Crawling is So Important to Toddlers
There are things we take for granted as parents. Like how amazing a child’s developmental process is. Many kids are slow to growing or learning because their parents are educated enough. It’s important that children learn to crawl before they walk. Skipping crawling will slow a child’s developmental process. Parents are often concerned about when their child will crawl, walk, jump, run, and talk. A good gymnastics program can be created to assist in all these areas of development.
Research has found that children who do not spend time crawling can typically have more difficulty with reading and writing later. The reason for this is because when a child crawls, they are tracking their hands with eyes in a pattern of movement (reading). Their hands slap the ground and develop strength and flexibility in the hand and wrist (writing and holding a pencil).
There should be crawling places in class every week. Go under things, over things, uphill and downhill. This also strengthens the shoulder girdle area for upper body strength that is needed in gymnastics and life in general.
There are a lot of children that will get right up as toddlers and walk without spending any time crawling. This isn’t ideal for children as it can stunt their growth. Use items from around your gym or room to make fun crawling stations every week.
Don’t Refer to it as CONDITIONING!
People tend not to like the word …Conditioning. They think of it as doing work. Let’s help teach children to want to get stronger by making it into a GAME. They don’t need to know that we are secretly working out their muscles which will benefit them as they grow. Make it fun for them.
Here are a couple tips for your Toddler and Preschool classes:
- Add educational stations to every event that keep kids busy but productive.
- To keep exercising fun for young children, limit the number of times they go through the stations. Counting how old you are is a good way to limit your repetitions. If you are 4, do four sit-ups!
- It’s better to do a few reps and then move on to another thing, then come back. This keeps young ones engaged.