Sports are a quintessential part of childhood, or at least they used to be. Around half of today’s kids don’t participate in any sporting activities outside of school. It’s a shame, considering how important physical activity is for a child’s development.
It might just be a case of kids not being familiar with any sports and being too afraid to try. Encouragement can go a long way towards fostering a love for sports. You can start nourishing that lifestyle through kids birthday and party activities. If you want to find the right sport for your child, have them try out any of the following examples and you can be sure that one of them will catch on.
It’s hard to imagine a more straightforward sport than soccer. With a single ball and a little imagination, kids can play this sport for hours. Little kids often fashion goalposts spontaneously from anything in the vicinity, whether it’s trees or jackets that they put on the ground. It’s the ultimate low-maintenance sport, which is why it’s so popular across the world.
For such a simple sport, soccer provides plenty of benefits for a child’s development. While the focus is on running, it’s far from just an endurance sport. Soccer requires intense and precise movements, which positively affect a child’s physique. The endurance is just icing on the cake.
Not to mention, it’s a sport that’s almost exclusively played in the outdoors. Your child can stay active, have fun with friends, and get more than enough fresh air while playing soccer. Best of all, it’s extremely easy to get into.
The idea of children fighting might scare some parents, but that shouldn’t stop them from enrolling their children in martial arts. While these types of activities may seem rooted in violence, in reality, they’re as far from it as you can go.
Martial arts provide children with outstanding lessons in discipline and self-control in a safe environment. They can teach kids how to handle situations without resorting to violence and how to hold their own if they’re being bullied or harassed. The essence of martial arts such as Karate and Taekwondo is defence, while offence is considered a last resort.
Even if you disregard the fighting aspect, martial arts help children develop in a healthy and balanced way. Plus, they teach skills that will last children well into their adult lives.
It’s hard to discuss sports for kids without mentioning basketball. B-ball is right behind soccer when it comes to popular sports, and for good reasons. Just about everyone knows how to play basketball, even if they don’t know every single rule. The core of the sport is to aim well and throw the ball in the hoop. Dribbling and quick passes help improve hand-eye coordination and make children feel like professionals at a young age.
Most parks and schools have at least one basketball court, which makes the sport accessible to kids of all ages. One of the great benefits of basketball is that kids can have fun on their own. You don’t need a partner to practice hoops on the court. At the same time, teamwork is crucial when playing basketball with friends. The skills of one player don’t transfer well if they can’t coordinate with their teammates. It’s a great way to teach kids that they have to cooperate with their peers to reach success.
There are little to no risks when playing B-ball. At most, a child might slip and fall down or pull their hamstring if they aren’t careful. With good practice, these scenarios are rare enough as it is.
Speaking of team play, there’s one that requires cooperation above all else—rugby. While many view it as a sport for brute strength and determination, the crux of the game is good coordination with teammates. Getting the ball from one end to the other is not a task for one player alone.
Rugby is a versatile sport that can teach kids team play, hand-eye coordination, and the value of intense training. There’s also an element of respect when participating in a rugby league. Kids can wear their badges with honour when they win a match against an opposing team. With rivalry comes a healthy dose of competitive spirit—which is all in good fun, of course.
When it comes to physique building, swimming is king. It’s touted as one of the healthiest and most well-balanced activities for people of all ages, but it’s considered especially good for kids. Swimming helps build endurance, strength, and joint health. If your child knows how to stay afloat, they can get started with swimming.
One of the great things about water-based sports is that there’s a lot of variety. Kids don’t have to stick to swimming to have fun. They can try sports such as water polo or competitive diving if they want to. It doesn’t have to be a competition, either. Swimming can be a fun activity on its own. It’s refreshing and works up a healthy appetite.
Swimming lessons can be handled in different ways. Groups tend to swim together during exercises, but coaches can help improve individual swimmers’ techniques as they go along.
Every child is enthusiastic about riding a bicycle for the first time. Once the training wheels come off, the enthusiasm only gets stronger. Kids like to ride their bicycle for multiple reasons. For one, it’s their first individual method of transportation. They can use their bike to go to a friend’s house or get to school more quickly.
Riding a bike is a pretty fun activity on its own. Covering lots of ground while on two wheels can be exciting, especially when done in the outdoors. With the right type of tires, a child can traverse nearby parks or forested areas with ease. As long as they have knee pads and a helmet, they’re safe from harm.
It’s crucial that a child has a bike that fits them. Parents rarely have trouble finding the right kind of bicycle for their kids. There are plenty of kids bikes for sale online, where you can choose the colour and type of bicycle that would best suit your child.
While a child might outgrow their first bicycle, they’ll never outgrow their love for cycling. Nowadays, people choose to travel by bicycle wherever they go, as it’s an environmentally-friendly form of transportation and provides plenty of exercises.
While golf might seem like the sport of septuagenarians, it’s actually plenty of fun. People of all ages can enjoy golfing once they get the hang of it. This sport values patience and strategy above all else, but there’s still an element of strength and skill involved. Children might not be ready to hit a hole in one right away, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun trying.
Kids around the age of five can start learning golf on a smaller scale. Mini golf is a great place to start the journey. The colourful and creative settings help get kids interested. If they show a liking to the sport, you can show them the ropes on a real course. A driving range can help kids learn in a low-cost and no-pressure environment.
Once they get older, they’ll appreciate the soothing feeling of playing on a golf course even more.
There’s no shortage of sports kids can participate in. Don’t think that your child has to stick to one sport once they get going. Kids are surprisingly adaptable and they can learn new skills much quicker than you’d expect. If they show special enthusiasm for a particular sport, encourage them to improve and help them evolve in their new hobby. Whether they choose to go pro or not doesn’t matter. The skills they learn from trying out new sports will last them a lifetime and improve their health significantly.