FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Jocelyn Yearsley likes many sports, and on Jan. 6, the 5-year-old exercised an opportunity to become more skilled at one of them.

Yearsley, daughter of WO1 Landon and Mandy Yearsley, was one of 15 to attend Toddler Bowling, a program where Rucker Lanes staff members teach children ages 2 to 5 the finer points of bowling.

Rucker Lanes Manager Suzy Kelly said Fort Gordon, Ga., officials implemented the program first, inspiring officials to try it here.

The program grows the sport and helps toddlers develop motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, Kelly said.

Toddlers stretched before beginning the class and practiced getting comfortable handling a bowling ball. Some even practiced the proper and accurate ways to swing it during the first session of a six-lesson plan.

As the classes continue, instructors will teach proper ways to approach the lanes and other game-improving tips, Rucker Lanes operations assistant Traci Clark said. Parents said they also saw their toddlers benefit socially from the classes.

"It lets them spend time with other kids and learn to take turns," said Karen LeMay, wife of 6th Military Police Detachment Commander Capt. David LeMay. LeMay brought her daughter, 2-year-old Madison, to the first class.

ReneAfA Lehl said playing with other children in the program will prepare her son, Cole, 2, for kindergarten.

Both parents appreciated the opportunity to involve their children in another activity, especially an indoor one, Lehl said.

"When it's cold outside, we can't play outside," she said. "It's a great alternative. It's something to get that energy (out)."

To register for classes, which occur on Wednesdays at 10 a.m., call Rucker Lanes at 255-9503.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16