Physical Development

The Value of Sports for Kids – 1, 2, 3, Let’s PLAY !

During a radio interview, an Olympic athlete talked about the value of sports for kids, not it terms of competition but participation. Playing sports is a way to play.

value of play for kids

The list of reasons why sports is beneficial for kids is a long one. One of the most obvious is the physical activity. Kids love and need to move. With sports there are so many different ways to be active. Movement activities of all sorts is great for bodies in terms of muscle development and coordination, along with strength and endurance, but they also promote healthy brains. The brain develops connections and pathways along with thinking skills and strategies.

Sports often includes a social aspect. Whether or not kids belong to a team, they become more aware of others. As team members, kids practice watching and listening to others. They learn more about relationships and how to interact.

Self-control and regulating emotions are challenges for all of us, and especially for young children. Coping with frustration, dealing with fears, and handling risk, are only three but think of how much learning that involves. Certainly, they are part of playing sports.

Definitely, sports include fun. Recently, there have been concerns about the high percentage of kids who drop out of organized sports. There have been increased reminders to parents and caregivers to remember that kids play for fun.

What fun sports activities can your child do today? How about kicking and chasing a ball around at the park? Maybe, your child would enjoy some time at the community pool. A pool noodle can double as a field hockey stick to move a beach ball in the backyard. Tag is a fun game with lots of variations. If there isn’t space at home for running, there might be a school playground nearby for racing around. A bike ride can happen close to home. Whatever works for you and your family, include some time for sports play.

value of play for kids

Football player and now coach, Mike Singletary said, “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” Really, isn’t that the top reason on the list of the value of sports for kids? The opportunity to play.

Space Activities #19: Space Yoga for Kids

Space yoga for kids combines yoga and imagination to give both young, developing bodies and brains some stimulation. Together, it’s out of this world.

space yoga for kidsOuter space is full of stars. Our sun is a giant star. An easy yoga pose is the star pose. Kids stand with legs apart and arms outstretched. Two hands, two feet, and one head make five points, just like a star. Kids can imagine they are a star high up in the sky and far away in space. What might they see looking down on the world? Stars give light and the sun warms the Earth. What does it feel like to be light?

space yoga for kidsThe sun is for day and the moon is for night. The moon is not always the same shape. Since it sometimes has a crescent or letter C shape, there is a yoga pose called the crescent moon. To make this shape, kids stand with feet together. Hands stretch high up in the sky with palms together. Curve the body over to one side and then to the other. The moon is far away, but not as far away as the other planets of the sun.

Only twelve people have ever walked on the moon. What might it be like to go to the moon?

yoga for kidsTo get to space, we use rockets. Rockets are a tall, straight shape. Trees are that shape too so this pose is named the tree pose. Start with feet together. Balance on the left leg and bend the right knee out to the side and slide the foot up the left leg. Slowly lift the arms high over the head until hands touch together, pointing up. Imagine how exciting it would be to be a rocket.

Squatting is such a natural position for children. We often see kids squatting as they play. From a squat, kids count down. When they get to blast off, they can jump up from the squat and zoom around.

There is, of course, more to yoga than this but it’s a beginning. In her article, 7 Ways Kids Benefit from Yoga, Karen Fabian writes:

“Yoga helps kids to:

  • Develop body awareness
  • Learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way
  • Manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement
  • Build concentration
  • Increase their confidence and positive self-image
  • Feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group
  • Have an alternative to tuning out through constant attachment to electronic devices”

There are discoveries for inner space not just outer space. Would your child like to explore some space yoga for kids?

Space Activities #15: Planet Playground Fun

The cloudy weather cleared up and the sun came out so we headed outside for some Planet Playground fun. This can happen at any playground in most weather, but warmer days often mean more time outdoors.planet playground fun

Since we’d been talking of outer space with the Jupiter probe Juno and the anniversary of the landing on the moon, it didn’t take much stretch of the imagination to turn a tube at the playground into a rocket. It’s too bad there isn’t a circle cut out anywhere on the tube so kids can see out, but they can certainly be heard counting down. A gear section on the outside served as the rocket launch controls. Little Sister ran from one to the other and then back again after each blast off.

planet playground fun

Big Sister came over to play too and they begged to have their photo taken. The easiest way to take a picture was from inside but with no room to back up, it’s a sort of bird’s-eye view of our feet. This time, the spaceship landed on a new planet and the kids made up different kinds of games as they explored all around.

planet playground fun

Time on the playground is certainly beneficial for bodies. Kids strengthen their large muscles as they climb, run, balance, wiggle, jump, swing, and engage in other actions. It’s also helpful for brains. To develop coordination requires the brain and body to communicate and work together. On the playground, kids challenge themselves to climb a little bit higher, stretch a little bit farther, and jump a little bit longer. Sometimes, we can see them preparing their body for an action as they get brains and bodies in sync.

planet playground fun

  1. Do you know how to organize a space party? A. You planet.
    When it comes to what kids learn on a playground, we can’t “planet” but we can know fun and play is one of the best ways to learn. Can you organize some space in the day for planet playground fun for your child?

Transportation Activities #17: Transportation Yoga

Yesterday was International Yoga Day  which inspired a transportation yoga play-of-the-day for kids. Even if neither of you have done yoga before. These are some simple yoga poses suggested by a yoga teacher and preschool educator.: Car: Kids sit on the floor with their legs straight out in front of them. Before driving, they buckle … Continue reading Transportation Activities #17: Transportation Yoga

Transportation Play #9: Transportation Movement Activities

How do cars and trucks go? Zoom, zoom. How do kids go? They go zoom, zoom too and more with these transportation movement activities. Kids will often zoom around like cars and trucks complete with sound effects. We can add in a few ideas to extend their movement play. How would an airplane go? Kids … Continue reading Transportation Play #9: Transportation Movement Activities

Transportation Play Activities #3: Red, Yellow, Green Light Game

Usually we don’t have to encourage kids to move around and be active. For both moving and stopping, kids can play a Red, Yellow, Green Light game. The rules of this game are very simple and easy to remember. They are like traffic lights. Red signals a stop, green means it’s okay to run around … Continue reading Transportation Play Activities #3: Red, Yellow, Green Light Game

Bubble Fun and Learning # 17: Bubble Wrap Stomp

We can give kids the most costly toys for presents, and they still end up playing with the box and wrapping. Here’s a new dance—the bubble wrap stomp. A parcel came to our house with bubble wrap. And what’s the most fun? Popping all those bubbles of course. Little Sister spend a good chunk of the … Continue reading Bubble Fun and Learning # 17: Bubble Wrap Stomp

Play Learn with Bubbles #8: Bubble Movement Activities and Game

Chasing bubbles outside is the best fun, but here are some bubble movement activities and game that kids can do indoors or out, in almost any size space. For some independent movement activity play, turn on some music and let your child dance around like bubbles. Of course, they need to have experienced blowing bubbles … Continue reading Play Learn with Bubbles #8: Bubble Movement Activities and Game

Movement Activities for Kids – No Matter the Date

Ants and Kids Go Marching March fourth is a unique day on the calendar; it can also be an action, to march forth. Marching around can inspire some movement activities for kids. To start some movement play, you and your child can think of different ways to move around besides marching. There’s walking, running, hopping, … Continue reading Movement Activities for Kids – No Matter the Date