There are a range of activities that most parents want to encourage their kids to engage with. Whether it’s healthy eating, reading, tooth brushing or physical activity, developing ‘healthy’ habits and routines can be an important focus for parents. Laying the right foundations for later life is an important parenting responsibility and one that should be prioritised.
Physical activity is fundamental for adults and children alike.For adults, it has a significant impact on mental and physical wellbeing. For kids, exercise is intrinsically linked to a child’s development because it promotes the development of motor skills, muscle and bone structures, and cognitive and social skills. Furthermore, introducing kids to exercise and sports when they are young can provide them with hobbies that will grow with them and offer further opportunities in later life. With these benefits in mind, how can you get your kids involved in physical activity and sports?
Lead by example
Children are more likely to engage with sports that they experience through or with parents and siblings. Involving kids in your own physical activities is a good way to show the value of sports to you and thus pass on the enjoyment or benefits. Children react powerfully to role models and so being one yourself is a good place to start.
Spending quality time playing sports or doing physical activities together is another way to encourage participation. Keeping things fun will develop a strong interest and affection for games and will set the platform for more advanced dedication to a sport down the line. Investing in equipment like a children’s cricket set or a netball/basketball hoop, for example, will also help to further develop sporting skills and knowledge.
Involve them in junior clubs
It is always a good idea to experiment with different sportsthrough junior camps and clubs. Playing with kids the same age can foster a different perspective of a sport and will give an indication of talent compared to others at the same level.Junior clubs will also have a higher standard of coaching which can be useful to access sporting pathways and scholarship schemes – if that is of interest to you or your child.
You don’t always have to play a sport or be physically involved in an activity to enjoy it and develop a passion for it. Watching sports with your kids, whether it be on TV or in attendance, can create lasting memories of sporting occasions and moments. Furthermore, it can introduce them to professional sporting heroes that will stay with them their whole life and potentially inspire them to go on and reach the highest levels themselves.
Getting your kids involved in sport should have several benefits in both their development stage and in later life. As a parent, you have a strong influence and important responsibility to provide a wide range of opportunities for your kids. How will you encourage your kids to get involved in sport?