What Skills Do Kids Work On At Those Runner Kids Classes

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.

Make sure to sign up for the full 8-week spring season or mini 4-week season at Morning Glori Farmette that includes feeding the alpacas!


13 Ways To Work On Your 1-Year-Old’s Motor Skills

As parents, we all want our babies to check off tasks and accomplishments off their milestone charts. And these are everything from saying their first work to finally walking. There are four categories of childhood development: cognate, language, physical, and socio-emotional. While they all have an important role in the overall growth of your 1-year-old, motor skills are one that is worth highlighting.

When it comes to physical development, parents want their children to progress with their balance, hand-eye coordinator, and both fine motor and gross motor skills.

Fine motor skills are the ones that are important for being able to perform everyday tasks. This kind of motor skill includes the use of the small muscles of the hands. examples include using a pencil, scissors, and building things such as Legos. For this reason, these skills are crucial for excelling in early academics.

Other examples of fine motor skills including using utensils to eat, tying shoelaces, zipping clothes, brushing hair, and dressing dolls.

Gross motor skills are the skills that use all the muscle and are used for everyday functions as well as to be able to play and engage in sports activities. These include whole-body movements. Examples are sitting up in a chair, balancing, climbing, walking, running. It also includes sections like kicking a ball and throwing and catching a ball.

While all kids develop at their own speed, parents can encourage activities that help their little ones work on their motor skills. And this is even as young as 1-years-old.

motor skills

Fine Motor Skills

1-year-olds can work on their fine motor skills through art. This includes the following ideas:

  1. Painting
  2. Using sponges (to paint or just to play in the water!)
  3. Playing with play-dough
  4. Playing with kinetic sand (theme it and add in tiny treasure from the Dollar Store to make fun sensory boxes!)
  5. Color with crayons
  6. Allow baby to use a fork and spoon at mealtime (it will be a mess, but worth it for working on the skill!)
  7. Give baby finger foods and encourage self-feeding
  8. Let them help you turn the pages of a book at storytime.

Gross Motor Skills

Your 1-year-old has been working on their gross motor skills even as a newborn by doing things like tummy time. By the time a baby reaches the first birthday they are probably crawling. Here are some other ways to continue working on gross motor skills:

  1. Walkers, baby toy strollers, and other toys that allow re-walkers to hold on and practice walking
  2. Playing at the playground (have them run around, swing climb, jump, slide, etc!)
  3. Baby in-door trampoline (it helps work on balance and engages those leg muscles1)
  4. Pedal cars (this is a great way to introduce them to one day riding a bike)
  5. Baby obstacle courses (make sure to have them crawl through tunnels, jump over things, balance on a beam, climb up and down things, etc. Help guide them!)

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What is Those Runner Kids?

Those Runners Kids is a children’s fitness program that introduces little ones to exercise in a fun way. By taking a playful approach that includes games andobstacle courses, children are more likely to enjoy running and exercise in general as opposed to finding it a chore.

Instead of feeling that exercise is “too hard” or that they are “too tired” to try, Those Runners Kids classes are presented in a way that it feels more like active playtime than a gym class.

Classes are for babies, toddlers, and children ages 1-5. There are sibling discounts, and children are broken up into appropriate ages for specific activities—perfect for a mommy and me class for those with young children of different ages.

Led by certified running coach Lauren Keating of That Runner Mom, all classes include a warm-up, stretches, and various games. The core of the program is running, and at the heart of the program is the beloved obstacle course to showcase different skills taught.

An introduction to running, children are taught running form, breathing techniques, and running strategies from an early age. These are broken down into fun activities that include mini sprints and games designed to get kids running around. By the end of the program, participants become Those Runner Kids as they compete in an Ultimate Obstacle Course and fun run. All participants end the program by earning a medal.

Those Runner Kids classes launch spring 2021 in the Medford, NJ area. Classes are held at a local park, and there is a COVID precaution plan in place. This includes limited participants in each class, hand sanitizer on-site, sanitizing all equipment used before and after each class, and parents are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Come back soon for details on registering.