When your child is 12-24 months, there are only so many yoga and music classes you can take, both literally and figuratively. And let’s face it: some kids (i.e., the ones with more energy than they — or you — know what to do with) could handle something on the sporty side. What if we told you your barely toddler could take up…soccer? It’s true! Read on to find out how your tot can learn to bend it like Beckham — or at least lay the foundation to do so.
photo: Kick & Play
Introducing Kick & Play
Brought to you by the same clever folks that came up with wildly popular and omnipresent youth soccer program Super Soccer Stars, Kick & Play is designed specifically for kids ages 12-24 months. The program encourages active play with pre-soccer skills, and the classes are structured so your child gets familiar with the group setting, a familiar routine, and movement activities.
photo: via Super Soccer Stars Facebook page
What can you expect?
It’s not just about soccer — these classes implement music (with original music specifically created for the program), warm up exercises, dancing, and educational games.
Using Mimi and Pepe, puppet friends that assist the coaches, kids learn the importance of stretching and body movement in a fun environment that’s age appropriate. And because parallel play — you know, when your kids aren’t playing with other kids just yet but are happily playing next to another little tike — is totally normal at this age, it’s encouraged and fostered through these classes.
photo: Super Soccer Stars via Yelp
What are “pre-soccer” skills, you might ask?
Kids at this young age age tend to use their hands to control objects, so Kick & Play leaders help to guide toddlers to use their lower bodies in ways that improve balance, coordination, and their ability to kick. Of course, all of these abilities and skills will help them when they are ready to try out soccer with the “big kids.”
What do they expect?
Given your child’s young age, at least one caregiver is asked to stay and actively participate in these classes. (With every class ending with a shared grown-up-child massage, nobody will be denying themselves these fun-filled classes.)
Where can I find one?
Kick N Play can be found in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Hamptons and Hudson County. The best way to find classes is to select from the dropdown menu on their site, and choose your location, day and age group. Summer session prices start at $175 for 6 classes. Private groups and birthday parties are also available.
Kick & Play
Throughout NYC area
Have you and your child tried out Kick & Play? Tell us about your experience in the comments!