How I Got My Kids Into Sportby Leyla Brooke
We have a love for the outdoors and a passion for adventure. From a young age my children have all been involved in sport in one way or another and I could not imagine life any other way. It is for us a way of life, yet for many others, it isn’t.
Kids love to play. I haven’t seen one yet who doesn’t. Sport, therefore, doesn’t have to be sport when you are a child, it is in fact play. There are many clubs aimed at younger children that have a play-based theme to them. Finding them isn’t too hard either, local what’s on sites and leisure centres often have a timetable with activities for children.
Swimming is a great place to start. If baby swimming isn’t something you fancy then simply taking your baby to the swimming pool with you and splashing in the water is a great bonding session and gets them moving. This can continue as they grow older, playing in the water and if you are lucky water slides is a great way to stay active.
Bike riding is another sport than many kids love. We combine a bike ride with a picnic, so my children will ride their bikes to a picnic spot and we stop for a break. Cycling is a sport and if they enjoyed it and wanted to pursue it they could. However, I think mine just enjoy the ride and the fact we have a picnic halfway. I don’t mind because they are out in the fresh air doing some exercise.
All three of my children have attended a gym joey class, which is very similar to the tumble tots classes. This introduces them to basic gymnastics concepts and gymnastics equipment. From an early age, they are learning balance and coordination and should they wish to continue there are gymnastics classes available for an older age. There are of course many other similar style classes.
The rise of Parkour is doing wonders for keeping children fit and active and getting them into sport. As an adult I think the whole idea looks so much fun and watching the kids with beaming smiles on their faces would suggest that it is. I mean what can be more fun than jumping between buildings, boxes and objects as quick as you can?
Every Sunday at 9 am there are junior park runs up and down the country. Here youngest can take part in a free, timed 2km run. It is not a race and there are no prizes for coming first. No one can come last either as there is a tail walker who stays at the back. All the junior park runs we have ever attended have been welcoming and friendly regardless of if a child chooses to run the whole course or if they walk it. The whole point is to encourage children to be outdoors and be active, and for us, it is a great start to our weekend.
Pokemon Go and similar apps are also another fantastic way to encourage children into sport. In essence, they are hunting for an object and need to track it down, much like orienteering where you track a marker down. As long as you are moving you are active and that surely is a good thing.