Best Sports for Young Children

Sports are a fantastic way for kids to make friends, get exercise, and maintain healthy bodies and minds. If you have a little athlete in preschool or early grade school, you might wonder how to get him or her involved in sports and which ones are best. Our recommendations can help you decide.


Tumbling or gymnastics is a recommended choice for kids ages 2-5. At this age, kids may be too young for team sports, but they love unstructured free play. Tumbling gives them an outlet; it is more focused on helping little kids develop their coordination and motor skills than other activities. Your preschooler or kindergartner may learn basic moves like the crab walk, somersault, or cartwheel.


Most kids can start swimming lessons around age 4 or 5 with close supervision. Again, swimming is less organized and competitive than team sports, although older kids can join a swim team and get many positive experiences from it. Swimming is also less about balance and coordination than team sports, and it strengthens lungs and muscles. This makes it ideal for non-athletic kids or those with some physical challenges.

Softball or Baseball

Softball and baseball are often recommended as the first team sports for kids between 6 and 9. At this age, kids are learning to work with teams, and their motor skills are becoming more mature each year. They’re also better able to recall rules and strategies. If you have a budding Little League player, start out with T-ball, which is less dependent on hand-eye coordination.

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