Sports for kids provide benefits beyond improving fitness. According to Parents, sports teaches sportsmanship, teamwork and improves hand-eye coordination. Strained school budgets have resulted in phasing out P.E. for some schools, and school sports tend to be elective, so the responsibility of finding the best sports for kids falls to the parents. It might be easier if you, yourself, are active in some sort of sport, such as the office softball team, bowling or weekend tennis. Even if you jog a few mornings a week or everyone gets involved in a family sport such as hiking or biking, it will be easier to get your kids interested in kids sports.
Almost Any Sport is the Best Sport for Kids
It could be that piquing your kids’ interest isn’t the issue. Maybe the dilemma is looking at the list of sports for kids and deciding which one your child should participate in. The Mayo Clinic advises that there isn’t one master list of sports for kids. Instead, take into consideration your child’s age and interests. For example, toddlers up to age 5 won’t benefit much from formal, structured sports, but they are at a good age to be introduced to kids sports that make use of the endless energy they have to expend. Programs such as soccer tots allow them to run, kick balls and even take a few tumbles on the grass. Other preschool age-appropriate activities could include throwing, catching, swimming and even tumbling as an introduction to gymnastics.
When kids hit 6 years old, they can start participating in school sports and extracurricular sports such as T-ball, flag football, tennis, gymnastics and soccer. The 6 to 9 year block is a good time to introduce kids to martial arts, skating and basketball, too. Of course you’ll want to discuss it all with your child. It’s not true that children and sports go hand in hand. Some kids are naturally drawn to less physical activities, so signing them up for gymnastics or the pee-wee basketball league will intimidate and frustrate them. Maybe your child is drawn to a sport that isn’t team-oriented such as golf or skiing. Whatever their preference, encourage it and become their biggest supporter and fan.
Parents of super-sport kids shouldn’t worry about their children being too involved. The NY Times says that participation in multiple sports is actually beneficial. It allows your child to try out different sports for kids, it provides variety to prevent burnout, and it also helps them develop a range of differing skills. Additionally, a child who is involved in more than one sport has the opportunity to use different muscles and body parts at different times, preventing overuse injuries or at least giving the fatigued, overused muscles a chance to rest. As long as your kid is getting enough rest and has time for schoolwork, involvement in multiple sports for kids shouldn’t present a problem.