We often watch athletes from all over the world, compete to win medals and world titles in sport. World events like the Olympics and World Championships often leave us mesmerised and inspired to engross in our new sudden found passion for sports.
Children have a similar response to watching athletes achieve their dreams, they are easily inspired and as their examples, we have to encourage children's passions and support them in achieving their dreams. You never know, your toddler may well be the next Usain Bolt!
There are so many benefits for young children who participate in sport – both physically and emotionally – here are just a few reasons for kids to get sporty:
With an emerging digital world, many children have become accustomed to watching endless hours of television but sports activities and games provide an opportunity to help keep kids healthy and in shape.
Children need to be active every day to stimulate growth and improve their health. Regular sporting activities will increase stamina, strengthen bones and help maintain a healthy weight. It is also the best release of excess energy that so many young children have! Sport will also improve motor skills and co-ordination.
Emotional well being
Participating in sport can improve mental health and concentration. It’s a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, even in young children. It can give children a sense of achievement and improve their self-esteem.
Sports activities are a great way to build a child's self-esteem. Children who participate in sports often get praise and encouragement from their parents, peers and sports coaches, which helps to build their self-esteem and self-confidence. In actively taking part in sport, children also learn to trust their own abilities and push themselves to continue bettering their performance.
Engaging in sports from a young age gives children a chance to also experience constructive critisism and learn how to receive and accept it in a beneficial way rather than feeling disheartened.
Children who take part in sport learn to respect themselves and others. They learn to follow rules and have a respect for authority. They learn to be competitive but to play fairly. Winning is always great and can be celebrated but they also learn to deal with losing and be gracious in defeat.
Sport is a very sociable activity, especially team sports. They will make new friends and have fun. Being part of a team will help them to think of others and understand that working together will help them to succeed.
With so many sports to choose from how do you decide which one? Well, ask your child what they enjoy, try out a few different ones until they find one they like. Sports clubs often have free taster or trial sessions. Every child can be good at one sport or another! However, you can’t force your choices on them – if you make them take part in a sport they don’t enjoy, it will not be fun for anyone and they might be put off doing sport all together.
It’s also great to start young as enjoying sport from a young age encourages people to take part in sport, or have an active lifestyle, for life. In many areas there are parent/toddler sessions in all sorts of sports, such as gymnastics and swimming. There are also toddler classes for sports like football and rugby. Have a search online to find out what sports clubs there are near you.
But don’t forget that you don’t have to join a club to enjoy sport – a regular kickabout or runaround in the park or garden will help get children physically active and healthy.
We hope you have been inspired to get your family active and get involved in sport. Let us know on Twitter or Facebook what sport your young child enjoys.
At ELF we are experts in early years’ education and supply classroom furniture, play equipmentand classroom storage to schools, nurseries and pre-schools. For more information about our products, please contact us or call 01733 511121.