Getting out and about is so important, especially for kids. Being outside and being active not only helps to keep them healthy but also helps their mental health and aids in coping with mental stresses in early life. There are loads of ways kids can get out and be active, but sports can be one of the best ways to do this. There are so many options for kids to choose from and find something that they enjoy, making keeping active fun and exciting instead of a chore. And the earlier we can enforce that being active is fun, the better they’ll view keeping fit as they get older. So here are the 10 best sports for kids to try…
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First up on the list is Football. Perhaps an obvious option, but kids love playing Football, especially with the rise in popularity of Women’s Football. It’s a great form of cardio to help get the heart pumping, and it doesn’t even have to be played professionally. If you don’t want to be taking your kids to clubs or paying for classes, head to the park and play there.
2. Urban Sports
By Urban Sports, we mean cycling, skateboarding, rollerskating, etc. Whilst these might not seem like “sports”, they are a great way to keep your kids active. With the bonus of training the brain to learn the skill of riding a bike or skateboard, they are also one of the most accessible forms of sport to fit into every day. You can bike or scooter to school or the shop, or go to the park or rollerskate around your home; the options are endless and fun!
3. Martial Arts
The third best sport for kids is Martial Arts. Whether you choose Karate, Judo, MMA, or taekwondo, there’s a type of martial arts for every child. Martial Arts give them a way to keep fit, socialise, learn something new and even something to progress with. Most martial arts have levels you have to work up to, which can really help kids with motivation as they have something to work towards, an end goal.
Gymnastics is a trendy sports option for kids. It’s an indoor sport that can be done all year round; it improves flexibility and strength and is an excellent way for kids to turn playing into something productive and fun. Gymnastics is usually a class kids can attend, with the bonus of being something kids do just to keep active, or they can pursue it competitively if they want a challenge.
Like riding a bike, learning to swim is often a milestone for most kids. Whilst it is still taught in schools, it’s a great way to get kids out and be active in a different way. Swimming has so many facets to it, from swimming to swimming underwater and even diving. The variety gives kids loads of ways to keep fit and have fun whilst learning to swim at the same time. You can even grab floats or diving toys to make it fun and encourage kids to want to get better at the sport.
Dancing is another popular sport for kids. Like Martial Arts, there are loads of different types to choose from, like Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, etc, meaning there’s something for everyone. Plus, you can join at any age and work your way up within the classes, giving kids something to work towards. Dance is also a highly social type of sport, helping kids make friends with others of similar and different ages and teaching them how to compete with others (if that’s the route you choose) but also encourage and bond with others.
When it comes to the best sports for kids, basketball might not always be your first thought, but it is a fantastic option. Like Football, it’s a good form of cardio and can be done professionally or casually. You might be surprised to see a lot of parks have basketball hoops, or you can even grab one for the garden to play at home. It’s also a good way to challenge kids mentally, as they need to use their brains to play strategically to win. Basketball, when played in teams, is also an amazing way to build teamwork skills and helps children form close bonds with their teammates.
Tennis is a great sport to get kids outside and into the fresh air. It builds skills such as quick-thinking, accuracy and reaction time whilst also improving agility. Like some of the other sports mentioned, you can play this at a leisure centre, park or school on a tennis court, or you can buy some at-home equipment and play in the garden with nets and rackets. If these options don’t suit you, you could grab a Swingball, which takes up less space and makes it easier for kids to play tennis individually or just in pairs.
Like Urban Sports, walking is one of the easiest sports to fit into everyday life. Kids walk all the time: to school, to the shops, to the park. It’s a great way to keep kids moving and healthy, and it can be done anywhere, anytime. Plus, it’s free! What is there not to love? If you want to make it a bit more challenging, you can head to places that encourage hiking or nature walks that provide different walking levels and terrains.
If you need something to encourage your kid to get out and walk, try geocaching. There are loads of ways to do it on apps or online, and it gives kids little treasure hunts out in nature, encouraging them to think about puzzles to find the treasure. The treasures are everywhere, so there’s always something nearby for you to take part in.
Finally, on our list of the 10 best sports for kids to try, we have hockey. A great cardio team sport for kids to take part in, and one that can be done anywhere, even on ice! It improves skills like strategic thinking, balance (if you’re on ice skates) and agility whilst giving kids a good cardio workout. You can play hockey at an ice rink, in the garden or at a park, and it can really help kids build bonds and keep active at the same time.
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