When Should Kids Start Playing Sports?
As you think about signing kids up for organized sports, consider how emotionally and physically ready they are to participate. If they're too young or not ready, it will be frustrating for everyone, and can turn kids off from sports for good.
Although there are sports programs designed for preschoolers, it's not until about age 6 or 7 that most kids develop the physical skills and attention span that most sports need. Preschoolers can throw and run, but it usually takes some time before they can coordinate the two skills. And it may not be until kindergarten or first grade before kids understand the rules of the game.
That doesn't mean kids can't play sports when they're younger. Sports can be fun for toddlers and kindergartners, but these should be less about competition and more about learning skills and having fun while being active. So even if young kids inadvertently score a goal for the other team or spend the entire game chasing butterflies, as long as they're enjoying it, that's OK. If you do decide to sign your 5-year-old up for a team, be sure to choose a league that emphasizes fun and basic skills.
By the time a child reaches preschool age, he/ she will benefit from playing with others.
Playing with others close to he/her age helps a young child learn how to cooperate, problem solve and develop socially and emotionally.
Not all parents want to enroll their children in programs outside of the home. Preschool playgroups offer parents an opportunity to come together on a regular basis, socialize with one another and provide opportunities for their child to play with others close to his/her age. In southern Illinois, most playgroups are offered through community churches. Some are free and some charge a yearly or monthly fee . They each have their own schedule, focus and organizational structure. MOPS ( Mothers of Preschoolers) programs are being offered in Herrin, Marion and Murphyboro. Other play groups are being sponsored for families in Elkville and Marion. For more detailed information and to learn more about these programs go to our listing at : http://www.sifamilies.org/preschool-playgroups.html. If you know of other play groups in your community, let us know, so we can include them on our list!