Getting your children involved in sports from an early age is a proven way to foster lifelong healthy and active lifestyle choices. The popularity of dedicated sports and activities centres is on the increase. But while this a positive step, how can you go about choosing the right venue for your child? Here are some tips to help you.
Are Age-Appropriate Activities on Offer?
Starting your children in sports and other physical activities is crucial to the development of their fine and gross motor skills as they learn about balance, coordination and spatial awareness. This is also a great way to develop their social skills and to build confidence around other adults and children. However, to make sure your child gets the most out of the experience, they need to engage in activities that are aligned to their age. Under or over-stimulating a child is not healthy and will most likely end in tears! Remember: you want to foster positive attitudes to physical activity rather than traumatising your child by pushing them too hard.
How Clean Is the Centre?
Put a bunch of kids in a room together, particularly during the colder months, and it’s a veritable breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. While this is a fundamentally important way to build your child’s immune system, dirty surfaces and equipment will invariably lead to infection. Have a good look around at local centres to get a sense of how clean they are. Talk to staff and ask who does their cleaning. Ideally, all sports and leisure centres should be employing professional cleaners, such as AMC Commercial Cleaning , to make sure that contaminants are removed rather than simply redistributed.
Will the Fees ‘Break the Bank’?
While starting children early in physical activity is important, so is your family budget. While child-specific classes and activities are fun and can help you keep your little ones amused, they’re not essential. Just remember: it doesn’t take much to make kids happy. Your grandparents and parents didn’t have access to these types of activities when they were growing up, but it hasn’t affected or impaired their development. Taking your kids to the park or just running around the backyard is more than likely just as beneficial as taking them to the latest child-centred activity.
What Does Your Child Think?
Even if your child can’t talk, they can still communicate their likes and dislikes with you. Do they seem to enjoy going to one sports club or activity over another? Watch their responses more closely to see if you can gauge whether or not to continue with certain clubs or classes.
Involving your children in a sports club or classes is a great way to develop physical, mental and social skills. Just make sure you choose the best club or classes for their age, that your child enjoys going, and that you can afford it. It’s also important to make sure venues are well maintained and clean to reduce the chances of infection, particularly during cold and flu season each winter.