One of the questions I get most frequently is, “Should I start my toddler in gymnastics, or is it too early?” The toddler years are not only an amazing time of mental growth and learning; they are also a time when children make great strides physically. Gymnastics is one of the best ways to get young kids involved in physical activity and to build lifelong skills that will prepare them for a successful life full of self-confidence, coordination, and self-discipline. But don’t just Google “toddler gymnastics near me” and choose the first option – find one that fosters these benefits.
One of the hardest things for toddlers to learn is proprioception. This is the way that your body signals to the brain how to navigate your surroundings. Basically, it’s a combination of being physically and sensory aware, and learning it early will help to give your children’s coordination a head start. Learning new skills about how to maneuver your body is something that starts very early. And the neural pathways that are built during the toddler years can help your youngster get a jump on their future physical and emotional well-being.
Sometimes the hardest thing for children to learn is how to have self-control. It is difficult for children to learn to sit still when asked, to find their “inner calm,” and to pay attention while blocking out external stimuli and focusing. Those are all things that are taught in gymnastics. It takes a lot of concentration and self-control to be able to navigate not just their own bodies, but the gymnastic equipment as well. And they have to do so while there is so much more going on around them.
It isn’t just important that toddlers learn how to share their things, but they also must learn things like sharing attention through taking turns. Sometimes during gymnastics children work on skills together, while for others it is a matter of learning to take turns and allowing someone else to shine. No one wants to wait in line or allow other people the spotlight, but it is an important skill that is necessary to learn. And the sooner your child does, the better they will be prepared for their socialization going forward.
When it comes to being a toddler, half of what they need to grow and develop is just being out in the public. But the real challenge is leaving them on their own. A preschool class can be intimidating, and that can put a lot of stress on parents to make that break. Gymnastics is something that little ones look forward to. With so much to do, it makes it easier for parents to say goodbye for a bit and separate without all the separation anxiety. If you are going to get them out and engage with the world on their own, why not make it easier on you both? This way you know that they will have too much going on around them to miss you. And in the interim, they will be with other children who will help them to build social skills for a lifetime.
Gymnastics is an excellent way to introduce your children to other kids without the static rules of a classroom or the demands of sitting still and taking a seat. If you have a rambunctious child, they will get the best socialization practice while they are in their natural element: being as active as they want to be without the pressure of academic restrictions.
If you are wondering what the best time is to start your child in gymnastics, “anytime” is the best answer! Your toddler will benefit in numerous ways from starting early and learning amazing life lessons about their emotional, physical, and mental developmental growth – all while having fun. But where you choose to send them does make a difference. So, don’t just Google “toddler gymnastics near me” and choose the first place that pops up. Check out Tapio School of Dance. We have the training, the experience, and the ability to take care of your little one in the best way possible. Contact us today to reserve your spot in our next class session.