Best Activities for Kids: From Ballet to Swimming, an Age-by-Age Guide to Kid Classes

Wondering if your child is ready to start dance class, swim lessons or Little League? Here's how to choose the right activities for kids at every age (20 Photos)

Dina Roth Port on Sep 1, 2013 at 12:58PM

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Gymnastics

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a Dina Roth Port on May 3, 2012 at 4:16PM

What they'll learn: Gymnastics helps improve strength, speed, coordination, balance, and flexibility. It can also help a child learn to face and overcome her fears -- for instance, many kids are frightened of the balance beam or the high bar, but after supervised practice they'll likely learn those skills. Gymnastics is also a great activity for children who shy away from team sports.

Best for: You can start with parent/child gymnastics classes -- those at centers like My Gym have classes starting at 6 weeks, which focus on baby exercises, swinging and gentle movements. Programs for toddlers engage children in climbing, jumping, and very simple, basic moves. By ages 3 or 4, kids can start learning more traditional gymnastics skills. You can look for difficulty level based on your child's age and ability. One note: If you're considering competitive gymnastics, experts advise waiting until at least age 6 to begin -- most children don't have the body control, coordination or balance to participate competitively at this young age. 

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