As you may have pieced together from some of my previous posts, I’m consistently on the hunt for fun, engaging programs to take my toddler to in the city (like Baby Wiggle Little Groove). Which is why I was so very excited to come across the Super Soccer Stars program.
Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive educational environment for ages 2 and up. Kick & Play is run by Super Soccer Stars and offers a pre-soccer and movement program for toddlers 12-24 months old and their parents; taking you through a world of exciting activities to help develop pre-soccer skills. I started the Kick & Play program with my 12 month old and have since “graduated” to Super Soccer Stars. Below are just some of the reasons I can highly recommend both of these programs...
1. Structure. I think every parent would agree that structured playtime outside of the home is a welcome activity. And with each of these sessions running 45 minutes long, once a week, it’s the perfect antidote to housebound boredom.
2. Exercise. Yup, we get it, toddlers need physical activity. (But can’t we hope it happens away from our favorite Pottery Barn lamps and newly planted shrubs?) Your child will run, kick, and jump his/her way into a solid afternoon nap.
3. Glory Days. I played high school varsity soccer in a small upstate NY town; it was a huge part of my life growing up. If this describes you in anyway, you might need to restrain yourself as hard as I did so as not to kick the balls into the goal yourself.
4. Mimi & Pepe. Your child will meet large dolls named Mimi and Pepe and fall in love. When Mimi and/or Pepe start demonstrating a drill, watch your child’s attention become laser focused. (If you ever need your child to do something outside of soccer time, mention that Mimi and Pepe are probably doing it too and watch what happens.)
5. Positive Reinforcement. Most of us live in a world where we shower our children with positive reinforcement. It can be exhausting. Sit back and let the soccer coaches rain down compliments on your baby for a change. They will always use first names, eye contact, and friendly smiles.
6. Perspective. You may learn exactly what you don’t want to sound like from another parent. “Do it THIS way, not THAT way! Here, watch me do it!” Help your kids if they ask, but let them try to figure it out. This isn’t practice for the World Cup (or your high school soccer game, ahem.)
7. Circle Time. I may have enjoyed this more than my two year old. In the middle of the drill sessions you will break into circle time to sing songs, stretch, and relax with massage balls. Why hasn’t this been incorporated into the workday?
8. Friends. The classes are small groups of caregivers and children seeking to have a good time and engage; an excellent environment to meet new people and playdate opportunities.
9. Discipline. I was amazed how diligent and attentive the children were for the most part. There is something to be said about team mentality when listening to a grown-up explain a plan and then wanting to execute it correctly. Especially if there are stickers involved.
10. Stickers. Every kid gets a sticker at the end of every session; a reward for the hard work they put in. The excitement around this portion is surreal. You would think the kids were being handed their own piece of chocolate cake and ice cream.
Super Soccer Stars has programs in several locations throughout the Boston area. To enroll, parents can visit the Super Soccer Stars website or give the office a call at 781-777-7171. They have both outdoor and indoor offerings. Classes range from $175-$225, depending on location. Tuition comes with a free t-shirt that your child will put on before class, signaling it’s time to play!