The earlier children get used to physical activities, the more likely they are to enjoy sport throughout their lives and have a better health. Many parents are too occupied and hardly find the time to take care of this issue, too, but if you have the possibility to help your child practice a sport which is appropriate for his/her age and skills you will see the positive consequences soon. It is important to put the emphasis on movement and playing and not on developing certain sports skills or on the competition. It is true that not all sports are suitable for toddlers, but here are some you may consider.
Some Sports That Youngsters Can Get Involved With
- Gymnastics – on condition that the program is suitable for the child’s age and abilities.
- Swimming – the sooner a child starts getting used with water, the more easily he/she will learn how to swim. Make sure that the child is carefully supervised.
- Soccer – it is suitable for children over age 3.
- Martial arts – they improve coordination and fitness and are suitable for almost any age or fitness level.
- Dance – it will help the child socialize and improve his coordination, too.
- Skating – this is another great individual sport and which is easier to learn at a young age.
- Golf – this sport is not extremely demanding and it helps to improve the child’s motor skills.
Advantages of practicing a sport for toddlers are not to be neglected: your child will be less prone to childhood obesity, will improve his social skills when playing a team sport, will improve his coordination and motor skills, will have a good occasion to burn off energy and enjoy a better sleep and better appetite and be a happier child overall.
There are a few precautions you need to take, though. Don’t focus on competition, but on movement and play. Don’t specialize your child in only one sport, which will result in injuries and wearing off, don’t ask your child to practice sport above his/her powers and don’t give up on the idea if the child has had a bad experience. He/she may reject the idea of exercising again because of the coach or of some other kids, so try individual activities if team sports are not agreeable with your child.