Nowadays, kids are more prone to stay indoors with their beloved devices than going out and exploring the neighborhood. However, sports are still extremely relevant in today’s society. Not only will participating in sports be beneficial for your child’s physical health, but they will also receive countless learning experiences. Teamwork, perseverance, kindness, and tolerance are all vital skills that children can learn through sports. The trick is to get them interested! Instead of yelling, coercing, or pleading with your kids to be active, try out these ten simple tricks to encourage your little ones to get out there and play some ball!
10 Be The Role Model
Children absorb the most information about how to act, how to listen, and how to behave from their parents. Therefore, it’s crucial for you to become the best role model you can be! Step one of encouraging your child to take part in sports is simply to get out there with them. Set aside sometime every week to exercise with your kiddos. From jogging at the park to shooting some hoops, there are endless possibilities to explore.
You could even sign up for swimming sessions or gymnastics lessons together! Not only will your kids see the fun in sports, but this will also allow you to stay active. Most importantly, it’s always fun to explore new activities together.
9 Play Mini-Games
Sometimes, the rules of traditional sports such as basketball could seem a little complicated and boring to your little ones, especially if they’re not quite at the age to enjoy the full game yet. To kindle their interests in staying active, try implementing fun mini-games. Although most high schools won’t have a four-square team, for example, this fun game will keep your kids interested in staying active, and passion can be developed into basketball in the future. Encourage your kids when they come up with mini-games as well! After all, there’s no need for a six-year-old to know all the details of a volleyball game. The important thing here is to make sure they’re loving every second!
8 Take Them Shopping For Equipment
Little kids love getting new things! A great way to start them off on the right track is to take them to buy some new equipment. Whether it’s a new leotard for starting ballet lessons or some fancy cleats for soccer, your little ones will be far more excited to try out the sport. Get them antsy before you even leave by reading some books about sports, watching some games, and maybe even showing them your old high school sporting uniforms! If they’re not big fans of shopping, you can pick some equipment in exciting colors for them as a surprise gift. Either way, receiving shiny new uniforms or equipment will surely spark your child’s interest!
7 Limit Screen Time
Although the iPad seems to be physically attached to the laps of many children in this era, it’s important to remember that there are many alternatives that are more beneficial for your kiddo’s health. By firmly limiting screen time, you’ll open your child’s eyes to the fun of various sports. Of course, you should be ready for complaints, whining, and possible tears when you set the limits, but chances are that your little one will forget all about their devices when you take them outdoors for some exercise. In fact, you may find that your kids will go outside to shoot some hoops all on their own when they don’t have access to the iPad!
6 Do Some Projects On Sports Figures
What do children love more than getting new things? Arts and crafts, of course! Take some time to teach your child about some famous sports figures in history, and make a fun project out of it! Gather up paints, markers, and a poster board and make a presentation on Babe Ruth, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, or anyone else your child may be interested in.
You can help your child find fun facts about the person and their sport, and have them present the poster to your partner! Not only is this a wonderful hands-on bonding experience for you both, but your little one will be so much more interested in the sport that they researched!
5 Always Stay Positive
Especially on sports teams, kids may feel pressured to succeed. A missed shot, a bad landing, or a slip-up during a recital could hurt both your child’s interest in the sport as well as their self-confidence. Therefore, it’s paramount for you to always stay positive and support your child as much as you can. Even when your kiddos lose games, take them out for ice cream and talk about the good effort they put in. Make sure they understand that the objective is always to have fun and that winning is not always expected of them. Doing so will help boost your child’s confidence and ensure that they don’t give up on a sport easily!
4 Know Their Limits
In order to ensure that your child maintains interest, you must make sure that sports remain as a fun activity and never as an obligation. While you should encourage perseverance during sports, you should also understand the limits of your child based on their personality and their age group. For example, don’t get frustrated when your kindergartener would rather run around the court aimlessly than shoot hoops. In the end, it’s much more important to ensure that your child is having fun and being active rather than forcing them to jump right into a sport. A great way to cope with kids’ short attention spans is to lay out a variety of different activities to try.
3 Team Up With Their Friends’ Parents
Sometimes, half the reason kids love sports is due to their friends also love sport. There’s nothing better than having someone to play with, no matter the activity. If you want your kids to fall in love with a sport, teaming up with some other parents may be your best bet! Especially for sports camps, lessons, and local teams, you’ll probably have a much easier time convincing your child to attend if their best friend is also attending. Furthermore, giving them a buddy will greatly improve your child’s social skills, perseverance, and dedication to the sport. As a plus, you can work out carpools and have parents to connect with at games and events!
2 Start Out Early
Although it’s never too late to get your kids involved in sports, there are considerable advantages to starting them out as early as possible. Kids are more likely to view the sport as a part of their essential life routines when they’ve been doing it since before preschool, and they’re much less likely to quit the sport later on. Furthermore, starting lessons and practices early will give them more experience than other kids in the same age group, which will, in turn, improve their self-confidence. You can find all types of early learning gyms across the country to enroll your toddler in, so don’t hesitate to get started!
1 Explore Unique Options
If your kid just doesn’t seem to be interested in traditional sports, you should look into a less common option that perhaps they haven’t considered. Instead of basketball, dance, volleyball, or baseball, perhaps they’d enjoy trying out various forms of martial arts, tennis, figure skating, or even quidditch! There are plenty of outlandish sports that are a wonderful form of exercise and a refreshing change for your little one. Furthermore, long-term dedication to one of these unique sports will also allow them to stand out from the other athletes at school and for college applications! It’s never too early to start considering such things, after all.