Playing sports and games can be the sort of thing that memories are made of – football in the park, volleyball on the beach and sports days at school all leave kids with lots of fun-filled memories that can last a lifetime; but they also help kids to develop their social skills.
The Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE) programme published evidence on the benefits of sport for children and young people. They found that:
- Young people’s participation in sport improves their numeracy scores by 8% on average above non-participants.
- Underachieving young people who take part in sport see a 29% increase in numeracy skills and a 12 to 16% rise in other transferable skills.
- Returns on investment in sports programmes for at-risk youth are estimated at £7.35 of social benefit for every £1 spent – through financial savings to police, the criminal justice system and the community.
Pretty strong evidence that organised sport has a great effect on education – but we’re really keen to promote the fact that children can gain a lot more – including improved social skills.
Playing sports at all levels can teach little ones how they can be competitive – but at the same time show them how to stay yet fair and honest. Teaching children life skills like how to play fair will help your children to cultivate meaningful relationships in school years and beyond. Learn Play Grow uses characters and stories to underline the importance of sportsmanship and consideration as well as getting kids moving and teaching them physical skills that can be used in sport as they get older.
Through competitive games and sports, kids learn that they don’t have to work alone, they can be successful and reach a shared goal more effectively if they work together with others in a team. With more organised sports, children also learn that following established rules benefits everybody Finding this out from an early age helps children to socialise and work with other people as they get older – personally, at school or work.
It’s not a cliché – sport really does help to build your character. A skill that children could all benefit from learning at a tender age is the ability to stick with something, or to honour a long-term commitment. This positive character trait is something that’s reinforced through committing to playing a sport, training and taking part. Joining groups and sports teams helps younger kids to understand the concept that other people depend on them to show up and make an effort – something that we all need to grasp if we want to be successful in life.
Sports and games, like those we play in Learn Play grow sessions, all come with rules – and learning things like having to wait your turn to play or take a shot, staying in your area and playing by the rules is something that helps to shape little personalities.
You can’t win ‘em all
It’s always great when your child comes first – but how do they cope with losing? Playing lots of sports and games teaches them that there are always going to be times when they don’t win, or aren’t picked for a team, and how to cope with that.