When should you get your child into sport?

Emmy Samtani
Emmy Samtani
Emmy is the founder of Kiindred and mother to 3 little ones. Over the last 4 years, she has worked with some of the most credible experts in the parenting space and is a keen contributor on all things parenthood.
Created on Oct 04, 2023 · 2 mins read

Seeing your child score their first goal or play along with new friends can be a very special moment as a parent. Helping them set up healthy attitudes to exercise and fitness and a love of sports can’t start soon enough. So, when is the best time for you to get them involved in team or structured sports?

Age-appropriate activities

Typically, your little one won’t have teams to play on until about six-years-old. Until then the things you can do to pique their interests are:

  • Running
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Swimming
  • Hiking with you
  • Tumbling
  • Tricycle or bicycle riding

Around this age, they are beginning to develop their basic movements and gain their athleticism slowly. Organised sports will come eventually, but now is the perfect time to start planting the seeds.

Encourage them to be as active as possible

Take them outside often to increase their attachment to nature and feel-good activities. Whenever you can, go for a hike in your area, dabble with swimming lessons, or throw the ball around on your street. Unstructured free play will show you what they are naturally interested in. If they don’t show much love for throwing a ball, try out other activities. This will let them figure out what they love to do.

Give positive feedback

Telling them how great they just ran down the street will only make them want to do it more. They love to gain your approval, so noticing their efforts will attach happy thoughts with these activities. Instead of focusing on how they can improve at a young age, give them the compliments they thrive off.

Lead by example

Making exercise and sports a big part of your family’s life is key. Your little one is constantly watching your every move, so if you show how important getting active is, the more likely it will become an interest for them. Having different family outings be part of your weekly schedule is super helpful. From here, they’ll naturally lean towards their favourite activity.

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