Today is the day that the 23rd Winter Olympics open for a two week winter wonderland of exciting sports. To celebrate this, let’s talk about children and sports.
What do sports inspire and encourage in Children? Teamwork, confidence, friendships, and physical activity to name a few things. We all well aware that a big part of a healthy lifestyle is exercise, and one way to incorporate exercise into your child’s life is to join in with others in group sports such as AFL, NRL, dancing, soccer, tea-ball, cricket, or swimming. However, there are just as many sports where children can learn to foster their creative side, but within smaller groups, pairs, or even as solo sportspersons.
If we take a look at the Winter Olympics, we can see our top athletes competing within their sport of choice, for example; speed skating, skiing, snowboarding, figure skating, and luge. The majority of these sports are competed in by solo athletes; with the exception of figure skating and luge, which can also be done in pairs. Nevertheless, each one of these single athletes is a part of a much bigger team, representing Australia, in competition with other teams from all around the world. If we watch these elite athletes, the camaraderie and respect which they have for one another, it is easy to see that encouraging your child to participate in sports could help them foster those lifelong relationships with other like minded people their own age.
Generally speaking, the best sort of activities for toddlers are the fun and simple ones; running, tumbling, dancing, catching, swimming, or throwing. However, if your child is showing an affinity for something like skating, football, or gymnastics, encourage them to pursue it in a safe and suitable environment. There are a plethora of local sports clubs that can make recommendations as to the best starting ages and what kind of commitment is required.
This does not mean that you should push your child into a situation they aren’t comfortable with, sports might not be their thing, and that’s okay as well. Encouraging them to be involved in activities which they feel a connection with will encourage that sense of self confidence, self belief, and drive them to be the best version of themselves.
Always remember that there is no rush – your cricket-mad toddler will be more than happy knocking a bat and ball around the garden with you until they’re old enough to join a team.
At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Childcare Centres, we believe in encouraging physical activity and sports with kindness and understanding to aid in your child’s development.