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List of Sports for Kids

by
author image Lyra Radford
Lyra Radford studied both film production and multimedia during her years as an undergrad and has since set her focus on psychology and anthropology in her graduate work at Florida Atlantic University. She has been writing professionally four years, contributing to Yahoo Shine, Yahoo Sports, Stack Media and more.
List of Sports for Kids
Introducing your child to sports is a healthy and sociable way to keep them active. Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Introducing your child to sports is a healthy and sociable way to keep them active and cut their risk of obesity. When you have smaller children, in the 1- to 3-year-old range, most traditional sports aren’t really an option -- but you can still peak their interest. Running, swinging or even tumbling are perfect starting points for the toddler age group.

Gymnastics

List of Sports for Kids
Gymnastics builds and improves your child's physical skills. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Some studios have classes for 2 year olds and, while this can be fun, when it comes to following the instructions and proper participation, they may be too young to grasp what's going on. About 3 years old is a good time to start introducing gymnastics. Once they hit 4 years old, they'll be more attentive and able to perform the moves required.

Gymnastics builds and improves your child's physical skills in such a way that it actually enhances their performance in other sports. Strength, agility, balance, and flexibility are some things you can expect your child to gain from taking gymnastics. You'll also see developments in their confidence and coordination.

Competitive Swimming

List of Sports for Kids
Swimming can be considered an all-in-one fitness package. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you're looking for a low impact sport, competitive swimming is the way to go.
According to HumanKinetics.com expert, Janet Evans, the author of "Total Swimming," swimming can be considered an all-in-one fitness package and, "When strokes are performed correctly, the muscles lengthen and increase in flexibility."

Your child should start with traditional swimming lessons. Understanding swimming basics and education in water safety is crucial. Upon completion of their lessons, they may still need a bridge program to transition from taking lessons to joining a team. These are called "pre-teams" or "stroke schools", they prepare children for team competitions by teaching them competitive strokes and running drills.

Soccer

List of Sports for Kids
Soccer is an excellent way to build a foundation for teamwork as well. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Soccer offers your child a way to get into top physical shape. During a typical game, the average player runs around seven miles as they try to score goals; the cardiovascular benefits are exceptional. The type of running involved is a combination of both sprinting and endurance running, giving this sport anaerobic and aerobic capabilities. Your child will benefit from an increase in muscle mass and a decrease in body fat as well as improved coordination from using their feet to travel across the field with the soccer ball. This method of ball play is more than just a great workout for your child, it's also an excellent way to build a foundation for teamwork as well.

Baseball & Softball

List of Sports for Kids
Baseball and softball are team-oriented sports. Photo Credit Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

These are also team-oriented sports. The way baseball and softball are played are similar, although there are some differences, such as bat size, pitching techniques, the number of innings and baselines. The basic physical requirements and the benefits present in both sports are the same. By participating in either game, your child will gain an increase in strength, endurance, mobility skills and improve their hand-eye coordination.

Tennis

List of Sports for Kids
Tennis provides aerobic fitness, fat burning, cardiovascular health, and muscle strengthening. Photo Credit IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images

There are numerous physical benefits to playing tennis. Aerobic fitness, fat burning, cardiovascular health, and muscle strengthening are all perks your child will experience. Since frequent bursts of jumping, sprinting and lunging, followed by a recovery period are common, tennis can also be considered an anaerobic workout. This allows the muscles to use oxygen efficiently. Tennis will also improve their agility and balance because of all the direction changes the body is forced to make in mere seconds to hit the ball. Your child's mental focus will also be sharpened. Tennis involves swift decision-making and concentration.

Basketball

List of Sports for Kids
Basketball is a popular and competitive way to keep your kids active. Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Basketball is a popular and competitive way to keep your kids active. It can be played indoors or outdoors, on teams or at home in the driveway. Concentration, discipline, balance and endurance will continue to improve as your child continues to participate. This sport burns a great deal of calories and will strengthen your child's muscles. Like in tennis, focus and split-second decision making is common. Jumping, lunging and frequent changes in the body's direction are necessary to keep the ball from opponents and make baskets. Basketball is a fun, but intense workout.

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