If you want to enroll your baby, toddler or preschooler in a sport, there are most certainly some that are better than others. Of course, any sport where your child enjoys himself is worth pursuing, but certain sports and activities have a lasting value for children, especially if started at a young age.
Taking a Baby and Me swimming class is a great way to spend time with your little one. Your baby will likely love the water once she gets used to it if not immediately, and you’ll be able to use the water skills she’s learning in the long-term. Children don’t normally learn to swim on their own until close to four, but babies as young as six months can start to practice floating and holding their breaths. Learning to do these at an infant or toddler swim class will help tremendously when baby gets older. Floating on his back is the number one means of preventing accidental drowning in the swimming pool, and is part of teaching very young children pool safety.
Taking a role in a gymnastics class is a fun way to practice being active as well. In a gymnastics class, children learn to jump, roll, run and eventually tumble. Gymnastics includes stretching and will help babies to develop limber muscles as they grow. Using muscles through gymnastics will create greater flexibility for most children as well as they age and move into other sports activities. Gymnastics is a sport that can grow with your child as well. Start at a young age and learn the basics then grow into the higher skill levels as your child’s ability and coordination grows.
The first team sport that children can enjoy and actually do reasonably well is soccer. Kicking a ball down the field, even with assigned positions and attempted technique is far easier than learning to dribble a basketball or handle a football or baseball. In soccer, children are also very active which helps encourage greater endurance and ability through running. Soccer is easily one of the most active sports and includes a team playing together every step of the way, unlike T-ball that can be very individually focused. Often, children playing soccer get to win trophies as a team encouraging the sportsmanlike competition they will be using as they age.
Cheerleading and dance are excellent activities for young children. Learning to be graceful, flexible and coordinated in activities isn’t always natural for children and practicing these skills through dance and cheerleading is a nice advantage to the activity. Dance is also a nice way for children to learn to work together as they learn routines together. The stretching and flexibility of the dance class encourages longer-term abilities. Learning the fundamentals of dance as a toddler will be valuable as well for those who will be serious about pursuing a career in dance as most professional dancers become so at a very young age.
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