Encouraging sports for toddlers

When J turned 2, we started looking for some enrichment or extra activities outside of school during the weekends.

However, we were careful not to send him to weekend classes just for the sake of it. We were very clear we wanted something that he will enjoy at the same time learn something along the way, and it does not need to be "academic".


We know our boy loves the outdoors. He is full of energy and often needs an outlet to release that energy. He has been in a structured learning environment since he was a baby. (Yes. He is an "infant care / childcare" kid. ) Hence, we wanted something fun for him.

The two obvious options were either gym classes at the likes of My Gym, Gymademics or Gymboree etc, or for Multi-sport sessions which has become rather popular in recent years.

We decided on the multi-sport sessions for the following reasons:


  • The sports programmes are developed to introduce a variety of sports to kids from as young as 16 months old to about 12 years old.
  • It helps kids, especially the younger ones to refine their gross motor skills.
  •  It encourages them to interact with others, as with what team sports does. 
  • It teaches them about sportsmanship, which in essence, prepares them for life in general (well, this sounds like a very far-fetched objective. But, I will be sharing sometime next week about what both J and I learned just by attending the sport sessions). 
  • It introduces the concept of healthy living to the child at a young age. 
  • It helps us to identify if J has an aptitude for a single sport since the programs usually introduce skills required across various sports 
  • Most importantly for us, it gives J the opportunity to run around , as much as he like, with some structure nonetheless. 

As parents, before starting J on sports, we were mindful in picking which provider to go to. I was particular about the programme being non-competitive at his age group. It is too early to introduce the concept of competition since J is really still a toddler. And, competition at this stage may just cause pre-mature stress to the child.

I also made sure I did my homework on whether the coaches were properly trained. So here's some of the providers in Singapore that have a pretty good reputation in countries like Australia, United States and even Hong Kong.

Sport 4 Kids

We signed up with Sport 4 Kids after our trial session with them as J seemed to like the coach very much. Unfortunately, our trial was 3 months back, and when we went for our first session this year, we realized that the previous coach is no longer there. That said, I like that they take in children as young as 18 months old, and they have at least 2 coaches at each session.

Sport 4 Kids is also the only provider that I noticed having sessions at more than 5 different locations around Singapore. That's convenience at it's best for busy parents I must say.

The man and the boy, with the boy being mighty proud of his jersey. 

Let the running begin! 

Sportball

We missed our trial with Sportball in September. I recalled reading about them, and was drawn to them because they incorporated more types of sport in their curriculum. They also seem to have the longest history, having started in 1995 in North America.



Ready Steady Go Kids

Super high energy with very enthusiastic coaches. We have never been to their trial since your kid need to be at least 2.5 years old to start. J was too young when we started trials. However, their sessions are always conducted in the pitch next to Sport 4 Kids, and I can tell the coaches truly enjoy their jobs. That to me is important as their energy can be felt by the kids, who in turn will be motivated to play hard and have fun!



Shaws Little League

Part of the the Shaws Preschool group. I have not done very much research into Shaws. However by reading about it from their website, their programme is similar to the rest mentioned above, except that the number of sports covered seems limited.

If you don't know if your child will be receptive to sport classes, fret not as all the above mentioned providers do have trial lessons. All you need to do is simply contact them.

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