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Your little one just turned 3 years and they can now run around and tumble freely around your home.
As a parent, you’re wondering – is this the time to introduce sports? What sports should I introduce them to?
It could also be that your lovely tot is constantly on the sofa, watching videos or playing games on his iPad. (Don’t worry, many parents are in this predicament!).
So, you’re wondering which sports you should introduce your little bambino to.
Well, here are 4 fantastic sports for 3-year-olds.
I’ll also let you know the benefits of sports for kids’ development.
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Fantastic Sports for 3-Year-Olds
Soccer is a perfect option for three-year-olds!
At this age, many children are obsessed with throwing balls, catching and kicking them. Take this opportunity to introduce soccer.
In fact, you can check if your community has a recreational soccer program for this age group. There’s also the option of programs designed specifically for preschoolers.
The famous Lil’Kickers is a good example!
I introduced my son to swimming around his 3rd birthday and within no time, he was doing really well in the pool.
One thing I loved about swimming is that my son made so many friends at the pool. I’d definitely recommend it for every 3-year-old.
Unlike the younger toddlers who are learning to walk, 3-year-olds are confident in their stability and want to experiment with different positions.
This is exactly why you should introduce gymnastics!
While doing gymnastics, they’re going to run, crawl, jump, climb, etc.
Instead of doing those forward rolls in your backyard, enroll them in a gymnastics class for toddlers.
It’ll be super-exciting doing gymnastics with peers!
Although playing Tee-ball does not involve a lot of action and running, it is still exciting for kids.
Let the kids move out in the spring and fall and play t-ball with their friends!
It will give them the basic skills they need for playing baseball and softball later!
Now that you know some of the sports you can enroll your 3-year-old, let’s discuss the benefits of sports for your little one.
What are the Benefits of Sports in Kid’s Development?
Reduces the Risk of Obesity
Introducing your toddler to sports keeps them physically active, which in turn reduces the probability of developing obesity or being overweight.
Sports exercises keep them fit!
Through sports, your little one can learn a lot of healthy life habits.
They learn to push on even when they’re tired.
Even if they don’t end up as professional swimmers, athletes, footballers, etc. in the future, this aspect of discipline and resilience will remain with them for life!
Most sports activities require players to work as a team, right?
Although toddlers may not understand who is and who is not part of their team, either way, as they play with other agemates, they have little conversations.
They also learn how to express excitement or sadness/disappointment at meeting the set goals while playing the sport.
This grows their social skills and ability to function in a team.
Expends Excess Energy
Immediately after that swimming lesson, your little one will definitely take a nap – no doubt about that!
The same case applies to gymnastics, soccer, athletics and many other sports for toddlers.
Just like adults, when children exercise, they sleep better.
Isn’t it also great for mum/dad to take a rest too when the baby’s napping? Or even finish those never-ending house chores?!
Meanwhile, I have some not-so-good news.
If you’re expectant that introducing sports will set toddlers up for successful future sports careers, well, read on for a little disclaimer.
Does it Set them up for Future Sports Careers?
Although it’s great to enroll your little one for sports, it does not necessarily confer any benefit for future sports performances.
Research suggests that enrolling kids when they’re very young – 4 years or less – has no benefit on your child’s sports career.
In fact, too much physical stress could cause injuries on their developing bones.
Children grow their sports skills progressively, and the growth cannot be accelerated in any way, irrespective of how early, hard or often they attend training.
So, don’t enroll your kid with the assumption that they’ll definitely develop a career in the specific sport.
Enroll them for entertainment, exploration and physical activity. Let the career interest come later.