Two is a tricky age for activities. They're old enough to want to run and jump and explore, but there aren't a ton of options out there for actual sports, nor do they have the attention span or energy needed for a long class. The same goes for all toddlers and young kids. They want to try soccer and tennis and all of those great fun sports but a six week stretch of soccer EVERY week sometimes gets boring for those little developing minds. Enter Go Kids, the Capital Region’s only multi-sport and exercise program exclusively designed for kids aged 2-6. Their fun sports and fitness activities teach preschoolers the fundamentals of 7 different sports in a social, team based, non-competitive environment. Go Kids introduces children to seven different sports: soccer, tennis, basketball, hockey, football, baseball and track and field and runs year round in six eight-week terms. Each term includes four sports taught in two-week blocks. A general routine is followed during each class which allows children to become comfortable, while the rotating sports prevent children from becoming bored.
Go Kids' classes run for 45 minutes with 4 sports taught during each 8 week term. A routine incorporating gross motor skills, hand-eye/foot-eye coordination and balance activities is practiced during each class.
Go Kids aims to:
- Introduce preschoolers to a variety of sports to help guide future choices about which sports to participate in
- Show preschoolers that physical activities are fun
- Develop gross motor skills, coordination and correct posture
- Teach the importance of warming-up, stretching, nutrition and hydration
- Encourage good sportsmanship and teamwork
- Teach children to take turns, wait in line, listen - all skills to help children prepare for school
- Expose children to counting, numbers, colors and shapes
I sat down with founder Adam Feldman last week to learn more about this great new program. Adam has been working with young children for over a decade - from 7 years as a camp counselor at the Jewish Community Center, 4 years of volunteering at Bucknell University's daycare, 3 years in the classroom at Bethlehem, PA's Moravian Academy, 3 months volunteering in a rural school in Thailand and 5 years of coaching kids and adults across multiple sports. There is a positivity and energy about Adam that is contagious and right away you think "this guy should be teaching kids". He shared with me what inspired him to start Go Kids:
I decided to start Go Kids to inspire families to live healthy lifestyles. I believe a healthy lifestyle is built on the foundation of culture/family, exercise/movement and food/eating habits. My Go Kids multi-sport program for 2-6 year old children is the first piece of the puzzle. We help develop a lifelong passion for physical activity, increase confidence and prepare children for participation in school and the broader community. Go Kids will also be offering nutrition related programs in the near future. And of course all of the core values that drive my 'team first' philosophy will always be integrated into all of my classes: Honesty, Respect, Perseverance and Problem Solving.
Today Finn and Lev and I headed to the Saratoga Rec Center for one of their classes, this one with the track and field theme. In the bright, sun filled room the kids were all excited to get started. They began seated in circle time, learning everyone's names, and then got right to the fun. Adam and his Senior Instructor Peggy McKeown got the kids excited and taking part right away and the energy of the class stayed high from the first minute to the last. They ran races, they jumped hurdles, they worked as a team, they helped clean up after themselves, they cheered each other on, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Little water breaks helped them keep going, and even the parents got into the fun of cheering on the kids. Adam and Peggy kept colors and counting and sportsmanship right there in the mix of the class in a completely natural and easily grasped way for the kids.
As far as what to expect from the class, Adam says "Parents should have high expectations when they join the Go Kids team. We have two teachers at every class that always bring their energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to every class. As part of our cool down we always review the day's class with the children. Therefore when parents ask 'what was your favorite part of Go Kids today?', their child should be able to offer a great story. And finally, they should expect the 2 and 3 year old children to be ready to take a long nap and the 4 to 6 year old children to be ready to eat a large healthy lunch." What parent doesn't want their kiddo to eat a big healthy lunch and take a nice long nap?! (Answer: no one). This was definitely true for my two kids, they left hungry and tired and asking when they could go back to Go Kids. Levy especially benefited from the class. Being the younger sister she's often a tad slower than her big brother, and she loved the positive reinforcement Adam and Peggy gave her, along with the rest of the kids in the class. She really felt like she was part of a team and is eager to return next week.
To learn more about Go Kids, check out their website right here. Your little one can even take a Free Trial class to see how they like it, to get info on their schedule and locations, click right here. We just loved it, and the feedback I have gotten from parents has all been really positive. Kudos to Adam on starting such a great new program, I think it's going to be a great fit for our community and I can't wait for the Kids to Go again! xoxo