Keeping your kids busy and healthy can pretty much feel like a full-time job. As a parent, you are constantly looking out for your child’s well-being, and always wanting what’s best for them. While a lot goes into the mix, one thing that can make a big difference in their physical, social, and mental well-being is to sign them up for sports. This can include team and solo sports, depending on your child’s age and interests.
If you’re new to being a sports parent and aren’t really sure what sports would be worth considering for your child, you may want to read on. We’ve gone ahead and put together a list of the top sports that are ideal for kids to engage in, for various reasons. You’ll also find that some of these sports work better with a particular age group, helping you to narrow down the list further.
While soccer is a sport that can be played by kids of all ages, it’s ideal to introduce them to it around the ages of six to nine years old. At this point, they will be able to focus for longer periods of time, work on their skills, follow instructions, and really grasp the game. Soccer works on a number of different skills all at once, such as coordination, balance, agility, and speed. Because kids will be running back and forth on the field, it’s also an excellent form of cardio activity.
Baseball, softball, or T-Ball
Depending on the age of your child, you can sign them up for baseball, softball, or t-ball. Unlike soccer, the pace of a baseball game is much slower, which means it can seem less intimidating to kids. This game is all about paying attention and focusing. Of course, it’s also excellent for hand-eye coordination since they need to hit the ball, catch the ball, and throw it accurately.
Swimming is not only a great form of physical activity but it’s also a life-saving skill to learn. Swimming lessons can begin as early as infancy when parents can join baby and parent swim classes. In these classes, parents get into the water too and work with their baby. Even though swimming is a solo-sport, it still offers a whole host of benefits to kids.
In the lesson, kids will need to focus and listen to their instructors. They will be working on their social skills since they will likely be in a class with other kids, it helps build promote lung and heart health, helps with posture and balance, and it can improve a child’s stamina and strength.
Boxing is one of those sports that may not be the first to pop into your mind, but it too can offer all kinds of wonderful benefits for your child. For parents working within a tight sports allowance budget, you’ll also appreciate the fact that very little equipment needs to be purchased for the sport. You’ll only need to purchase boxing gloves, sparring headgear, a mouth guard, boxing hand wraps, and boxing shoes, which you can find on Shoe Guide.
So, what about the benefits of boxing? Kids will be learning self-defense skills, working on their focus and concentration, learning about respect, and building their self-confidence.
Gymnastics is another sport that kids can join relatively young and can actually offer a mix of solo and team participation. Gymnastics is great for building strength and balance, and like many other sports, it also helps to build a child’s focus and attention span. If your child really enjoys gymnastics, you can start to take the more competitive route and start taking part in competitions.
While tennis may seem like a more low-key type of sport, it’s actually a big test in endurance. You are constantly moving in a game of tennis, which means this sport offers incredible physical benefits. Tennis improves a child’s fine-motor skills, endurance, flexibility, strength, and balance. There is also that teamwork atmosphere that is beneficial to them as well.
Kids can start off in tennis lessons, so they can learn all the skills, techniques, and rules of the game, and then they can move into competitions and matches with other players. Tennis is another sport that can be enjoyed for a very low amount of money since you just need a pair of tennis shoes and a racket to get started.
Here’s a sport that anyone can get into without any sort of lessons or training. It can also be enjoyed into adulthood. Running is an activity that can be done outdoors or indoors, which means the time of year or season doesn’t have to affect a person’s ability to take part in the sport. Kids can join a running team at school to get that team-building atmosphere or just go at it alone. Running is not only great for a person’s physical health but also their mental health. For many, running can act as a stress reliever, which can be important to kids nowadays.
Biking is one of those sports that is extremely versatile and flexible. Kids are typically introduced to a tricycle at a young age, and they can work their way up from there. Biking is an activity they can enjoy with friends as they get older, and it’s a great family activity. You can take your bikes to explore trails and areas around your city/town, and you can even rent them while away on holidays.
Biking has been shown to boost a person’s mental well-being, it raises the metabolic rate, which can help people to maintain a healthy body weight, it builds muscle, increases a person’s endurance, and provides kids with time outdoors.
Don’t Just Pick One
When it comes to sports that are popular and beneficial for kids, there’s no reason to pick just one. With so many great options out there, kids should be encouraged to try as many as possible and learn what fits their own interests and skills.