Children's Programs

Classes that help kids reach their full potential

YMCA children's programs build a foundation for physical fitness that will last a lifetime by helping kids get active in a fun, safe setting.

Each YMCA in the GTA offers the following programs for kids:

 Children stand in a line each holding a basketball, ready to dribble

YMCA sports lessons are designed to be energetic, fast-paced, inclusive, and fun for everyone. We know kids learn by doing, so we keep them moving for the whole class — no sitting around watching others play! Everyone’s involved in skill-building activities at all times, and everyone gets to participate in a game each class. Sports should be a fun, positive experience for kids, which is why we focus on building team spirit by ending every class with a cheer.

YMCA instructors explain the curricula for our basketball and soccer programs.

Register your kids for:

  • Basketball: children from 3 – 14 years are divided into different classes based on age. They'll learn all the fundamentals of the sport that was invented at the YMCA.
  • Soccer: children from 3 – 14 years are divided into different classes based on age. Using a combination of drills, progressions, and games, they'll learn how to pass, receive, dribble, shoot, and more.
  • Variety Sports: older children ages 6 – 14 can branch out and play different sports each week throughout the year. Seasoned players can put their experience to the test, while beginners will get lots of expert support to learn new skills.

 A martial arts instructor faces his class and demonstrates while the children imitate his movements

Martial arts lessons keep kids active while teaching them important life skills, including self-discipline and leadership. Register your kids for:

  • Karate: This Japanese-style martial art promotes core stability, agility, balance, flexibility, and endurance. Our certified instructors use kata technique, drills, and sparring to teach kids punches, kicks, and defensive techniques.
  • Taekwondo: This Korean art form promotes full-body physicality with a focus on flexibility. Children will learn hand and foot techniques, patterns, self-defence, and sparring.

 Two girls smile and dance with their arms up in the gymnasium

Our certified instructors teach kids foundational dance movements and routines. Children will be introduced to a fun new way to stay active, and be encouraged to let their creativity flourish.

Each class begins with stretching and conditioning exercises designed to help the kids get warmed up and ready to move. Next, dancers will learn short combinations of moves that they'll perform while moving across the floor. The kids are then broken up into smaller groups, where they get close attention from instructors as they learn new moves and work to refine their technique. Each class ends with the dancers practicing and adding on to their routine, which they get to perform at their dance recital.

 A young boy smiles while floating on a noodle in the pool, assisted by his swim instructor

At the Y, basic swim skills are just the beginning. Our expert instructors make sure kids learn the fundamentals at their own pace, stay active and engaged, and are always working towards new challenges to keep their learning experience exciting.

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Registration now open

Ready to get started? Find the YMCA in your neighbourhood and pay us a visit. While you’re here, you can register your child for their lessons and get a free tour of our facilities, so you can see where they’ll be taking their classes.

Have questions you want answered first? Give us a call at 416-928-9622, or read our FAQ.

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How your child will learn and grow

Beyond the physical benefits of endurance, strength, coordination, and agility, YMCA programs have a lot to offer:

  • Our certified staff create diverse lesson plans designed to support kids as they build skills at their own pace.
  • Once they master the fundamentals, we continue challenging kids with new progressions, drills, and activities. They're always learning, developing their skills, and honing their technique.
  • Our expert staff go beyond teaching the basics, and ensure every child gets to build confidence; develop life-long skills like leadership, self-discipline, and teamwork; and make new friends.
  • We know kids learn by doing, so we keep them moving for the whole class. If our kids are sweating and tired by the end of their lesson, we know we've done our job!
  • The YMCA prides itself on providing safe, inclusive spaces, so our programs are designed to be welcoming and do-able for kids of all abilities and fitness levels.
  • Kids get to showcase their learning and new skills at special events scheduled throughout the year.

Sign your child up today! Find your Y and drop by to register.

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