With the longer days and warmer weather that comes with summer, kids inevitably want to get outdoors and get busy playing fun sports. If you’re looking for new activities to keep them busy, consider one of these top five summer sports:
Little kids can start to get involved in this fun sport from the age of five by joining the Have-a-Go cricket programme at a local club. This is designed for children from 5 to 8 years and teaches basic cricket skills in a fun way. From around age seven kids may be able to join a club team and play Kiwi Cricket – a modified, short version of the game with safe equipment. The emphasis is on having fun. Older kids will have longer games but still with modified rules to ensure that everyone is involved and building skills. To find out more, go to the New Zealand Cricket Community hub.
If your kids are tied up with team sports during winter and you are looking for something to keep their fitness up over the summer months, why not try Athletics. By attending the weekly training sessions which cover all track and field events, children from as young as five years old can join up and enjoy being involved without the pressure of performing at an elite level. Find out more at Athletics New Zealand.
Surf Lifesaving teaches kids to have confidence at the beach by involving them in a range of activities that has them paddling in the water and running on the beach. Children can join their local Surf Life Saving Club programme from 7 years of age and participate in their Junion Surf programme. There are 5 levels of achievement in the Junior Surf programme. Find out more on the Surf Life Saving New Zealand website.
While indoor courts now mean that tennis can be played year round, this fun game becomes particularly popular during summer when the long afternoons make a game of tennis seem like a really good idea. Tennis in New Zealand is organised through six regional associations that cover several local centres with which clubs affiliate. Many associations run a Tennis NZ introductory programme, Grasshoppers, to introduce tennis to 5-10 year olds. Find out more on the Tennis New Zealand website.
Half of all 10 year old children in New Zealand cannot swim 25 metres and a quarter cannot stay afloat. Knowing how to swim confidently is a life skill and one that is much easier to learn when the weather is warm and the water is inviting. Professional water confidence and swimming lessons are a great way to learn this vital life saving skill. Find a swimming club.
If you cannot, for whatever reason, have your child take formal swimming lessons, Water Safety New Zealand can help with their guide for parents to help their child become water safe.
This article was written for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best parenting resource, in conjunction with NIVEA SUN.