We constantly hear about the importance of regular physical activity for children. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children ages 3 to 5 are active throughout each day, and children ages 6 to 17 should do at least one hour of “moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.” So how can you help as a care provider?

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Create A Sports & Exercise Adventure

With Sittercity Adventures, you can create an experience for a child that’s dedicated to keeping them active. Sports are the perfect way for kids to maintain a healthy mind and body while building confidence and social skills. There are a lot of ways that you can approach creating this kind of Adventure, but make sure it’s something you’re also excited about!

When children try a new sport, understand they may love it or hate it. Either one is okay, because ultimately sports activities for kids are all about learning. Participating in multiple sports throughout childhood is a great way to prevent boredom, discover new opportunities, and decide what they like (and don’t like!). Just like any other kids activity, sports encourage self-discovery, self-esteem, and practice.

Age-Appropriate Physical Activities

Choosing the right type of activities based on the child’s age is important. Here is a breakdown of what kind of physical activity is most appropriate for each age group:

Infant-2 Years

Now is the time to incorporate active play whenever possible. Developing gross and fine motor skills is important for babies. While most formal sports may not be your best bet at the moment, there are plenty of ways to get them moving. Running and jumping activities in the yard or at the playground (when old enough) are good for this age group.

3-5 Years 

Coordination is developing at a fast pace for toddlers. Practicing catching, throwing, and kicking helps—making t-ball and soccer ideal sports for this age group. Swimming, dance, tumbling, and climbing keep toddlers active while having fun.

6-10 Years

Kids this age need physical activity to build strength, coordination, and confidence — and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle. They’re also gaining more control over how active they are. Make physical activity part of regular routines. From household chores to an after-dinner walk, keep them active every day. But as with kids of all ages, keep it fun. Any formal sport, games like kickball, riding bikes around the neighborhood, and building snowmen are great options.

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Here’s the bottom line —there are so many sports and physical activities for kids. Trying is the first step in helping them decide what they like and don’t like. Sports are more than just running and sweating. They offer kids an opportunity to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.

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