In the early childhood years, children’s mind and body begin to develop at a fast pace. This makes it a great time to try new activities. Sports activities not only expand their cognitive skills but also support the growth of their body and mind. Gaining self-confidence and social skills is another great benefit of taking sports classes. In this article, we will cover the recommended types of sports activities for this age group and their benefits.
Swimming, which is a very popular children’s sports activity, involves moving in water which helps build muscles and overall body strength. When in the water, we use muscles that we don’t usually use when on the ground. This is a great way to improve strength without putting too much weight on your child’s bones and joints and is a safe activity to start when your child is still young. The pool water improves skin sensibility and improves the body’s heat regulating mechanism which helps fight off viruses and infections. The water pressure also improves cardiorespiratory functions and helps prevent asthma.
Swimming also improves spatial perception skills and positively affects brain development. A child’s nervous system is almost fully developed by the time they are 3 years old so starting activities like swimming before the age of 3 is important. When children improve at swimming, they gain confidence and relationships with their peers which leads to improved social skills.
Rhythmic (Music) classes are another popular activity for moms to attend with their little ones (from around 1 year old). Giving children the opportunity to be exposed to music from an early age will be beneficial for their emotional development and moving along with the music will improve their rhythm and athletic ability. Classes for young children include simple hand and finger plays and gymnastics so it is easy to start classes whenever you can.
Also, since classes are held in groups with children of the same age, attending these classes are a great opportunity for moms and children to make new friends and gain social skills, such as cooperating with their peers. Moving freely along with the music encourages self-expression and creative thinking. Many classes are “mommy and me”, so parents do not have to worry if their child is shy around new people.
Gymnastics classes have been popular for many years because the sport is said to be beneficial to children’s physical development. At gymnastics classes, children learn the how to move their bodies and this will help them when then learn other sports in the future. Using our bodies improves strength, endurance, speed of response and balance in addition to encouraging physical development. Exercising and moving one’s body is a great way to relieve stress and develop a calm body and mind.
Finding activities that encourage your child to move around from a young age will have important impacts on their future development. Try to find a sport that your child will like and want to continue doing for an extended period.