Dance vs. gymnastics vs. cheerleading vs. martial arts

Xandria - posted on 01/21/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )




My daughter is a year and a half and I am considering putting her in some kind of "extra curricular" activity. We have a lot of progams for younger kids in the town that start at two/two and a half i'm in and I think it would be great to put her in something but I'm torn between what. I was hoping that if anyone can give their honest opinion of what they think of some of the programs that they have put their children in. I know I have plenty of time to decide but I would like to know what other people have felt about starting their kids out early in some of these programs.

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Ariana - posted on 10/19/2012




I also recommend swimming class. It's something every kid benefits from. After that it's up to you. I think all of those things are great for kids. I would go towards the martial arts and gymnastics myself. I believe individual sports are great self-esteem boosters for kids. Your child may not end up being a natural at sport things which is why I especially love martial arts for kids because every child can excell in it. I would go towards the gymnastics at this age though. Martial arts is a bit better for at least 3 year olds. I don't know how much a 1 year old would benefit.

La - posted on 10/18/2012




At that age I feel that just getting your children involved in some kind of activity is great. Swimming, gymnastics, soccer, are all great choices. The most important thing is safety. Safety is the most important thing when participating is physical activities. Ask other parents for recommendations about specific programs and speak with the instructors on how they instruct the children. The benefits of playing sports in the mental and social application that is associated with sports. They will be better socialized and be a more well-rounded individual.

Nadia - posted on 01/21/2011




swimming lessons! i wish i had put my daughter in swimming at that age! she's 4 1/2 now and just started ballet/tap dance... which she loves! also music classes would be great... something like kindermusic, where they sing songs and play games and momma joins in. (my mom teaches violin and most of her kids in her beginners class are about 4. but "kindermusic" is for littler ones about 2 yrs old :)

[deleted account]

We do a music is the website, maybe there's one in your area you can look into...

From the list you put in your title, I'd go with dance or gymnastics. I'd try to find one that is more about "free movement" than technique and having the steps down correctly. Martial arts and cheerleading seem a little too structured for a young toddler, though they could be wonderful options as she gets a little older.

Karen - posted on 01/21/2011




At that age you want to find things that will stick! I would suggest swim lessons for water safety and gymnastics. The gymnastics will keep her limber enough to really thrive in all those other activities!

Laura - posted on 01/21/2011




We did extra curicular activities when my daughter was about 2. Personally, I strongly recommend beginning with a swimming class! Swimming and water safety classes, through the YMCA or local schools, parks or clubs, teach valuable, potentially life-saving, skills. These classes can help a child respect water without learning to fear it. This was the only class that was mandatory for my daughter!

After that, any of the classes you mention would be good activities to try. My daughter wanted to try dancing. After two or three 8-week sessions she decided she didn't like dancing. We tried gymnastics once--she really didn't like that. When she was a little older she joined Little League on a Coach-Pitch team. She loved baseball! She continues to play on the local Major Softball team as second base.

So go ahead and try some classes when your daughter is old enough to join. Pay attention to what she seems to like or doesn't like. This presents good opportunities to teach life lessons about commitment and perserverence: The one rule we had with our daughter was that if she wanted to participate in a class she had to participate for the WHOLE session (usually 6-8 week commitment) even if she discovered she really didn't like it. She then had the choice to sign up for another session or drop the class altogether. So be willing to try activities with a committed attitude but also be flexible enough to change directions per your daughter's likes/dislikes. Hope this helps and have fun!

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