5 summer sports your kids will love

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

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.


  1. dawnblyth 30/09/2018 at 10:11 pm

    My eldest is a sportsman through and through. He is playing summer football (soccer) which, for him, is a carry on from his winter sports. He had the option to play cricket, tennis, softball but he chose summer football as thats where his passion lies. We try to go swimming to the pool as often as we can, we go to the beach often – and this lets us teach our children saftey around water which is paramount in a country surrounded by water.

  2. Alezandra 30/09/2018 at 9:44 pm

    My lil 3 yo attends swimming class all year round now and it’s indoor pool so it’s quite possible. The rest of the sports would be good too when my lil one gets older but will let him choose the sport he would enjoy.

  3. SarahBlair 30/09/2018 at 12:05 am

    Playing sports is so great for kids, it not only keeps them active but it teaches them so many social skills like discipline, turn taking, following rules and how to be a team player. I will start looking around during the holidays to see what is available locally for my kids to get involved in

  4. felicity beets 28/09/2018 at 8:12 am

    I also think that orienteering is a great summer sports for children as you can do this together and explore different parts of your community. Swimming lessons are definitely valuable.

  5. kymmage 27/09/2018 at 8:44 pm

    I definitely like to get the kids into some swimming lessons over summer. Its a great way to help build their confidence in and around water. My eldest really wants to join a swimming group, and I don’t really know where to start but this reminded me. Maybe I should reach out to the local swimming pool and see if they know anything.

  6. Jen_Wiig 26/09/2018 at 5:15 pm

    Love all these sports, athletics was my favorite sports along with rowing. My boys however arent the biggest sports players and do prefer to read or do art and thats fine they still get out in the fresh air just not in a team type sport. I hoping now my oldest in intermediate he maybe more into doing a summer sport and will totally encourage it. My middle loves rugby so trying to convince him that doing athletics will keep his fitness sup..hahaha can only but try

  7. Bevik1971 26/09/2018 at 11:08 am

    Our 5 year old goes to swimming as part of her school activities in the first and last terms (so after next school holidays) and she loves it! She hasn’t really shown much interest in a sport yet, although she loves dancing and we might look at doing some Karate or similar. We will encourage and support her if she wants to be involved in sport of any kind though in the future 🙂

  8. MuddledUpMolly 25/09/2018 at 9:00 pm

    I would love to have my stepson do swimming lessons and I like the idea of him doing surf life saving or similar in the future as we are super close to the beach and it would be hugely relevant to him. This summer holiday we will be renting a school pool key so we are looking forward to accessing to it more often.

  9. Shelz69 22/09/2018 at 5:58 pm

    Swimming lessons are our usual go to in the summer months, I especially enjoy having a play swim after the lesson on those long hot summer nights. I do find them to be expensive though and so its more of a luxury than a necessity for us.

  10. Shorrty4life1 22/09/2018 at 4:42 pm

    My children absolutely love swimming on these warm days. Get them near water and they are in it no hesitation. My daughter has also just started mini ball which is great. Great spring sport to step into spring with. We love playing jackpot with a cricket bat also. So much fun for the whole family.

  11. Mands1980 18/09/2018 at 1:32 pm

    I have one of my sons that does cricket but it takes all morning to do a game. Our other son will start next year with cricket. We do swimming lessons year round and as it warms up fun swimming as well in pools or at the beach. We tried athletics but found out us parents ran it so they were not getting taught properly so they just do school athletics but nothing additional.

  12. kymmage 27/11/2017 at 7:00 pm

    My kids haven’t really tried cricket. I feel like they are missing out on backyard styles! Maybe this Christmas we get a set. Swimming is our usual sport for the summer months as well as walks in the warm evenings.

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