Keeping children active is important, and in many ways it actually comes quite naturally when they’re young. You’re probably quite familiar with some of the most common kinds of kids activities physical activity your kids enjoy: you might drop them off at friends’ houses for active play dates, and you’ve likely purchased a pe-kit or two from Marks and Spencer for those school PE activities your kids take part in. The bottom line? Kids have lots and lots of energy, and schools and parents alike provide these kinds of activities to help them to use that energy to stay active and healthy.
But sometimes, in addition to ordinary games and PE-style physical activity, it’s a good idea to introduce real sports to your kids at young ages. As kids grow up, they become busier with hobbies and schoolwork, and physical exercise comes a bit less automatically. Introducing sports can be a good way to provide a more sustainable activity. So, here are a few tips on how to introduce sports to young children in a natural, fun way.
See Which Sports Take
Many parents make the mistake of emphasizing a single sport too much for their kids. However this is a great way to keep your kids uninterested in that sport! Different sports appeal to different people, and for that reason it’s important to introduce a number of different sports to see which ones your kids take after naturally, and which ones they enjoy.
Take An Active Role
Show some enthusiasm for whichever sports your kids enjoy playing. That doesn’t mean you have to be standing over them while they play – but don’t just ship them off to the nearest tennis club for lessons a few days a week. Take an active role and help to build a healthy enjoyment of the activity.
Keep It Light & Fun
Don’t turn your kids’ sports into serious activities while they’re young. If they grow older and become serious athletes, it’s okay for athletics to become a bit more serious and intense. But for young children, keep sports fun and interesting. Organize games that build skill, and let your kids compete for fun with other kids their age.
Work On Good Habits
While you want to keep things light and fun, it’s also important to help your children form good habits. A sound technical approach to a sport can begin to develop at an early age, and if you help your kids to develop proper habits (either through paid instruction or your own experience and coaching), you’ll make it easier for your kids to stick with sports if they choose to in later years. Try to come up with fun ways to practice technique and habits!
Avoid The “Burn Out”
Finally, don’t push your kids to “burn out” on athletics. Don’t make sports too serious, and never push your young children to play when they don’t want to. Most kids naturally enjoy athletic activity of some kind, so let them develop preferences on their own.