Children’s sports promote fitness, but not everyone thrives in formal leagues. Help your child find the right activities and venue — school, recreation center or backyard.

Want to give your child a head start on lifelong fitness? Consider children’s sports and other kid-friendly physical activities.

With your encouragement and support, chances are a few sports will spark your child’s interest. Fan the flame by taking your child to local sporting events or sharing your own interests in sports and exercise.

Consider age-appropriate activities

Your child is likely to show natural preferences for certain sports or activities. Start there, keeping your child’s age, maturity and abilities in mind.

Ages 2 to 5

Toddlers and preschoolers are beginning to master many basic movements, but they’re too young for most organized sports. Toddlers who participate in organized sports typically don’t gain any long-term advantage in terms of future sports performance.

For children in this age group, unstructured free play is usually best. This may include:

  • Running
  • Hopping, skipping and jumping
  • Tumbling
  • Throwing and catching
  • Swimming
  • Riding a tricycle or bicycle
  • Climbing on playground equipment

Ages 6 to 9

As children get older, their vision, attention spans, motor coordination and skills, such as throwing for distance, improve.

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