Exercise is essential for all children, but girls get special benefits from playing sports. According to Kids Health, girls who play sports do better in school and are less likely to smoke or get breast cancer later in life than girls who don't participate. Getting your daughter involved in sports at an early age can also help her develop high self-esteem, which can help her stay happy and strong during the difficult teenage years.
Most kids love nothing more than splashing around in a pool, so getting your daughter involved in swimming is an ideal choice if she's hesitant about joining a sports team. Swimming is also fun for children, so it can teach your daughter early that exercise can be enjoyable. Even when the weather is chilly, your daughter can get weekly exercise at an indoor pool.
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Most towns have youth soccer teams, making it easy for all girls to get involved in the sport. Since most high schools also have soccer teams, young girls who play the sport will easily be able to keep playing at least through high school. Another benefit of youth soccer teams is that many are coed, so girls get to play with and befriend both boys and girls. Parents on a tight budget will be relieved to know that soccer doesn't require elaborate equipment or uniforms, so it's a relatively inexpensive sport for girls to play.
Any little girl who has seen the Summer Olympics will like the idea of learning gymnastics. Since each gymnast performs on her own but is ultimately part of a team, learning gymnastics teaches a young girl about teamwork and earning her own accomplishments. Gymnastics also helps girls develop grace and coordination, which can boost her confidence as she gets older. Girls can start taking gymnastics lessons from the time they're toddlers, so they'll grow up being physically fit and enjoying exercise.
Baseball or Softball
By watching princess movies or beauty pageants, your daughter may have gotten the impression that she's supposed to be delicate and weak. Playing a sport like baseball or softball will teach her that it's OK to be strong. Pitching and throwing a ball is a somewhat aggressive movement, so she'll learn to be strong and tough, without risking the injuries that contact sports like football can cause. T-ball and baseball are sports that young boys and girls often play together, so she'll learn to be comfortable interacting with both sexes.