When you’re trying to come up with activity ideas that your baby or toddler can enjoy, sport isn’t likely the first thing that comes to mind. However, baby and toddler sports are really taking off and they come with a range of great benefits.
Now, obviously babies and toddlers have very limited abilities. So, the sports they can partake in are tweaked to match their age. However, the range of movements really provide a lot of benefits that can help your child when they’re slightly older and they start sports lessons in school.
Here, we’ll look at the benefits you can expect when you encourage your little one to take part in baby and toddler sporting activities.
Aiding In Development
Perhaps the biggest benefit of baby and toddler sports is its ability to really boost development. It can help aid in both fine and gross motor skills, especially if you opt for activities such as yoga.
Baby yoga has become extremely popular and it isn’t hard to see why. They are naturally bendy, find it easy and enjoyable to partake in the classes and it delivers so many benefits. If there’s just one sport you choose for your baby, yoga would often be the best option.
This benefit alone is likely to lead you to book your little one in for sports classes and activities! Both babies and toddlers are renowned for their sleep issues. It’s one of the most difficult problems to resolve and can cause a lot of stress, anxiety and frustration, not to mention sleep deprivation.
Sports activities use up a lot of energy. By the end of the day, your baby and toddler will be worn out, increasing the chances they’ll sleep better.
Improved Social And Communication Skills
If you take your toddler to an actual sports group, it’s going to help them build up their communication and social skills. They’ll get to interact with other toddlers, as well as adults, and learn more about communication.
There will be instructions to follow and the sad truth is, toddlers are often more likely to listen to another adult, than they are to their parents. So, there’s more chance they will actually take part and follow instructions if someone else is giving them.
Sports groups specifically designed for toddlers can really help boost your little one’s confidence too. If they are naturally shy, the group will help them to interact, socialize and communicate with others in a gradual way.
Helping You And Your Little One To Bond
Whether you decide to add sports activities to your little one’s schedule at home, or in a group setting, you’re going to need to help them and join in yourself. This can really strengthen your bond and help you to spend quality time together.
Both babies and toddlers enjoy one-on-one time with their parents and crave attention. So, if taking part in sports helps them to achieve that, they’ll look forward to the sessions.
Helping With Focus As Well As Concentration
Whichever type of sport activity you choose for your baby or toddler, it’s going to help improve both focus and concentration. This benefit won’t be immediately noticeable, but will start to really show once they start school.
The long-term benefits of increased focus and concentration include achieving better grades and an improved ability to absorb more information.
Things To Keep In Mind
While sporting activities can have some pretty impressive benefits for babies and toddlers, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, it’s important not to push your child to do more than they are capable of. If you push them too hard or make the sessions last longer than they should, it can lead to some pretty epic tantrums. Obviously pushing them harder than they can handle will also pose a risk of injury. So, always keep your child’s abilities in mind when determining which sporting activities to partake in. Please remember that this is meant to be an enjoyable and beneficial activity for them, not a competition.
Another thing to consider is not all classes will be right for your little one. It’s a good idea to go along to a class just to watch, before you decide whether it’s worth trying.
Overall, sports aren’t just for older children – they can have some pretty amazing benefits for babies and toddlers too. In a digital age where more time is spent in front of a TV or Smartphone screen, it’s good to encourage your toddler to partake in physical activities.
Have you enrolled your baby or toddler into a sports class? How did it go? Share your experiences below!