Sports, or any physical activity, are crucial for a child’s development and well-being. Whether organized by a school, a club or just a few friends in their free time, sports offer countless opportunities for a child’s physical, social and emotional growth!
Getting active is important for young children who are at a stage in life where physical development occurs quickly. Specifically, sports help with physical growth in these ways:
Motor skills: Hand-eye coordination and timing come with movement and practice. Sports are perfect for training both.
Bone and muscle development: Occasional resistance stimulates the growth and strengthening of muscles and bones. Too much can hurt growth though, so don’t let your child go without rest.
Stronger vision: Taking in an appropriate amount of natural light will decrease the probability of your child developing vision problems in the future. But on really sunny days, a hat or glasses should still be worn to protect your child’s eyesight.
Almost every organized sport is played with teams. The competition, and the team dynamic itself, comes with perks and lessons for your child:
Team skills: Communication, understanding rules and the importance of sharing are vital skills your child will learn when playing sports.
Friend group: Your child may not like every person on their team but spending time with other children at practice can foster strong friendships.
Confidence: Making friends is not always easy, but playing sports with other children offers opportunities for your child to practice introducing theirself and feeling like they are a part of the group.
When it comes to developing emotional traits and qualities, childhood is an important time in a person’s life. Organized sports not only help build a strong foundation for emotional growth, but also have some added benefits:
Self-esteem: Being a part of a team can give your child a sense of importance, and going to practice to get better can offer a sense of accomplishment as well.
Lower stress: “Letting it out on the field,” is sometimes very healthy. Sports can be a physical outlet for stress, leading to improved sleep and a longer attention span.
Emotional recognition: By playing sports, children will learn that they must control their anger and recognize their emotions in order to keep a clear mind and perform well.
Choosing a Sport
Ultimately, it should be up to your child what sport they would like to play. Moreover, you should accept and support their decision. However, there will be times when your child will want to quit when things get hard. At that point it’s up to you to evaluate what would be best for your child’s physical, social, and emotional development.
To get started you can go online to find local clubs for age-appropriate sports, or find out what sports your child’s school offers after class. You can also observe your child during playtime and see what they like to do!
Sports and Activities with Prep
At Prep Academy Schools, we passionately seek to guide the growth every student through an innovative curriculum and a healthy balance of work and play. We have a variety of after-school enrichment programs that children can join to be physically active and develop important life skills.