Which Sports Are Best For Children?
We all know how important physical activity is for children. Not only does it encourage a healthy lifestyle from a young age but it also equips kids with valuable life skills such as teamwork, time management, a strong work ethic, and determination.
But how do you know which sport to encourage your child to play? Of course they might already have an idea of which club or after school activity they want to join or they might just want to do the same sport as their friends.
If they’re not sure what they want to get involved in here are some ideas for age appropriate sports and physical activities they can do.
Ages two to five
At this age kids are still learning about balance and coordination so you might find that organised sports aren’t the most appropriate way to get them moving. Research has also shown that toddlers don’t gain any advantage by being put into organised sports at this age, so don’t worry that they’ll be left behind if you don’t put them into a sports club or team.
The top activities for this age group are running, jumping, catching, throwing, tumbling, and swimming. The first four activities can be practised in the park, and toddler gym and swimming classes will help teach your kids the last two activities in a safe environment.
Ages six to nine
By the time kids are out of the toddler age group their coordination, attention span, and ability to follow instructions improves. This means that this is the perfect time to start looking to more organised activities.
Softball, baseball, tennis, horse riding, and martial arts are all good sports to be involved in, as well as continuing running, swimming, and gymnastics if your children enjoy it.
Ages 10 to 12
At this age your children will be able to understand sports strategies and be ready to learn more complex sports skills. This means that sports such as basketball, football, hockey, cricket, and volleyball become the kind of sports that kids are able to play and understand the rules for.
However, it’s important to remember that growth spurts at this age might affect your child’s coordination so don’t be worried if they suddenly have a problem catching a ball or scoring a goal.
Once children get into their teenage years they have a lot of responsibilities and commitments to fit into their lives. You’ll probably find that your teen has a better social life than you do!
Research has shown that teenagers involved in sports and competitions, such as football trials, are more likely to stay out of trouble and find it easier to concentrate on school work, so if your teen already plays a sport it’s important to encourage them to keep it up.
Being a teenager can be stressful and sports provide a healthy way to relieve stress, making it easier for teenagers to stay calm in difficult situations and manage their emotions appropriately.
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Bill Turner is a quite man who enjoys his home on the South Coast, walking his dog (bones) and writing.
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