I have heard that babies are usually stronger verbally or physically. I find this to be true for all the toddlers we know. In our case, our toddler’s strength is definitely verbal. Up until a couple of months ago, Aiden was not comfortable jumping or climbing. His physical coordination (jumping, running, etc.) was not great. We decided to focus on these physical aspects of toddler coordination and confidence in his movement (since they go hand in hand) after he turned two. Since November we have made great strides in these areas and I credit it to three fun activities we have been doing regularly.
Here are three ways we improved toddler coordination and confidence:
We learned that our local community center offers gymnastics for 2-4-year-olds at a reasonable price. We thought this would be perfect for Aiden, and it was! He had so much fun every week in his class. They would warm up with stretches. Next, they would complete an obstacle course for the first half of each class which included jumping, climbing up and over a circular mat, bear crawling on parallel bars (which the little guy was really good at), somersaults, and a floor balance beam.
The second half of class usually included a new skill like bars and each week they add something new. At the end of class, they do parachute exercises. It brought me back to my elementary school gym days!
The class was 8-weeks long and by the end of it, we saw a huge improvement in the little guy’s movements and coordination, especially balance. He still asks to go to gymnastics so we decided to sign him up for another 8-week session.
In January we had a Launch trampoline park open up close to where we live. Dan couldn’t wait to get Aiden in there (I secretly think he just wanted to go bounce). This turned out to be a ton of fun for the whole family. They have a specific time for toddlers to come at a discounted rate, which is perfect because we don’t have to worry as much about Aiden getting trampled by bigger kids.
We have noticed since we started going to the trampoline park that the little guy can now jump with his feet leaving the ground. Sometimes he will even run across the space between the trampolines — something he can now do because his balance and confidence are so much better. He also loves playing with the basketball hoops, climbing on the dodgeball dividers, and walking along a balance beam and jumping into the foam blocks around it.
We have several indoor playgrounds in our area, which I am so thankful for in the winter months when it is too cold to go outside. There are two in particular that have really helped with toddler coordination. Chibis has a giant family jungle gym which requires a lot of climbing and there is a really fun slide that Aiden loves.
The second, Monkey Joe’s, is basically wall-to-wall bounce houses. There are inflatable slides, jumps, and obstacle courses. We noticed in the past that he wasn’t using both his legs and arms together to climb so he wouldn’t go anywhere. With lots of practice, he now climbs easily.
Here is a round-up video of all the fun we’ve had while improving toddler coordination:
With all of these activities, we have noticed Aiden is so more confident in his movements which is really fun to watch. The best part is that he is having a great time. I also love that all of these activities wear him out.
Have you tried any of these activities to improve toddler coordination? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
If you liked this post check out Baking with a Toddler: How to Make an Easter Dessert Tray and How to Incorporate a Bosu Ball in a Mom and Toddler Workout.