The question comes up often. Are toddler sports okay? When should my toddler start to play sports? There are programs out there that will help children as young as 18 months learn sports fundamentals and have a great time.
The Goal Of Toddler Sports
Toddler sports are different than the typical sports league. This age group should be focused on introducing the fundamentals of sports and more importantly, having fun.
Sports are supposed to be fun and let’s face it kids love to have fun. If the toddler is not having fun, there will be little to no participation. The sports program that you choose as a parent must include games to encourage participation. This is exactly what B.E.S.T. has done with our toddler sports programs.
The skills learned in sports go beyond kicking a soccer ball, hitting a baseball, or shooting the game-winning 3-pointer. The social skills we learn as children prepare us for adulthood. The socializations skills we learn as young children help us learn to take turns, build friendships, and build problem-solving skills. Sports are a great way to socialize and teach your child valuable lessons.
Get Out And Exercise
Good habits form at a young age. Sports will teach your child the importance of exercise and help to form this habit. Children under five should be physically active every day for at least three hours. Sports will give your child 45-55 minutes if running, jumping, and playing per session. Sports are a great activity to build these healthy habits at a young age.
Toddler Sports Best Practices
Toddler sports can be very valuable to your youngster. So how do you get the most out of playing sports with your toddler?
Focus On Fundamentals, Not Competition
At this young age, it is more about learning how to kick a ball, not scoring the winning goal. Focus on the fundamentals and learning the game. There are very basic drills you should introduce to your child. Remember, the main goal is to have fun, keep them coming back.
Games Versus Competition
While your child is still a toddler use games to introduce sports to them. Use items like balloons, soccer balls, cones, hat cones, parachute, and hula hoops to facilitate eye-hand and eye-foot activities like kicking, hitting, running, shooting, walking, throwing, etc. Again, make it fun and exciting to the youngster and they will continue to come back.
Make sure to introduce multiple sports to your toddler, you never know what they will enjoy. It is too early to start talking about specialization, so don’t even try it. It is important to play other sports and get an idea of what they enjoy.
Yes, You Can Start As Early As 18 Months
Yes, at 18 months your toddler may just be learning to walk, but it is not too early to get them into sports. Remember to make it fun and use games to engage with your child.
B.E.S.T offers a variety of sports activities for your son or daughter. Learn more about our Arizona sports packages.