic training! According to parenting.com, “Studies have shown that kids who take sports and exercise classes as preschoolers are no more likely to be involved in high school sports than kids who don't.”
Go for Variety. Although it is not recommend to train too early, it is okay to get introduced to playing different kinds of sports, but of course, minus the rigorous and competitive atmosphere. This is “just for fun” and physical action.
Ideas for Sporty Kids’ Activities
Classes. Look for workshops or classes especially designed for toddlers. For example, ReadySteadyGoKids Australia offers age-appropriate, multi-sport introduction and kids’ activities that “develop and enhance gross and fine motor skills in a fun, social, non-competitive and supportive environment.” This sounds pretty much like the healthy mix we are looking for. It does not only take into consideration the need for safe and fun activities, but also the advantage of introducing a variety of sports.
Play at the beach. Who says kids’ activities can only be learned in a class setting? There are lots of games you can play at the beach, like “musical towels.” Simply lay down beach towels in a circle, get a fun summer playlist rolling, and send the toddlers hopping form one beach towel to the other. Check this article for more ideas how to entertain your child at the beach.
Backyard fun. Then again, you need not go far to get active and sporty with your toddler. Play throw-and-catch using a stuffed toy, practice kicking with a kiddie ball, or just run around the backyard. These skills may prove helpful later when he decides to get into basketball or soccer. Kids’ activities like running, swimming, tumbling, throwing, and catching are healthy and a sure hit to any toddler.
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