Summer is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to get your kids involved in sports classes. Especially post-pandemic, fitness levels have decreased in children due to online classes, resulting in gadget addiction. Most physical instructors at schools complain about kids’ reduced fitness levels and stamina, whereas teachers complain about the lack of concentration. Hence it’s time for us to reintroduce our children to sports in either organized or unorganized form. Sports classes or sports camps during the summer will be the best possible solution to this problem.
There are a host of benefits to playing sports, either in an organized or unorganized way. One can choose competitive sports or learn new sports/games to play recreationally. Whatever may be the form, the child can explore different sports forms and decide which sports interest him more. These summer sports programs would help to keep the children active and engaged during the hot summer days.
Benefits of playing Sports:
- Improved physical health: In this day and age, with the rise of technology and sedentary lifestyles, it’s more important than ever to encourage our children to be physically active. The children can get the required exercise and have fun by playing sports. In addition, regular physical activity has numerous benefits, including maintaining a healthy weight, improving cardiovascular health, and boosting overall mood and well-being.
- Teaches life skills: Sports classes aren’t just about physical activity; they also allow kids to learn essential life skills. For example, team sports teach children about teamwork, communication, and leadership. Individual sports, on the other hand, teach children about perseverance, goal setting, and self-discipline. They also teach problem-solving skills and creative/quick thinking, which are essential for any field in the future. These skills become a foundation for the child’s future life, as they are the most crucial life skills for anyone.
- Improved Emotional/Mental Health: Research has shown that playing sports enhances the production of the dopamine chemical in our body. These feel-good chemicals not only improve our happiness but builds a positive self-image. Sports improve self-esteem and provide an outlet for bursting children’s stress and anxiety levels. Children will learn how to identify/manage and navigate difficult emotions while playing sports. Sports also improve the brain’s cognitive functioning, improving the children’s focus and concentration.
- Promotes socialization skills: Sports classes allow kids to socialize with others beyond their local neighborhood or schools. They will make new friends, learn to work with others, and develop social skills to benefit them. For children who may be shy or introverted, sports classes can be a great way to break out of their shells and gain confidence in social situations.
- Provides a break from technology: Let’s face it – technology is a big part of our lives and our children’s lives, too. While technology can be a great tool, it’s important to balance it with other activities, such as physical activity. Sports classes provide a break from screens, allowing kids to get outside and move their bodies. Being physically active improves their emotional health as well.
- Teaches the importance of time-management skills: As the children move into higher schools, they must multi-task and prioritize their work. Attending sports classes and balancing their academics provides just the right kind of foundation for multi-tasking and time management.
- Sports classes can be fun! Lastly, sports classes can be a lot of fun for kids. There’s something for everyone, whether they’re playing team sports like cricket, soccer, or basketball or individual sports like swimming, tennis, or gymnastics. When kids have fun, they’re more likely to stick with an activity long-term and develop a lifelong love of physical activity.
Recommended Types of Sports Classes based on the age of the children
So, what are some of the sports classes you can consider enrolling your kids in this summer? Some sports can even be played at home along with the parents. Here are a few ideas based on the age of the children:
For toddlers and young kids:
For children aged 3 to 6 years, their gross motor skills are just developing, and they are gaining control over their larger limbs and balance. Hence, it’s time for you to introduce them to simple games like skipping, hopping, and jumping. These can be played at home or park, depending on your convenience. These games are more fun for the kids, and they will improve their body confidence.
For Kids and Tweens:
Individual sports like martial arts, gymnastics, dancing, and running are best suited to older kids. The team sports like cricket, soccer, basketball, or volleyball could be better options for elementary kids. The kids become more aware of their interests and choices at this age. So introducing them to various sports during the vacation breaks is a good idea, as they would be able to decide which sport to concentrate on during the later years. If you haven’t introduced them to swimming earlier, then it’s the right time to do so.
By this time, the kids who are interested in sports will have chosen one or the game and would be getting trained to play at the competitions. If your teen is not inclined toward sports or games, then the next best choice is cycling, hiking, swimming, or trekking could be a good option. Teenage is another crucial stage during which the physical body develops rapidly. Hence these teens need to move away from the couches and spend time outdoors, moving and having fun.
Of course, these are just a few examples of the sports the children can play. There are many other options, so finding something your child enjoys that fits their interests and abilities is essential. Whatever the game kid likes, they need to have fun and enjoy while being there.
Another word of caution, not all kids would be interested in playing the sports at a competitive level or making it to the big leagues. But that shouldn’t stop them from playing different sports, as these sports would definitely help in improving their physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
QOTD: Ask your child which sport he would like to try this summer and what is his/her plan to learn a new sport during these holidays.