Come out of your lazy chair,
because today is International Sports Day! Some people might see this as good news, while others might not (because sports are a "must", not a "want"). Anyway, April 6 has been declared by the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. And it's not just that.
Of course, it's no surprise when I say that sports are important for your health (duh), but you may not be aware that sports are also important for society and the community. Sports (in groups) can promote peace. Tolerance. Respect. Understanding. And these are all important values for everyone, which I am sure you would like to pass on to your little toddler. You can introduce your toddler to these values through sports in a playful way. In addition, sports for toddlers is also beneficial for their self-confidence and motor skills! More than enough reasons to let your toddler exercise. If you were not yet planning to let your toddler do sports, then after reading this blog you're definitely convinced to do so. Whether you're still expecting a toddler or already have a little one running around at home, these are the best toddler sports!
Let's start right away with the sport your toddler can start with the earliest: swimming. It's also a very important sport because it teaches your toddler to get used to the water, which is also called becoming water-free, and it teaches your toddler to move safely in the water. Toddler swimming will also contribute to the muscle development and coordination of your toddler. In addition, toddler swimming also has an emotional value. Swimming for toddlers is an activity they do together with their parents, which strengthens the toddler-parent bond. A big yes to bonding time!
Want to let your toddler exercise in an ultra playful way? Then of course you think of dancing, or swinging. By moving to different types of music your toddler learns new body positions, which improves motor skills. In addition, memorizing dance steps improves the memory, but also the concentration of your toddler. Your toddler also learns new words by listening to the music that is being danced to. As if these were not enough advantages, dancing ensures that toddlers get used to different types of music and that their sense of creativity is stimulated. So, feet off the floor!
Read also: Exercise during your pregnancy: a do or don't?
I hear you thinking, is there yoga for toddlers? Has the trend already spread this far? Yes, it has! And for good reason, because yoga for toddlers offers many benefits. Yoga teaches your toddler to focus on being in touch with himself and the things that are going on inside him or her. Thus, yoga can promote his or her self-awareness, concentration, and emotional growth. This may sound very deep to a little toddler, but this is especially important at a young age. Besides emotional and mental benefits, yoga is also good for your toddler's strength, fitness, and coordination. So, your toddler will become physically stronger and mentally more balanced. What can you expect from a yoga class for toddlers? Practicing classic yoga poses, as well as sensory and breathing games.
Did you know that you can find videos of yoga exercises for toddlers on YouTube? So you can practice yoga at home with your little toddler. Complete relaxation guaranteed.
If you thought that judo was only a sport for grown-ups, you are wrong. This versatile sport is offered by many sports clubs for kids as young as 2.5 years old. Why you should send your toddler to judo? The crawling, running, and rolling involved in judo contributes to your toddler's coordination and motor skills. Your toddler will also learn how to protect himself or herself in the event of a fall, which is practiced safely on the mat. And I think we all understand that this can be important for toddlers who want to discover the world and therefore occasionally 'hug the ground'. Another great benefit of judo is that toddlers learn to set their own boundaries, and respect the boundaries of others at the same time. Toddlers learn this in judo when they are in a holding grip and in this way indicate that their limit has been reached, while the opponent learns to respect this. This is also an important life lesson!
Just as you, as a pregnant woman, can enjoy the benefits of pregnancy gymnastics, so can your little toddler. What is toddler gymnastics good for? For improving your toddler's motor skills. Exercises that involve jumping, falling, standing up, and rolling play a huge role in improving your toddler's motor skills. In addition, gymnastics is also beneficial for the independence and spatial awareness of your toddler, just to name a few benefits. Another plus: toddlers usually play gymnastics together with their parents. So again, toddler-parent quality time.
Want to learn how to play field hockey at a young age? That's possible in the Netherlands too! Toddlers can get acquainted with the stick and ball used in field hockey at a young age, where fun is a priority. The benefits of field hockey? Field hockey stimulates the motor skills, coordination, agility, and balance of toddlers. In addition to these physical benefits, field hockey also has educational value. You probably wouldn't think of this at first, but field hockey also teaches toddlers to name colors and learn to count. Oh yeah, are you secretly a field hockey fanatic yourself? Then it's nice to know that you can often join in as a parent ;)