Writing for the CBC, James Mandingo makes the case that while sport can help children improve their physical skills, it can, more importantly, lead to the development of important life skills.
Parents are always telling their kids things like “sharing is caring,” “get along with others,” and “never give up.” But these sayings don’t have any meaning to children. Rather, kids learn life skills by experiencing them first hand.
So instead of simply telling your child to share their toys with their younger siblings, get them participating in activities that teach them how to share.
Mandingo suggests a simple, physical game that is effective at developing cooperation and problem-solving skills among children.
- Find something that can be used to play catch. Some balled up socks, or a sponge ball, for example.
- Count how many times the family can toss and catch the object without it falling on the ground.
- Each time your family plays the game, try to beat your previous high score.
- As a group, brainstorm ways to beat your score.
- Have everyone come up with a way to make the activity more challenging. Throw overhand, for example, or catch behind your back.
Your kids will benefit from developing throwing and catching skills as well as an appreciation for collaboration, problem solving, and patience.