These days there are many sports for kids to get started with. So much so, it’s hard to know which is the right one for your children to get involved with. Getting children to participate in sports is a great way to promote their all-round development.

Often, kids are too young to decide for themselves what sport they’d like to play, so you can help them choose. Even better, get them involved in a few sports, and then let them decide which one they like best.

So, what are the best sports for kids to play? Look no further. We have chosen 10 of the best sports for kids and their benefits to make your search a little easier.

kids celebrate winning football competition

Reasons Why Kids Should Be Involved in Sport

Health and Fitness

In this new day and age of smartphones, tablets, countless TV channels and games targeted to children, it can be hard to get your kids physically active.

So, the most obvious benefit that children will get from playing a sport or sports, is the physical exercise- and all while having fun and playing outside.

In addition, your child will improve their overall fitness while maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of illness and disease both now and as they grow up.

Physical Development

Children who play sports develop stronger muscles and bones than children that don’t- and this is proven by research.

Lots of physical activity is needed during a child’s year of development to increase their resilience to injury and their overall growth. Most of an individual’s bone mass is acquired before the age of 18 for a woman, and before the age of 20 for a man.

Mental Development

Children develop an array of skills by playing sports, including teamwork, strategy and communication skills. The production of endorphins in the body is proven to increase by regular exercise- meaning that your child will have an overall improvement in their mood. One of the best things you can do for your child as a parent is getting them involved in any form of physical activity or sport.

Best Sports for Kids ideas

10 Best Sports for Kids to Play

Martial Arts

Martial Arts are increasing in popularity, with Martial Arts being included in the schedule of a number of schools. It’s one of the sports that facilitates the all-round development of children, in terms of emotional, spiritual, mental and physical growth. Some Martial Art sports are even in the Olympic Games program.

There are many Martial Arts that kids can learn, including Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, and many more. They all share two things in common: mental and physical conditioning.

What are the benefits?

Most associate Martial Arts with merely fighting, or as a method of self-defence. In fact, Martial Arts instil a sense of discipline and teaches focus and self-control.

Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a popular sport in the Olympic program, and it’s quickly gaining popularity amongst kids. Especially because it’s a sport that provides all the dominant movement patterns that are required in other sports. It’s common to find kids practicing both Gymnastics and Martial Arts as the one sport compliments the other in terms of skill, agility and technique.

What are the benefits?

First and foremost, gymnastics promotes flexibility and balance. The sport also demands children to be nimble-footed and agile. In a social aspect, Gymnastics encourages children to be strong and fearless.

Swimming

Swimming is a great sport to tackle the fear of water and heights. It’s also a sport that can never be forgotten once learnt. Overall, swimming is an essential and life-saving sport.

What are the benefits?

Swimming helps to develop a child’s ability without having to compete with anyone. It helps to improve heart function, lung capacity and respiration. 

It’s a sport that guarantees well-rounded physical development and plenty of fun for your kids.

kids playing football

Football

One of the most popular and best sports for kids to play is football. Football is fast gaining popularity with star footballers creating an adrenaline rush associated with the sport. Kids are training to become champions.

What are the benefits?

Football facilitates discipline, fairness, teamwork and plenty of physical benefits. Physical benefits include weight control, cardiovascular endurance, coordination, muscle strength, speed and flexibility.

Running

Running is an excellent activity for kids to be involved with. It’s one of the best forms of exercise that kids can get with practically no costs involved. The sport has gained immense popularity with Marathons being organized regularly, and of course, running being an Olympic sport.

What are the benefits?

Running improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, endurance, focus and concentration. 

In fact, running reduces the risk of common colds and flu by building up their immunity and developing lung power.

Tennis

Tennis has been put on the international map thanks to players like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The sport has gained a lot of popularity worldwide, so naturally, Tennis has also gained popularity amongst kids as well. Children are taking a liking to the sport as it involves a competitive nature.

What are the benefits?

Tennis requires children to be quick thinkers and nimble-footed. It also encourages strategic thinking, technique and accuracy.

The sport helps improve cardiovascular fitness and builds muscle strength.

Basketball

Basketball is a great way to get kids physically active with just a ball and a hoop. It’s a great way to get a shy child to play with a team, plus, the sport offers plenty of benefits.

What are the benefits?

Basketball encourages eye-foot coordination when dribbling the ball, while reflexes and quick thinking is improved with passes. 

The sport’s defence and offence teaches children to control their body. While running around with the ball develops their agility and improves their muscle strength.

Cycling

Kids are crazy for riding bikes, so why not turn it into a sport? Bicycling instils a sense of independence, freedom and pride. With different bicycles available you can now engage in bicycling activities with your kids.

What are the benefits?

The first benefit kids get from bicycling is road safety and endurance. Socially, kids learn to be more disciplined, patient and confident. In fact, the physical benefits of bicycling improves reflexes, coordination, balance, leg strength and improves cardiovascular functions.

Baseball

Over 3 million kids participate in the Little League Baseball organization between the ages of 5 and 18 in the USA. So if your kid aspires to be the same, why not let him or her start early?

What are the benefits?

Baseball is another team sport, so your kid will learn about leadership, teamwork and discipline. Baseball improves physical strength, balance and hand-eye coordination in children. The sport is also pretty harmless, with elbows and hamstrings as typical injuries.

Netball

Netball is a non-contact sport that requires fast reaction time and quick decision making. Your kids will improve their cardiovascular endurance by having to sprint up and down the court. Typically, Netball has a reputation for being a sport that’s primarily female dominated. More recently, Netball has seen a growing number of boys getting involved in the fast paced and fun action, so it’s a perfect sport for both girls and boys.

What are the benefits?

Netball offers a good cardiovascular workout as the sport requires a lot of running, sprinting and changing of direction. Netball improves overall fitness while increasing the strength and flexibility of the player. Other positive developments include improved reaction time, depth perception and hand-eye coordination.

Final Thoughts

The above is just a very short list of the best sports for kids to play, but there are many others such as Hockey, Rugby and Cricket. Getting your kids involved in sport from an early age offers an array of benefits, so it’s a great idea.

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