Does your young child
They struggle to maintain control of their movements and may be unintentionally destructive.
They find it difficult to focus on a task or to see it through to the end.
They have a hard time sharing their belongings and getting along with other kids.
Understanding Stage of Development Is Key
During 18 to 36 months of age, children’s skill development moves very fast. Their brains are growing rapidly, language is blooming, and motor skills are advancing. At the same time, thinking becomes more developed, and their social and emotional skills enable them to interact with more people. With that said, this is the ideal age to begin participation in structured group activities, such as Mini SKILLZ. We’ve done extensive research on the stages of development for children this age, and from that information have built a fun and exciting program that is just right for both the child and their guardian.
By understanding the stages of development of 18 to 36 month olds, we were able to select the age-appropriate skills that make up the Mini SKILLZ Program:
1. We cover one martial arts skills per class, including: Stepping, Listening, Patience, Respect, Jumping, Thinking, Following, and Sharing.
2. During each class we run a warm-up; deliver a quick mat chat about the skill; run three skill-building drills; and then have a milestone checkpoint to see which stage they are at for the day’s skill.
3. We finish class with a cool-down and social game.
4. We repeat the same format with each skill, rotating through each skill once per month.
5. Once they reach the age of 3, and can follow along on the mat without a guardian, they are now ready for the next program, Early SKILLZ for 3 and 4-year olds.
Each child will learn and grow at a faster pace than the average toddler. The best part is the Mini SKILLZ program is a great way for them to bond with you as well!
This is not a typical toddler program!
We integrate an extensive amount of research and development into a program that is appropriate for their age, while at the same time advancing them beyond their current stage of development. This means that each child will learn and grow at a faster pace than the average toddler. Mini Skill is one of the best toddler activities available on Long Island!
Physically, toddlers are very active, but don't have much control of their movements.
We expect them to stumble on most activities and show very little skill in their gross and fine motor skills. The physical goals for our program are to get them to perform basic exercises and activities with control such as stepping and jumping without falling, kicking while bending their knees, and punching while pulling their other hand back.
We expect toddlers to lose focus often during class, and quickly become distracted.
Their thinking skills are all across the board, which makes it hard for them to anticipate what’s coming next. Therefore, their attention span will be very limited. The intellectual goals for our program are to get them to focus on the task at hand with minimal distractions, such as listening to the instructor, thinking about what comes next in activities, and following directions.
Our goal is to help the kids have patience during activities, even when they are challenging.
Their feelings are very strong, but they are still not at the stage to recognize why. Therefore, they will show a wide range of strong emotions that are not quickly controllable. We expect them to throw temper tantrums when they don’t get their way, and run around uncontrollably if they get too excited.
Language development has a big impact on toddlers' social development.
They will imitate others, but will quickly fight for personal space when they feel too crowded. We expect them to interact on a very basic level, but at the same time be more involved in “parallel” play. The social goals for our program are to help them interact positively by sharing as well as showing respect to the other people in class.
Had the pleasure of visiting Heidi at 4GK Martial Arts and observing both her EARLY SKILLZ for children ages 3-4 and MOMMY AND ME class for children 18 months and up. The children are guided through the basics of martial arts with hands on gross motor activities set at their own individual pace. It was a pleasure to see.
We just started the mini skillz program a couple of months ago. I admit, after being in the free play, no rules music program for the entire spring, my 2 yr old granddaughter was starting to rebel against listening. The first day of class I was almost in tears after five minutes when I realized how bad her behavior had gotten without structure. I'm so glad I stuck it out though. The second class was a joy, with her listening intently and using her brain. Miss Heidi has the patience of a saint. She is also on top of age appropriate skills and stresses them at each class. We've learned taking turns, following direction, jumping, kicking and punching, and many, many other useful things. She loves going to her class twice a week and I truly love taking her. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these wonderful people and this fantastic school to anyone.
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Yes, it can. We help children learn the importance of emotional control and respect for others. These are lessons that will help them in the classroom, too.
Yes. Even though studying martial arts is an individual pursuit, we teach kids to learn in a collaborative environment with an emphasis on sharing, cooperation, and teamwork.
Yes. Part of martial arts training is teaching kids to be mindful of themselves and their surroundings. They must focus to succeed in class, and once they learn to do it, they’ll be able to do the same thing at school.
Martial arts instruction focuses on hand-eye coordination, control, and strength. As kids learn basic moves and then advance, they learn how to control their bodies and movements.
Yes. It’s common for students to require more than one attempt to earn a new belt. We teach them that trying is the most important thing – and that persistence pays off.
Respect is at the core of everything we do in the dojo. Kids who study martial arts must respect their instructors and fellow students, and we find that they learn to respect parents, teachers, caregivers, and siblings at the same time.
Kids learn how to listen respectfully to others without interruptions.
Our students learn the value of discipline as they pursue clearly-defined goals.
Martial arts instruction teaches kids how to accept defeat and learn from their mistakes.
Martial arts helps kids build core strength, balance, and physical coordination.
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