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Wednesday, March 4, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 18.0° F  A Few Clouds
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My first sports...
Getting kids into activities early helps with energy levels, social interaction and confidence
Swimming can be a fun first sport.
Swimming can be a fun first sport.

There are many "firsts" throughout our lives. Some are fundamental in creating a solid foundation for a healthy lifestyle. For the past 10 years, I have enjoyed applying my degree in child psychology from UW-Madison to creating youth sports programs at KEVA Sports Center in Middleton. These programs assist in children's growth and development. Toddler classes are rewarding and integral part of what we do at KEVA.

Most children are born with the urge to walk, run, chase, swing, kick and throw. It is extremely important to encourage these actions, and provide an exciting and active atmosphere where children are able to practice these on a regular basis.

Classes that involve movement are necessary as the child grows, and the Madison area offers many options for parents, from city-run community centers, the YMCA, as well as privately owned sports centers like KEVA.

The benefits of toddler classes include small and large motor skill development, and building muscle memory. Children practice listening and learn rule-following skills while socializing with others. Perhaps most importantly, they are able to burn off energy with fun activities in a safe setting. Today there are gymnastics, swimming and sports sampler classes for children ages six months and up.

Each child is different and it is important to try out different activities to see what your child's interests are and how they will best benefit. If your child loves the water you may want to start them off in swimming lessons. A highly active child with energy to spare may enjoy a gymnastics class. Even if you have a shy or quiet child, don't overlook an active class. Your child's confidence will grow as they participate.

Most active classes incorporate music and repetition to help parents and kids get into the rhythm of each lesson. You can help your child with encouragement and enthusiasm, and make each class a happy and memorable experience.

KEVA Sports Center is Wisconsin's premier sports and recreation facility, featuring classes, leagues and programs for nearly every age and skill level. From soccer, basketball and volleyball to bocce, bags and lacrosse, KEVA is the place to play.

Click for more information about these KEVA programs and promotions:

My first sport (18 months to 6 years)

Athletic Kidz (7 to 14 years )

Birthday Parties (all ages)

MaMom's Resale (youth items resale)

More firsts - Summer Camp:

KEVA has tips for preparing your child for a new and different experience.

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