There are so many great sports out there that you and your child could learn and practice together, especially with the summer months approaching and outdoor activity becoming more feasible. With so many great sports to choose from, which one will you and your children play?
According to the CDC, the amount of physical activity children need is largely dependent on their age. For example, children under the age of five must be physically-active throughout the day, while children aged 5 years old and up should be active at least 60 minutes each day.
This physical activity is extremely important to the overall health of the child, but it also teaches them a wide range of valuable lessons. In addition to keeping them in shape, great sports teach your child teamwork, communication, hard work, passion, social skills, and so much more.
Great Sports for You & Your Child to Learn Together
While we often preach how important physical activity is to the growth and development of a child’s body, let’s not forget how important physical activity is to the health and maintenance of a parent’s body. Since children and parents both need physical activity, why not turn to sports?
Of all the great sports available to the youth today, there are some that make more sense than others. As a parent, you’ll have to figure out which one your child likes the most, but that’s often the best part – it acts as a powerful bonding moment between you and your precious children.
If you’re looking to get your child more involved in sports or simply want to see them spend more time outdoors this summer, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’re going to detail 15 great sports that you and your children should consider learning together this summer!
Volleyball is a popular sport for children as it’s easy to play, can be played anywhere and any surface, and is inexpensive to the parent – which is always a plus. You can play on the court, grass, carpet, and even sand. Even if you don’t have a net, you can still hit the ball around.
It’s a good sport for your child because it’s not only something you can do in the backyard with them for practice, but it’s a sport they can continue with as they grow older. It’s popular among both girls and boys – albeit more popular with girls – and involves a limited amount of contact.
14. Horseback Riding
Many children dream of riding a pony or horse, but you can make it a weekly reality for them by signing up for horseback riding lessons. It’s something they won’t get bored with and opens the door to a wide range of disciplines – including racing, vaulting, dressage, jumping, and eventing.
The skills you and your child learn here can be applied on future adventures – for example, horseback riding in the mountains when on vacation. And let’s be honest, it’ll make you the ‘cool’ parent or parents. It might be a little on the expensive side, but it’s worth it when they’re happy!
Skateboarding is an acquired taste and most kids won’t be interested in it, but those that are will take a keen liking to it and stick with it throughout the rest of their childhood. Not only that, but they join a much larger ‘brotherhood’ or ‘sisterhood’ where they meet some of their best friends.
They’ll remember the day you bought them their first skateboard for the rest of their life and will cherish all the special moments they experience along the way. Every trick they learn is an accomplishment and one that will grow their confidence and self-esteem as they grow older.
I can’t remember how many times I used to ask my parents if we could go bowling growing up, but it must’ve made them extremely annoyed because it happened a lot. It’s something kids already want to do, so why not get them involved in bowling lessons or even a bowling league?
They’re usually a part of a larger team, which means they’ll have a good opportunity to meet some new friends and build strong relationships that last a lifetime. It’ll also make those family outings much more interesting as you and your child battle it out to see who gets the best score.
Dancing isn’t just a great way to have fun and improve your overall mood, but it’s a great way to exercise and stay in shape. That’s what makes it such a great sport for parents and their children to learn together – the child gets to have fun, while the parents get to lose weight.
As your child becomes more talented as a dancer, they’ll find their own niche that they enjoy the most – whether it’s ballet, hip-hop, tap dancing, etc. – and it might even lead to a career. It’s also a great segway into gymnastics, cheerleading, and other similar sports popular for children.
There’s nothing more relaxing and fun than spending the day out on the golf course with your children. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy a sunny day, but can also be a fun experience on a rainy day – as long as it’s light rain. It might be a little expensive, but it’s worth the fun.
With that said, you could always practice with your child at home by setting up a chipping green, putting green, or other at-home course-related features. When they feel comfortable enough, you can sign them up for lessons or get them started on a local youth team for the ultimate test.
Of all the great sports on this list, basketball is probably the one parents play the most with their child. Even in their early years, parents usually have mini basketball nets with foam balls in the living room for their child to play with. It’s something they usually start playing as a young baby.
As they grow older, the hoop gets bigger and it eventually finds itself in the driveway where parents often play 1-on-1 or H-O-R-S-E with their child. As they get better, they start working with coaches and trying out for local teams – maybe one day they’ll play in the NBA or WNBA.
Tennis is a popular sport for children and parents to learn together. Whether you’re taking lessons together, playing against each other in singles, or playing with each other in doubles, you will build a lot of great memories with your son or daughter on the tennis court.
You can find tennis courts at most parks and while they aren’t always open to the public, there are alternatives you can consider. For example, you can build yourself a DIY tennis court in your backyard or driveway. Even if it’s just half of a court with a wall on one end, anything will suffice!
Learning to ride a bicycle is a major accomplishment and a cherishable moment for any parent and child. Some kids pick it up right away and are naturals on the bike, while others require training wheels and a bit more practice. Either way, the skills they learn are more than useful.
Not only can they use cycling as a mode of transportation – especially in their early years before getting a license – but they can use it as a form of exercise. You and your child can go on long bike rides together to stay in shape and can even take the bike on future adventures.
If your child isn’t into cycling, they might be into running – which would save you from having to purchase a bike! It’s another great way to exercise and stay in shape, but can also lead to a wide range of future sport endeavors – such as track and field, cross country, or marathons.
Better yet, you can challenge each other by going on weekly runs together or tracking how many miles you run each week to see who runs more. It’ll be a competition, but one where both sides are winners – which is always the best type of competition between parents and children.
Kids already spend a lot of time in the pool – it’s one of their favorite things to do on a hot, sunny day. With that said, it makes sense to see if they have any interest in swimming competitively because it’ll mean more time in the pool for them – something they likely won’t get bored of.
Not only that, but they can combine their swimming talent with their running and cycling talent to begin training for a triathlon. It’s a major accomplishment that not many people in the world can do. Who knows, maybe your son or daughter will one day make it to the Olympic stage.
Of all the combat sports, karate is perhaps the one best-suited for children and their parents. Don’t worry, the skills they learn in karate can one day transition into other combat sports, such as boxing, MMA, or wrestling. Karate is a great way to introduce them to the world of combat.
Not only that, but it gives them valuable self-defense skills that they can use in real-life situations – hopefully they never have to, but they’re good skills to have. They’ll also learn discipline, dedication, commitment, respect, studying your opponent, and the tactical side of karate.
Gymnastics is one of the most popular sports for children of both ages. It makes sense, considering how much children enjoy running and jumping around. If you give them a mat and the freedom to go wild, they’ll forever be thankful – after all, that’s what we all want, isn’t it?
If your son or daughter is really into gymnastics and they’re serious about getting better, they can quickly find themselves on a national stage and even international stage by the time they enter college. There’s a lot of motivation to do great, but only a select few will ever make it.
Soccer is one of the easiest sports to teach a child – just run around, kick the ball, and try to get it in the net. It’s one of the first sports a child will get into, whether it’s in the living room, the backyard, or on an actual soccer field. And once they start playing, it’s hard to get them to stop.
Since soccer requires a lot of running and is played outside, it’s a great way to keep your child in-shape and get them outdoors regularly. They’ll build relationships and connections with their teammates that last a lifetime, but will also learn how to never give up and play until the whistle.
1. Baseball or Softball
The final sport we’re going to suggest for you is baseball or softball. Much like gymnastics, your child can find themselves on a national stage very early on – even before their teenage years. With how popular the Little League World Series is, there’s a lot of motivation to be great.
With that said, it’s always fun to watch a child’s baseball or softball journey, from their days of playing tee-ball to their days of playing high school baseball, college baseball, minor league baseball, and even major league baseball. You’ll grow to be extremely proud, if not already!
Great Sports for Children as They Grow Older
As your child grows older, they might show a little more interest in some contact sports. At first, parents might hesitate to allow their children to get involved with these types of sports, but it’s important not to hold your child back – after all, it might be their ultimate passion or natural talent.
Some of the great sports for children as they grow older might be tackle football, ice hockey, boxing, MMA, snowboarding, surfing, skiing, rugby, wrestling, water polo, bodybuilding, and lacrosse. These are some of the most physically-demanding sports your child can get into.
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It doesn’t matter which of these great sports your child gets into, it’s always a good idea to get them involved early and the best way to do so is to involve yourself as the parent. It’s a great way to bond with your child, but it’s also a great way to ensure you both stay healthy long-term.
15 Free Summer Activities for the Kiddos Who Love Sports
With the warmer months approaching, it’s about time to start thinking of some fun, exciting, and attention-keeping summer activities for your children to enjoy this summer. This is especially true for kids that love sports because they’re going to have a lot of energy to burn through.
That’s a good thing, though – and it’s encouraged. The CDC recommends all children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 17 get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every single day – a mixture of aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activities.
Of course, kiddos who love sports are going to want much more than that. Even when they’re not at summer practice or playing in a game, they’ll want to get outside and enjoy some summer activities in the sun – indoors works too, but let’s encourage a little more sunlight and fresh air.
Free Summer Activities for Your Athletic Child
The summer months can be a bit hectic for parents as they try to strike a balance between their work life and home life. It’s a little bit easier when their kids are at school most of the day, but that’s not the case during the summer and most parents are trying to keep their child busy.
It might be a struggle, but it’s one that shouldn’t take too much out of a parent and if it does, then it’s time to find some relief – not just for the parent, but for the child. After all, most kids don’t want to just sit inside all summer long and even those that want to shouldn’t, at least not often.
For all the parents out there looking to get their child involved in summer activities this year – whether it’s an individual activity or one you can do with the entire family – we’ve got several useful ideas that your athletic child will love, so let’s see which summer activities made the list.
15. DIY Obstacle Course
This can be a fun summer activity that you either surprise your child with one day or you can have them help you set it up for a good bonding moment. Either way, an obstacle course is a great way to promote physical activity without it feeling like a workout or chore for the child.
You can even tailor the obstacle course to better represent the sport they play. For example, you can set up a dribbling obstacle course if they like to play basketball or even a speed obstacle course for those that like to run fast. Since every kid is unique, you can find something they like.
14. Go on a Nature Walk or Hike
If you live in an area with a lot of scenery, nature, walking trails, mountains, and/or parks, then take advantage of your beautiful surroundings and take the kids out for a nature-filled walk or hike. It’s a great way to stay physically active and will even improve your child’s mental health.
Just make sure you pack enough water, snacks, and sunscreen, especially if you live in an area that gets extremely warm or humid. You should also make sure your child has comfortable shoes to avoid injuries while walking. Other than that, enjoy the wonderful sights around you.
13. Go for a Bike Ride
Once your child learns how to ride a bicycle, you can turn those nature walks into nature bike rides – don’t worry, you’ll be able to get further in a bicycle and can experience new sights along the way. It keeps them active, satisfies their need for adventure, and helps build memories.
Of course, you’ll have to buy them a bicycle if they don’t already have one, so it might not be a free option for everyone – but it’s one that’s worth investing in. As they grow older and become teenagers, they’ll learn how valuable and useful bicycles can be as a form of transportation.
12. Take a Trip to the Playground
When in doubt, take a trip to your local park and find the nearest playground. It won’t cost any money if you go to a public park and they’ll usually have a nice setup for your child to enjoy – equipped with slides, monkey bars, swingset, merry-go-round, jungle gym, and much more.
If you’d really like to spoil your child, you can buy or build a playground in your backyard – either a large one (if you have the space and money) or a small one (if you’re on a budget). It might give them something to do when at home, opposed to spending all day inside watching TV.
11. Spend the Day at the Pool
Ask any kid what they want to do on a hot and sunny day, you’ll likely hear them say ‘go to the pool’ more often than not. It’s already something they enjoy doing, but what if we told you swimming is considered a form of exercise and can help you remain active during the summer.
For parents that have athletic children, turn the pool day into a water sports day – play water volleyball, water polo, or water basketball in the pool. You can also challenge them and have mini competitions with different swimming techniques, like the butterfly or breaststroke.
10. Jump on the Trampoline
Alright, this is only going to be free for parents that already have a trampoline in their backyard, but most parents do and those that don’t should heavily consider investing in one. It’s a great way to release some energy and jump around, which is something every kid wants to do.
There are also a variety of attachments you can buy for the trampoline to make it more sporty and fun – like a basketball hoop for the ballers out there or sprinklers for those really hot days. The trampoline is also excellent for kids that love cheer, gymnastics, and/or dance class.
9. Play a Game of Hopscotch
Hopscotch is one of those underrated and underappreciated summer activities that’s actually a lot of fun and even comes with benefits. It’s easy to play and all you need is some sidewalk or driveway, chalk (or even painter’s tape on a carpet), and a rock to play a game of hopscotch.
While most people see hopscotch as a basic game of skipping, it can do a lot for your child’s balance, hand-eye coordination, body rhythm, mind-body control, and ability to perform under pressure (while being timed). There are also a variety of fun variations of hopscotch to test out.
8. Play a Game of Dodgeball
Although most schools have removed the game of dodgeball from their physical education classes, it’s still a game most children enjoy and look forward to. Whether you join a local youth dodgeball league or set up a friendly game of dodgeball with their friends, they’ll have a blast.
Just make sure you promote safety when getting your child involved in dodgeball. When done properly, it can be a great form of activity and test their ability to perform in pressured situations. It’ll also improve their ability to throw, catch, run, dodge, elude, and even improve their reflexes.
7. Play a Game of Tag
Another highly underrated and underappreciated summer activity for kids is tag – all you need is people, that’s it. They can play with one friend, multiple friends, a large group of friends, or even their parents. It’ll test their ability to run away from and elude incoming traffic with extreme ease.
Not only that, but there are a wide range of variations of tag that make it more exciting and challenging for those involved. Band-aid tag, sock tag, blob tag, triangle tag, flashlight tag, obstacle course tag, footprint tag, the list goes even. You can even go out and play laser tag.
6. Parents vs. Kids Outings
If your child plays a sport, you should consider setting up a parents vs. kids outing – whether it’s soccer, baseball, basketball, or hockey. Many youth leagues do this as an end-of-the-year get together, but you can even do it with your child’s best friends and their parents at any time.
It’s a great way to bond with the kids, but also a great way to promote physical activity – both for the children and the parents. It also gives the parents an opportunity to lead by example and show their child how to play sports the right way. When they see you having fun, they will too.
5. Play a Round of Miniature Golf
I know what you’re thinking – this isn’t necessarily free. While going to an actual putt putt mini golf course often yields the best experience for everyone involved, you don’t have to pay money to play miniature golf. In fact, you can set up your own mini course in your own backyard.
There are multiple ways to do it – using cups as the hole, digging actual holes in the ground, or using spray paint to mark the hole. You can also use a variety of different props and objects to act as obstacles. That way, you can make it as easy or as hard of a mini course as you’d like.
4. Take the Kids Out Bowling
Again, I know what you’re thinking, another option that costs money. And again, yes, taking your child to the bowling alley (especially cosmic bowling) often yields the best experience, but it’s not the only way to enjoy a game of bowling. Have you ever thought of making your own alley?
It might not quite match up to what the actual alley provides, but it’s enough to give your child something to do and you can set it up outside. You can either purchase your own bowling pins or use objects from around the house. Then again, you can also just choose to play cornhole.
3. Play Frisbee Golf at the Park
Got a couple of frisbees laying around? Whether or not they’re designed for frisbee golf, you can enjoy a nice game of frisbee golf with any frisbee and it won’t cost you a ridiculous amount of money – unlike going to an actual golf course. Most parks have holes available to the public.
Like golf, it’s a great game that will test your ability to hit tough shots with impossible angles – often resulting in disappointment, but every now and then you achieve the impossible. And in the event you do, just make sure you have the camera rolling so you can show all your friends later.
2. Enroll Your Child in a Summer Sports Camp
This is probably the only item on this list that will cost you money regardless – unless you create your own personal sports camp for your child, which isn’t too bad of an idea. With that said, it’s one of the things that will most directly help your child succeed in their respective sport.
Sports camps offer a wide range of benefits for children and adolescents. Not only do they keep your child active with a variety of summer activities, but they help your child improve their skills in the sport and come out a better player as a result. This is often where champions are made.
1. Attend a Sports Game
With summer approaching, that means we’re in for a lot of pro baseball, college football, and soccer. If you’re looking for a fun bonding moment with your child, you should consider attending a live game – they can even learn a thing or two, whether it’s professionals or college athletes.
For those looking to make it a free event, you can always find a local sports league that’s playing and watch them since they’re usually free. You can even watch the game at home, though we recommend turning it into some fun activity – maybe complete physical challenges throughout the game.
Summer Activities for Kids Who Are Injured
Injuries are inevitable and while we wish they didn’t happen, millions of children around the world will suffer an injury this summer. Depending on the severity of the injury, they might not be able to take part in the summer activities they usually enjoy – it’s an unfortunate and harsh reality.
That shouldn’t stop them from having a good summer, though. It might take some creativity, but kids can still enjoy some summer activities – though they might have to be modified. For example, focus on activities that don’t require the use of their injured knee, arm, hand, foot, etc.
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You can also take some time to watch some film of the sport they play – whether it’s film of them playing or a professional athlete. This is always a good time to study and improve your knowledge of the game. That way, when you recover from your injury, you’re a better player.
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