Kids need a lot of physical activity to keep them entertained, but sports are more valuable than general playground time. Sports for kids not only challenges them physically, they also help them learn valuable lessons such as teamwork, focus and stress management.
We’re rounding up the top 20 sports for kids (in no particular order) and outlining their health benefits for children.
Soccer is a team sport that will put your child’s endurance to the test! If you have a runner who is fast on their feet, then this may be the best sport for them. Kids will need to learn to react quickly, keep their balance and coordinate their footwork.
Hand and eye coordination is the key to baseball type sports. Since they are slower than many sports by nature, it can also help teach children focus. No one can succeed alone in baseball either, when playing the field, children must rely on their teammates to complete great plays.
Like soccer, basketball is great for the runners. Agility and speed are very important, as is hand/eye coordination. Shooting hoops is only half the battle, however. Kids must learn to play defensively without physical contact, which is great for teaching self-control.
If your child seems to prefer self-focus and challenges from within, this solitary sport might be up their alley. Skiiing and snowboarding take balance, coordination and great core fitness. It’s perfect for the blossoming speed seekers.
Most kids enjoy splashing in the pool, but the competitive ones may do great at racing. Winners are often less than a second ahead of their competition and learning to focus and control breathing, and stress levels are crucial to achieving the perfect form.
Golf is often considered an adult sport, with kids focusing on the miniature variety. Well, forget the windmills. Kids can learn a lot from golf, including depth perception and strategy.
Not only do you need to be physically fast to play tennis, you have to be mentally quick as well. Your child will also build a lot of strength, from their core to their arms as well as develop accuracy.
Volleyball is all about teamwork and communication. Working with their team in tight quarters, kids will need to rely on each other to succeed. Volleyball friendships seem to be among the strongest of all sports. It’s one of the best sports for team players.
Lacrosse isn’t a common sport in many parts of the country, but if there is a league nearby it’s worth looking into. The sport will help kids move fast by dodging and help them develop peripheral vision acuity.
Tumbling, leaping, flipping, swinging – there is so much to gymnastics that may appeal to your little daredevils. It is a great exercise to teach trust and fearlessness, not to mention a core strength.
Respect, focus and coordination are key elements to martial arts. There are a lot of types to choose from – some focus heavy on competition while others focus exclusively on defense and self-control. Martial arts are a great sport for most children.
Agility, grace, balance and focus are the biggest lessons learned from figure skating. Don’t discount it as gender-specific, either. All of the sports on this list are great for boys and girls alike.
If your skater is more the rough and tumble type, then hockey may be their preferred sports. It requires agility, balance, focus and quick-thinking to master this sport.
Patience, focus and hand/eye coordination are among the lessons children will learn from archery. Plus, they get to be incredibly cool like Robin Hood or Katniss Everdeen (take your pick).
Children can learn endurance, focus and develop a lot of strength by getting into biking as a sport. It’s not all BMX ramps and flips either, bike racing can even help kids develop safety skills on the roadway that will benefit them for a lifetime.
Football is a great sport to learn strategy in defense and offense. Working with your team to accomplish a goal takes patience and focus. Physically, the sport can be quite dangerous, however, and football-related concussions have been big news recently.
Like competitive swimming, running is a focus and endurance game. Many kids simply love to run however, and parents can rejoice at the low financial investment needed. A good pair of shoes they’re off to the races.
This physical sport requires endurance, strength and focus. Kids must learn strategies to defend themselves and the ability to quickly spot their opponents weaknesses. Out of all the sports for kids, this one might have the narrowest appeal, but wrestling kids tend to be fans for life.
Kids who are active and enjoy entertaining crowds directly may be interested in cheerleading. Positivity, enthusiasm, agility, balance and core strength are all important elements.
Most kids love to bust loose and dance, but some really have a knack for it. For those kids, taking dance can help them with memory, agility, balance and grace. There are a ton of styles out there and kids who love to move are likely to find a good fit.