Rumor has it a toddler dance studio is opening up next door to a business I frequent. Like other moms to toddlers, my first thought was, "Awwww!"
I started picturing my bruiser son suddenly learning to pirouette, thus setting him up for graceful moves throughout his life. That fantasy was quickly followed by, "How in the world can someone open up a toddler dance studio in this economy?" Unless it's a cover for organized crime, I can't imagine how someone thought it was a good money-making venture.
Although, judging by the myriad of classes we now have available to the 3 and under set, I suppose there are worse things to do with your toddler time.
But if you think your toddler will actually learn solid dance moves from a class, you're going to be sorely disappointed.
Sure you can start your little one on the path of ballet, tap, and jazz, but unless you're committed to lessons for the next eight years, you're just spending money on playtime. Toddler retention is vastly exaggerated. You can get them "used to" a dance studio, but don't kid yourself into thinking any actual skills are being acquired.
You know what else your tot won't be learning anytime soon?
Yes, it's fun to teach the little ones another language. But unless you speak it in your household, or keep up with the lessons, your child will not grow up requesting "agua" once the class is over.
I love to get in the pool with my toddler. But I'm not going to fool myself into thinking he's proficient in swimming after a toddler lesson. Swimming lessons should be a yearly (or more if you're around water year-round) course your children take well into their grade-school years.
Sunday school for toddlers is glorified day care. Hopefully all of the teachers are behaving in a manner consistent with your chosen religion, but other than that -- it's a lot of screaming, pooping, and the occasional nap.
Yes, my son is super cute when he goes into a downward-facing dog. But he has no idea he's getting zen, only that everyone claps for him and smiles. Of course he's going to do it again and again!
Baby signs to communicate are one thing (and how valuable those are varies wildly) but actual sign language is a skill that takes an extended period of focused studying and usage to be able to communicate consistently.
Do you take your toddler to classes?
Image via iamNigelMorris/Flickr