Taking your toddler to classes is a fantastic way of introducing them to new activities and having lots of fun.
But group classes are not just a way of getting out of the house and tiring your tot out, they also have lots of benefits for your little one. New experiences help form connection in your toddlers brain, helping both their physical and cognitive development.
Noodle Performance Arts runs two classes aimed exclusively at toddlers and pre-schoolers. Both designed for children from walking age up to three, Ballet Tots is a gentle introduction to ballet, while Noodle Tots is a fun and informal performing arts class featuring action songs and games.
Here are five ways classes can benefit your toddler:
- Practice social skills
Going to parent and toddler groups and classes is a great way of meeting other mums and dads with children of a similar age but it is also a wonderful opportunity for your little one to practice their social skills. Being around other young children helps your son or daughter get used to being in a group environment and gives them a chance to learn skills like taking turns and listening to others.
2. Learn to follow instructions
Most toddler classes follow a simple routine which helps young children work out what will happen next and what anticipate what they will be expected to do. Following simple instructions like collecting instruments or equipment, putting them away and joining in songs, games, activities and dances is good preparation for starting school or nursery.
3. Get moving
Most toddler classes involve movement, encouraging children to be active and practice both their fine and gross motor skills. Dance classes like our Ballet Tots sessions help young children to gain more control over their own bodies. Activities involving movement help develop your little one’s balance and co-ordination too.
4. Introduction to music
Toddler classes usually involve music in some way and there’s a good reason for this. Children learn information much more quickly if it is put to music. Experts believe this is because musical information is stored in the right side of the brain, making it easier to remember than spoken words. As well as strengthening memory skills, action songs help children widen their vocabulary and learn more about the world around them. Music also helps children start to understand timing and rhythm and encourages them to listen.
5. Kickstart interests
Choosing a toddler class for your child can kickstart a passion and interest which they may continue to enjoy as they get older. Whether it is sport, dance, music or creative arts, classes will help you work out what activities your child enjoys and where their interests lie. Learning new skills and taking part in activities will also build your toddler’s confidence and boost their self-esteem.