Strengthening a youngster's body and coordination may be one of the keys to helping them master higher learning skills later on.
A class called Nurturing Pathways is trying to help little ones lay a strong foundation for lifelong learning.
Brandi Olden has danced for decades and thought her 20-month-old daughter Juliet might develop a similar passion.
“I thought it would be fun that I would have something to do with her together," said Olden.
So it’s only natural smiles are plastered on both their faces as they take the Nurturing Pathways' class together in Seattle's Phinney Ridge neighborhood.
The class is taught by Christine Roberts who pairs boundless energy with an obvious passion for movement and its connection to child development.
“The principle here is that movement is a child's first language," said Roberts.
Roberts says encouraging even the youngest children to explore movement helps with all kinds of learning later on.
"And once they've mastered their coordination and mastered their bodies then they're ready to master their higher level learning skills," said Roberts.
One class is for waddlers, but one of her older students, 3-year-old Soraya, is eager to explain her favorite time in class.
“It's when I do the obstacle course!" said Soray.
Soraya's dad credits nurturing pathways with helping his daughter develop.
"Well, the mind controls the body and the body controls the mind. So I think there's the connectivity of all the little neurons and everything up there is greatly affected by the way your balance and move and exercise those things," said James Drage, Soraya’s dad.
That's exactly the philosophy embraced by Roberts, who says she expects great things from her tiny students.
“I expect to see profound, big vocabularies, really wonderful motor coordination. I expect to see that they're able to use their creative capacities and feel really good about exploring their bodies and finding new ways to move that they wouldn't otherwise have been aware of had they not participated in the program," said Roberts.
As for little Juliet and her mom Brandi, while there may be big payoffs down the line, they're perfectly happy with the benefits they're experiencing right now.
“Whenever we talk about it and are like, 'We're going to dance class!' she's like up out of the chair, ready to go. She's excited!" said Brandi.
Even if you can't sign your little one up for a Nurturing Pathways class, Roberts suggests enrolling youngsters in some type of program with structured movement activities. She also says engage your children in active play at home.
Learning for Life airs every Wednesday on KING 5 Morning News on KONG 6/16 TV between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m.