Children ages one to six are still developing all the basic motor skills they need to participate in activities such as sports when they are older. It is important to remember that each child’s growth and development vary from the other. This is why there are different ways you can help and support them in taking part in physical activities as early as you can into their toddler years.
Sports do not only help a child grow physically but mentally as well. It also teaches them social skills as they will learn sportsmanship from playing and being in a team. Your child is never too young to try out sports. It has a lot of long-term benefits, and it’s a great activity that will keep them out of their iPads and get out for some sunlight and fresh air.
Aside from personal growth and development, getting your kids involved in sports should be fun rather than being competitive. As a parent, you cannot determine what they’ll want to do when they grow up. However, you can encourage them to try different things and give them opportunities to explore what they want.
Here are some ways to motivate and involve your kids in sports:
Give Them Options
Before you sign your kids to any sports program or camp:
- Do a simple trial run.
- Introduce them to a variety of sports.
- Show them some options.
- See if anything catches their interest.
If they’re too young to tell or say, you can try giving them toys. Give them different sports-related toys such as balls, bats, rackets, and more. You can also try introducing them to swimming, running, and biking. Observe what they enjoy the most and try playing that particular sport for a couple of weeks before going for a long-term commitment such as camps or summer schools.
Make Them Watch Different Sports Games
Since introducing them to sports using toys is limited, try showing them the variety of sports they can play. Don’t force them to watch one sport that you want them to try. Since their bodies are not yet fully developed, it is important for them to find an activity they will truly be comfortable with so they can have fun. While a parent’s instinct is to avoid activities or sports with a high-risk injury such as running or gymnastics, don’t limit your child to one sport. You may also feel like you'll need to teach them strict rules regarding a certain sport. Instead, allow them to play freely as it will help them grow physically while having fun.
Observe How They Play and Grow
Knowing your child’s personality is important in encouraging them to try sports. The most important thing is for them to have fun. It’s too early for them to be practising for competitions unless they have the knack or natural talent for it. Make sure that they are they will love playing. Keep things simple and teach them only the essentials of every sport they might be interested in. If you feel like a specific activity is not having a positive impact on your child, try and look for other sports they might like. Explore other options that will give them the chance to try out different positions and roles but still have fun in the process. Make sure that they’ll also get a chance to try individual and group sports. You can also lead by example. Play with your kids and involve the rest of the family if possible.
Try Sports Camps with Other Children
Playing team sports requires a lot of skills such as following rules, learning how to focus, and teamwork. Working with others can be frustrating, so the parent needs to practice patience when introducing their child to a group activity. If your child is an only child, this will give them a chance to improve their communication skills as well. You can also find out what sports their friends are playing and ask their parents if you can coordinate a fun sports day with their friends. You can also have your child invite their friends over to play or watch some sports. Keep it simple and fun.
Encourage Them to Try Other Sports
Don’t forget to always encourage them to explore their interests or try something new. Since children have a short attention span, they can get bored or sick of one activity fast. So, don’t commit to the first sport they get interested in by investing in expensive equipment or training programs. Instead, ask them if they are having fun and encourage them to explore their interests.
While it is important to keep their options open, you can also teach them about commitment. Make them commit to doing that sport for a specific period. They might suddenly lose interest in the sport they are currently playing, so make them promise to wait until the current season is over before they get to try a new one. This will give them a chance to determine if they are really interested in that sport.
Sports and physical activities positively impact a child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It helps them physically grow, learn how to work with others, experience loss, and other important experiences to growing old. Your main goal should not be to make them professional athletes but to help them gain important skills that they will need in life.
After each day of fun games activities, allow your child to rest and recover. Give them some time to regain their energy for more physical activities. Before a good night's sleep, spend some time with your child and give them a relaxing bath to recharge their mind and body. A quick bath or shower does not rid them of all the dirt and sweat from the day. Keep them clean without drying their delicate and sensitive skin by safe products for sensitive skin. Check out Babyology’s line of bath products that use nothing but 100% edible products that are safe for kids of all ages including babies.