Have you been looking at different activities for your 3 or 4 your old son or daughter but they either don’t cater for children as young as your child or the activities are just free play?
While most of the children’s play at this age should be free play, this is also a great age to start activities with a little structure. Current guidelines from the NHS suggest that pre school aged children should be taking part in 3 hours of physical activity a day with 1 hour being of ‘moderate-to-vigorous’ intensity.
Studies that show that the development of FUNdamental Movement Skills can start being developed from the age of 3 year old and doing so increases the chances the child will still be participating in sport into their teenage years.
When it comes to taking part in new activities with new people, in a new place, young children can be a little clingy. Does your son or daughter sometimes tell you they can’t do something before they have even tried?
A child’s ability to learn something new is first dependent on them believing that they are capable of achieving what you are asking them to do. The children that think their abilities and intelligence are fixed are said to have a fixed mindset. Growth mindset is the belief that with effort, we can improve our abilities and intelligence.
Developing a growth mindset has been proven to help reduce stress, realign challenges as opportunities, build intrinsic motivation, enhance self-esteem and improve confidence dealing with uncertainty.
Does your child’s focus need more focus? Do they not yet discovered the link between their actions and their outcomes?
In the now famous marshmallow test run by psychologist Walter Mischel in the 60s, they looked at what tactics children would implement to resist eating one marshmallow in order to receive a second after a specific period of time.
In follow up research decades later, they found that longer delayed gratification times correlated with a higher sense of self-worth, lower levels of obesity, lower levels of drug and alcohol abuse, higher levels of education, pursued their goals more effectively and enjoyed better quality close relationships.
Is your 3 or 4 year old full of energy but is lacking opportunities to meet other children? When you introduce them to a new group, do they struggle to make friends easily?
73% of children have been online by the age of two and one in ten children have their own mobile device before the age of five. Electronic devices can be a useful tool in making learning experiences interesting but they can also be anti social when used too much.
Social connection is not only important for general well being but is also an essential element of why children enjoy physical activities. Young children usually start activities due to their parent’s motivation but one of the main reasons they continue to take part if the friendships they develop.
Do the activities you look at for your pre school child require you to sign up for a term or purchase expensive equipment before your child has even tried the activity?
As sport and physical activities become more professionalised, many clubs are making the financial barrier to entry higher and higher. While most parents will expect there will be some additional costs to starting a new activity, often they will be hit with excessive fees.
It is important for all sports clubs to make money (even the not for profit clubs) so they can pay their bills and reinvest in their facilities and their service. While most parents don’t mind paying for a quality service, what they want to avoid is paying a small fortune for unqualified coaches delivering substandard programmes.
Our children’s pre school martial arts programme has been running since 2008 and is based on the MAPLE system (Martial Arts Physical Literacy Engine) developed by coach Phill Payne. This system is focused on delivering fun sessions that are physically, socially and psychologically appropriate for your child’s age and stage of development.
After leaving the world of IT in 2008 to focus on coaching martial arts full time, Phill was looking for a way to take his coaching to the next level. He noticed that most martial arts instructors taught their children’s classes the same way as their adult classes. He knew there must be a better way but just didn’t know what it was.
This search led him to become a qualified Personal Trainer, before studying for a BSc and MSc in coaching children before eventually starting a Doctoral programme at Leeds Beckett University in 2022. The MAPLE system is the result of 10 years of development and over £40,000 invested in education.
Traditionally, students have been able to transition from student to coach just by way of passing a black belt test based on their ability to perform the martial art, not coach it. With a sector with very little regulation, the Warrior Factory Leeds Martial Arts Centre does things a little different.
Not only do the Warrior Factory venues use a research-based children’s programme (MAPLE), but many of the coaches hold a degree in either sports coaching or early years development. Matching a research-based programme with highly qualified coaches enables us to provide a fun, safe and developmentally appropriate environment for your child to train.
Our young ninjas will learn various basic techniques from our Taekwondo syllabus. This includes hand strikes, kicks, blocks and stances.
We integrate FUNdamental Movement Skills into fun games to help the students build the foundational skills required for all sports and physical activities.
Our Dragons programme for 3-4 year olds also includes helping them learn the skills that will give them a head start by the time they start school.
Social skills are a priority for this age group. The simple things like taking turns, listening and respecting personal space that we all take for granted will be developed, just like the other skills.
Physical fitness for young children focuses on locomotion, stabilisation, coordination and strength. These are all pitched at a developmentally appropriate level for children of this age.
The aim of this programme is is to build a love for martial arts and physical activity while helping them develop a growth mindset, confidence and self control.