Parents instinctively know that sports are good for kids. It’s obvious the exercise, social interactions and discipline taught will all benefit our kids.
Our children observed lots of different sports and determined which sports they were most interested in.
As I learned, there are sports that are better for kids at different ages for different reasons. So then, which sports are appropriate for specific age groups?
Let’s take a look at the general age appropriateness of athletic competitions.
This is not the time to try anything with heavy contact or lots of rules. Your child needs to be focusing more on interacting with other children and learning how to play together.
I took our kids to Gymboree classes where they interacted with other kids and enjoyed hands on play, music and singing.
4 to 5 Year Old’s
Now they can start to have a little more structure in their physical activity. Consider signing them up for team sports like T-ball and basketball. (Obviously, the basketball is going to have to be modified so they can reach the basket.)
Pay special attention to how the coaches handle these kids. At this age, it’s about learning the rules of the game and how to play without too much of a competitive edge. Avoid heavy contact sports and consider something like football if it is no-touch, flag football.
6 to 9 Year Old’s
Once a child is regularly starting school, their ability to concentrate and focus for an extended period of time should be increasing.
Their physical maturity with hand-eye coordination and vision should be more acute. This is the time for more team sports such as football, soccer, softball, and baseball but it’s also a good time for athletic classes.
Two good recommendations that stress flexibility and motor skills are gymnastics and martial arts. And, if you haven’t already taught your child to swim, now’s the time. If they excel at this, you may want to consider signing them up for a swim team.
10 Year Old’s to Teens
At this age, your child may have gotten a taste for different sports and found one that they really like.
Their bodies are more resilient, so you can consider contact sports at a more competitive level such as football, hockey, soccer and lacrosse as well as those which focus more on hand-eye coordination such as basketball, baseball/softball, and volleyball.
If your child prefers solo sports, the teen years is a perfect time to continue with, or sign up for events such as gymnastics, skating, martial arts, archery, swimming/diving, or track.
Know There Will Be Cuts and Scrapes
Just be forewarned they’re going to get cuts and scrapes along the way. This is just a function of being a kid and being active. Make sure the league or school they’re playing for has a concussion protocol that they follow for more serious injuries.
The important thing is to talk to your child and find out what they’re interested in.
Be Prepared for Sports at All Ages
Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind. Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.