Best Sports for Kids to Play
You want your kids to get away from the TV and the video games, and you’d like for them to get some exercise, work with others, and just have some fun. Well, this is exactly what sports are for, but which sport is right for your child? We have a list of the best sports for kids to play and exactly what makes each sport so great.
1. Baseball and Tee-ball
One of the best sports to play for kids is baseball. Yes, it’s America’s national pastime, but so much more than that. One great aspect of baseball is that kids can start playing at a very young age, often as young as 3 or 4 years old. No, it doesn’t start off as full-fledged baseball, but as tee-ball, which is where the ball sits on a stand instead of being thrown, thus making it much easier for kids to hit the ball. It’s a great way to introduce kids to an awesome team sport, and it’s something that help develop coordination, timing skills, and muscle.
Baseball is a great sport for kids who might not be overly athletic, but still love being out in the field and catching some rays. Team sports like baseball are always great for kids because they help develop social skills, team building skills, and respect for authority. It’s an all-around fantastic sport that kids can start playing at a very young age, and it comes with a plethora of mental and physical benefits too.
Speaking of team sports, soccer is another one which your kids might really enjoy. If you’re living in the US, you’re probably more inclined to have your kids try their hand at football, but soccer is slowly taking hold. One of the big benefits that comes with signing your kids up for a soccer team instead of football is the fact that it’s much less violent and dangerous.
Of course, this is not to say that nobody gets injured playing soccer, but it’s obviously much different from football, with the issue of concussions and head trauma being the first things that comes to mind.
Soccer is a fairly fast-paced game that will have your kids running up and down the field for an hour or more, and this it is a great form of exercise. Moreover, it’s also another great team-building sport that helps teach kids social skills, how to work with others, and more. There’s also the fact that it always feels great to score a goal.
If you live in a cooler climate, like Canada, the Northern US, or in Northern Europe, you might find that hockey is a very popular and prevalent sport where you live. You might think that hockey, what you see on TV, is far too fast-paced, violent, and complicated for younger kids to play, but this is exactly why they have children’s hockey leagues which usually never allow any kind of physicality, and they certainly don’t allow fist fights to occur either.
Hockey is a great game for kids to play for a variety of reasons. Going back to cold climates, such as in Canada, when it’s winter, chances are you’ll have a frozen pond or an outdoor hockey rink pretty close to where you are. Even if your child is not in a real league, strapping on some ice skates and going out to play some casual hockey with friends is always fun, not to mention a great way to create some distance from those video games.
Once again, being a team sport, hockey is great for teaching kids how to work with others, how to communicate, how to be a part of and follow a structure, how to respect authority, and so much more. Hockey is also a very physically demanding sport, as skating at high speeds is very tiring and cardio intense. In fact, it’s probably one of the best forms of exercise, and a good pizza party after a big win never hurt anybody.
No, we couldn’t leave football out of the equation here, because if you live in the US, chances are huge that football is a big part of life. It’s a great sport to play, one which promotes healthy competition, good sportsmanship, rational though and plan development, strategizing, and more. Of course, football is also physically demanding, thus helping your kids get into shape. In this way, yes, football is great, because it helps build character, toughness, and so much more.
That said, if you have young children, you will only want them playing touch football, not full contact football. Most children’s leagues have some fairly strict rules surrounding contact, tackles, and that sort of thing. Once again, in recent years, it has come to light just how dangerous full contact football is, especially due to brain trauma and the ensuing effects of it. However, your kids don’t have to play full contact football, some simple touch football can be just as fun.
Up until now, we have only covered team sports, and while team sports are great for building social skills and for working with others, they just aren’t for everybody. Some people are overly competitive, some don’t play with others, and some just want all the glory for themselves. Not only that, but it’s all about different strokes for different folks, and tennis is one of those strokes that many folks get into.
Tennis is a great singles sport, although there is of course doubles tennis too. Either way, tennis is extremely fast-paced and physically demanding.
It helps teach coordination and timing, but the main benefit is the exercise. Your kids will sleep like rocks at the end of the day after having played tennis for a couple of hours. It’s very mentally and physically demanding. However, tennis probably is not the best choice for very young kids, but once little Joey or Josephine hits a certain age, it’s definitely a great option to consider. Another thing that many parents will love is that the risk of injury when playing tennis is very minimal, as there is no contact of any sort.
Another great sport for any child is swimming. Most kids love to swim, and this is true whether it is in a lake, the ocean, or a swimming pool. Something about splashing in the water really appeals to kids, and to many adults as well. Of course, here we are talking about competitive swimming, not just splashing around pointlessly.
Going back to injuries, swimming is great for kids who won’t do well in sports with a lot of physicality, such as hockey or football. The chances of getting injured in competitive swimming are fairly minimal. Moreover, if you want your child to get plenty of exercise, competitive swimming might just be the No. 1 choice.
Did you know that there is not a single sport which burns more calories and that is so demanding on the cardiovascular system? There is a reason why pro swimmers are so toned and fit, because swimming burns calories like nothing else. Swimming is also highly competitive, especially at higher levels, something else your kids might appreciate. Some healthy competition never hurt anybody.
Something else you might want to consider for your kids is cycling, a great solo sport. Yes, there are some team cycling events too, but for the most part, cycling is strictly a solo sport. So, while cycling might not be the best option for helping your child with team building skills, it is certainly something which requires a lot of training, practice, and dedication.
Kid’s cycling leagues are not going to be as competitive or extreme as something like the Tour de France, but even kid’s leagues can get pretty intense. If nothing else, cycling is a great workout, especially for the heart, the lungs, and the legs.
If you want your kids to get outside, be healthy, and burn plenty of calories, cycling is one of the best sports out there. Moreover, although cycling is fast-paced, most competitors are respectful, and it’s really not dangerous sport either. We’re not talking about trail riding, or hitting those massive 30 foot jumps — just regular old racing.
Generally speaking, skiing probably is not the first thing parents think of when trying to decide on some sports which would be ideal for their kids. However, it is a sport which many should consider. Skiing comes in many different forms, such as cross-country skiing, downhill, slalom, moguls, downhill, and yes, jumping too. No, you might not want to launch your child down a mountainside doing 100 miles an hour, but you can always start off small.
Skiing is one of those sports which requires a lot of dedication and motivation, and it is very physically demanding too. It might not seem like standing on two planks and hurtling down a hill is physically demanding, but then again, there is a reason why you don’t see any overweight skiers out there.
It’s a great workout for the legs; it builds muscle and balance; and it helps teach timing and coordination as well, and thus, skiing actually features many physical and mental benefits. Moreover, if you have a child that likes playing in the snow and doesn’t mind some fast-paced action, skiing is one of the best sports to consider.
Yes, we are going to talk about golf, and for good reason. The simple fact is that not all kids are built for very intense and physically demanding sports. Everybody is different and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Golf may not be physically demanding in the least, but it is mentally demanding. Golf is one of those sports that is all about being patient, thoughtful, rational, and about being able to plan ahead.
What also needs to be said is that although golfers usually never get physical with one another, it is still very competitive and can help to instill a competitive spirit in your child, not to mention that there is an extremely limited risk of injury. Also, it’s just a good way to get outdoors and enjoy the sun. That said, golf is probably best left to older kids, as it’s fair to assume that a 3 year old won’t enjoy it too much, although they can always start with mini golf.
10. Martial Arts
We have grouped together martial arts into one category. However, this could include anything from karate and taekwondo to judo, wrestling, and anything in between. If you have a child that may be timid, suffer from confidence issues, or is being bullied at school, you may want to consider signing them up for martial arts classes.
In terms of benefits, both physical and mental, all sorts of martial arts are up there with the best of them.
When it comes to mental benefits, martial arts as a whole is all about practice, motivation, and dedication, as well as being able to repeat one thing over and over again, listening to authority, and more. Of course, there is also the physical aspect, because martial arts is great for learning coordination, balance, for building muscle and flexibility, and yes, for learning self-defense as well.
We have discussed 10 of the best sports for kids, but of course, there are many more out there, you just have to find the right one. Whether it’s a team or solo sport, whether it’s highly competitive or not, and whether it is physically or mentally demanding, or both, there is a sport out there ideal for every child.