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My son is 21-months and takes "gym" classes every friday at his daycare. He loves it and comes home excited, trying out his new games. His teacher says he's terrific at it and quite fearless. What we love about his classes is the unstructured structure (if that makes sense) and with the focus being on having fun rather than competition. Now, since my son loves this activiy so much should my husband and I consider putting him in one or two additional classes outside of daycare? If so, what's right: a gymnastics school or one of these kids places like Gymboree or Little Gym? I'm worried about these places being overly structured.


Dr. Steven Kairys Replied: At 21 months I would not add more 'classes.' He is getting enough soclal time. He needs more time with you and his family. Too much time away from family distracts from the priorty need for structure , love, and nurturance.
Posted On 2007-01-08 09:15:55
Brenda Nixon, M.A. Replied: Thanks for your question and concern. At 21-months your son is probably getting enough scheduled activity by going to daycare. Don't fret about adding more to his life right now. You're right; tots need some predictability in their life, you know - the same 'ole daily routine, but they do NOT need every hour and every day planned. Tots need time for spontaneous, imaginary, uninterrupted play. Keep up the good balance. And when your son gets bored inside during long, winter days, I offer some "cabin fever relievers" in my book.
Posted On 2006-10-04 18:46:44
Pamela Waterman Replied: I'm a big advocate of unstructured play. Unless you have Olympic blood in your family, I'd say continue as you are for at least another year. If he's just gung-ho for more at that point, you could see what a gymnastic school offers for pre-schoolers, but even then, make sure it's fun first. In the meantime, perhaps you could do a play-date with another child from the daycare who could do the same kind of tumbling fun that they both do on Fridays, at your house. It's worth buying some cushioned mats to make a safe spot for this kind of play, even if you clear away the furniture and set them in the living room - whatever works for you.
Posted On 2006-09-27 02:08:13
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