Enrolling your 18-month-old in “formal” dance class may seem a bit like you’re jumping the gun. After all, most toddles of this age haven’t completely mastered following directions. How can you expect them to learn dance steps? And it wasn’t that long ago your precious bundle of joy took that memorable and life-changing first step. Would a toddler dance class be wise so soon?
The answer is yes! Your 18 – 24-month-old is the ideal age to begin a lifelong appreciation of dance. In fact, with their high energy level, desire to capture your attention, and ability to soak up and learn from new experiences, your young toddler is primed for dance class.
These tiny dancers are naturals when it comes to spirited movement. Of course, you probably already know that. But did you know that dance will encourage your toddler’s healthy development on several different levels? Including:
Flexibility and Muscle Development
Your little one probably doesn’t have a problem with flexibility. But, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, dance classes for the very young instill a lifetime interest in maintaining flexibility. What’s more, dance also helps your little one with healthy muscle development.
When presented with a movement idea, your tiny dancer must work through the movements in order to execute the routine. This is problem solving at its most rudimentary and teaches your child to solve abstract problems. As your little one develops cognitively, this skill will serve him or her well in the classroom and in life.
Dance and music convey emotion in all kinds of ways. When your toddler finds a way to express his or her emotions through music and movement the seeds are planted for a lifetime of music appreciation. Dance classes for 18-month-olds equip your toddler with the ability to understand and deal with emotions in a healthy way.
18 – 24-month-olds are beginning to understand the world around as it relates to himself and others. When your child enters even a small group environment, she must learn social skills in order to get along. Dance helps your child learn to work harmoniously with other members of the group, even if you aren’t seeing that benefit right away.
Young toddlers are beginning to develop their creativity. This dance class will give them another outlet for artistic enterprise and enhance their ability to convey emotion through creative expression.
Enhances Motor Skills
Isn’t it amazing to think how far your baby has come in just a few short months? As he or she develops, motor skills become more and more important. Dance encourages better hand-eye coordination and gross motor skill development through coordinated movement.
Dance is a healthy way to encourage your toddler’s development on so many levels. But by far, the biggest advantage to dance class for your toddler is that it’s fun! For more information on how dance can positively impact your 18 – 24-month-old, contact Dance Makers today.