When choosing a sport for your child, you should always choose something age appropriate.

kids sports

I know this probably isn’t something I need to say, but if you are thinking of enrolling your toddler in flag football, don’t.

You would think that goes without saying, but I recently read a disturbing article on parents enrolling their children in sports that aren’t age appropriate just to get a jump start on athletic habits. While I am in favor of children’s sports for sure, I think that the focus should always be on developing positive personality traits like loyalty and camaraderie, and less on any future plans, such as scholarships or careers.

READ MORE: Six Signs You May Be a Bad Sports Parent

Introducing your kids to sports at a young age is definitely a good step in promoting their lifetime fitness, but you should just be wary and make sure your child not only wants to participate, but is appropriately of age to do so.

Age 2-5.

Toddlers are too young to really grasp sports with lots of rules, so most organized sports teams aren’t really an option, but during play time, its good to encourage the following activities, while allowing them freedom to do as they will:

Swimming

Throwing and Catching

Running

Light gymnastics like tumbling

 

Age 6-9

At this age, kids are much more likely to grasp the rules of sports games, and be interested in playing. Their coordination is also vastly improved, so it is at this age that you might start noticing certain preferences for sports.

Running

Gymnastics

Swimming

Soccer

Martial Arts

T-ball

Kickball

 

Age 10-12

At this age, you will probably know whether or not your child is interested in sports, because they will definitely tell you. It is at this age where they can take on more complex sports like the following:

Football

Hockey

Baseball

Volleyball

Golf

Tennis

Running

Swimming

Soccer

Gymnastics

The one thing you should always be wary of is to make sure you are listening to your kids. If your child isn’t responding well to sports, try to find out the reason, and work with them on it. If they absolutely hate it after giving it a real try, encourage other activities that they might enjoy a bit more. Our kids are meant to be continuations of us, not carbon copies, so just keep that in mind.

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