Sports for Young Children

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Athletic 3 yr old girl - organized sports?

Aug 2009

My daughter will be 3 in the late fall and already it is clear she is extremely athletic. She's strong, determined and hasn't met a sport or ball she didn't like. She'll go running on the track with me, run a half mile without getting winded and look like a real runner in training (totally cracks me up - she studies runners and copies their form when she runs). We would love to find some organized sport she can take part in this fall in Oakland, Piedmont or Berkeley but are not sure what (and where) is available for someone her age. Soccer? Ballet? Tennis? (And just to ward off any criticism: we're not pushy parents, in fact we are not athletes ourselves. Our daughter clearly has a physical gift and is happiest when she's in motion, so we'd like to encourage her.) Mother of an athlete-in-training

Please check out the many programs at the Downtown Berkeley YMCA. The URL is

In addition to the swimming lessons you would expect the Y to have there are: Parent-Child Sports for 3 & 4 year olds, Pre-Ballet, Family Dance, Jungle Gym Martial Arts, all geared to her age group.

You might want to talk to your pediatrician about whether its really a good idea for her to be running that far with you now since the growth plates on her bones will not have fused yet. I learned about this from an old friend that taught ice skating to young children, including one named Kristi Yamaguchi. Jenny in N. Berkeley

Parks and Rec often has stuff for smaller kids -- not teams though, classes. We used to go to the classes at Montclair Rec Ctr. In a year she can do (near MLK/Hopkins) -- but she MUST be 4 years. Danspace on Hudson in Oakland (Rockridge) has movement classes at 3.5 years. anon

You could try this: ''lil kickers'' soccer in alameda. I haven't gone yet but am planning to give it a try. Have fun!

Sports league for my 3 1/2 year old son

April 2008

I am interested in getting my 3 1/2 year old started in sports, preferably soccer, basketball or baseball. I live in El Cerrito and have checked out their recreation department but they only offer classes that meet during the week, I need evenings (after 5pm) and weekend leagues. I would go as far east as El Sobrante and as far as North Oakland. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. My son shows a high interest in sports and is very coordinated so I want to get him started now. Thanks so much.

Hi--we just joined the Lil' Sportsters for the first time at the Albany YMCA on Kains Ave.(525-1130) First time for sports, my son recently turned four. They played basketball & soccer in the gym. They have a 3 year old group called the Pee-Wee's in the same gym. If I knew about it earlier would've joined. Found out through this newsletter --How cool is that! anon

Sports for 2.5 year old

April 2007

I am looking for sports opportunities for my 2.5 year old boy (he'll be 3 in August). We are trying the Lil' Kickers soccer class in Alameda, but I would love to have him involved in a type of class or camp that introduces him to a number of sports and associated skills. Most classes/sports start older, it seems, but given my son's temperament and skills (see below) I was wondering if there are any opportunities for younger kids who are advanced.

A little bit about my son: He is extremely active, and unusually coordinated and athletic for his age (not just my assessment!). He loves all sports (baseball, basketball, football, soccer, golf), and I know he would thrive in a more 'formal' sports activity that involved some skills learning in addition to just having fun. He is pretty smart and is used to a full-time preschool setting, so I think he could also follow directions pretty well. Amy

Try Pee Wee Sports at Dimond Park in Oakland. You can find it online by Googling Oakland Parks & Recs and then looking through the programs and classes menu. Alison

Team sports for young kindergartener?

Nov 2006

My young kindergartener is eager to take part in organized sports. I've checked out North Oakland Little League and Rockridge Soccer, but it looks like he is too young to start in those leagues for at least another 1-2 years. Are there other options for an active kid with a late summer birthday? Looking to burn a little extra energy!

Little Kickers operated out of Bladium Sports Club in Alameda is fabulous for little ones. My son has been in it since he was 3 and he loved it - they make it fun and not competitive. Now, he's in a 4-6 age group and it's a bit more competitive (they actually all try to kick the ball on opposing 'teams' within their team) but very supportive in my opinion and he seems to love it. It's an indoor place too, so it's nice that we always have something active to do on a Saturday morning. Lisa

Check out They have introductory classes for 4- to 5-year-olds on Saturday mornings. My daughter turned 5 in Sept. and the class is a very good fit for her age/abilities Liz O.

My 4 year old son plays soccer in a 3-4 year old soccer group at Montclair. The soccer program is offered through the City of Oakland Parks and Rec Dept. and seems to be the only one in the area for children under 5. It's age-appropriate and pretty affordable. My son loves it! You can check out the city's website for more info...Good luck! Maria

Outdoor activities for 3-year-old

March 2004

My daughter is 3 years old and has been attending a preschool which is nice but there are not enough outdoor activities. It is OK during the year but I would like to find a place where my daughter can be more active outside during the summer. Are there any places that would take a 3 year old that offer swiming, hiking, etc.? I guess, I am looking more for a camp than a school. All camps I came across are for children minimum 4 years old. Any suggestions? I live in Montclair. Thanks. A


  • Piedmont Rec Center

    Sports class for 4 1/2 yr. old

    April 2000

    I'm having a hard time finding a soccer or assorted sports class for my 41/2 yr. old. I don't want a camp, because thankfully his school is year-round, rather a class that meets 1 or 2x/week, preferably after school or weekends. We tried the Berkeley Y's new little sportstersclass but were disappointed in their format, plus outdoors is preferable! Any suggestions? Nancy


  • Montclair Rec Ctr
  • Piedmont Rec Center