Young children need a healthy and safe environment where they can burn off energy and get their exercise in. What they need is active play mixed with some structure—and hey, maybe even learn a thing or two.
This is exactly why I created Those Runner Kids.
As a mom of two active young kids, I found that there aren’t many activities my littles ones can do together that works on skills that are important for their growth and development. Although we are members of other great toddler programs, there are limited classes that focus on running. And this running momma (or should I say That Runner Mom) hopes that not just my kids, but also all children can learn to love the sport at an early age.
After all, it is such a natural movement for little kids!
The main goal of the kids’ fitness classes I created is to introduce toddlers to concepts of running and fitness in a fun and engaging way. During each class, participants work on various age-appropriate skills that are designed to help them master the basics of movements to set them up for athletic success in the future.
Skills taught at Those Runner Kids include fine and gross motor skills that include: running, jumping, throwing, catching, as well as picking up objects.
Running just to burn off energy so they sleep at night is great, but these classes give kids the tools to work on so many other skills to help in their development.
After studying the psychology behind what motivates kids at a young age, as well as how to present exercise in terms of their age and development, Those Runner Kids classes are tailored for the abilities and needs of toddlers and preschoolers.
This includes working on stability, mobility, and flexibility, and coordination development including balance, spatial awareness, rhythm, and reactivity.
Also included in Those Runner Kids classes are speed and agility. This includes acceleration and deceleration skills, which are important later in athletics in sports like soccer and basketball.
But at the heart of these classes is an introduction to running and concepts of running including form and getting ready to finish the program with a 50- and 75-yard dash (where all runners get a medal!).
Again, all of these skills are taught in an age-appropriate way. Skills are presented as games and are designed to be fun and engaging. It is structured play where kids get to discover their bodies and movement. But they don’t feel like it’s exercise. It’s a great way for them to get close to meeting the recommended 60-minutes of exercise a day.
Each class ends with a cool-down period that includes breathing exercises to get them back at a resting state. Then there is a reading of a children’s book in the health and fitness space to further open them to concepts of living a healthy life.