Mini Skillz: Toddler Martial Arts for 18-36 Months!
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 instructed group activities, such as Mini SKILLZ! The Skillz Program has 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.
Here’s an overview for the stages of development of children ages 18 to 36 months:
Physically: They 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.
Intellectually: 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.
We expect them to lose focus often during class, and quickly become distracted.
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.
Emotionally: 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.
The emotional goals for our program are to help them have patience during activities despite how challenging they are.
Socially: Language development has a big influence on their 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.
By understanding the stages of development of 18 to 36 month olds, we were able to select 8 age-appropriate skills that make up the Mini SKILLZ Program:
Here’s how the Mini SKILLZ program works:
We cover one of the above skills per class (in order). During each class we run a warm-up; deliver a quick mat chat about the skill; run three to four skill-building drills; and then have a milestone checkpoint to see which stage they are at
for the day’s skill. We finish class with a cool-down and social game. We repeat the same format with each skill, rotating through each skill once per month.
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. As you can see, 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. The best part is the Mini SKILLZ program is a great way for them to bond with you as well!