3 Sports That Will Teach Your Child Valuable Life Skills

Sport is a great thing to get into from a young age. It can teach someone the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle, it can improve a wide range of technical abilities and it can also help to develop valuable skills that are necessary for everyday life. With this being the case it is a great idea for parents to encourage their children to get involved in sport on some level from a relatively early age; allowing them to enjoy a regular hobby throughout their lives if they so wish.

But which sports are the best at aiding the development of our young ones? Snooker is a great past time but it doesn’t really teach anything more than intricate technical skills. Here are three sports that will help set your child on the right path to becoming a well-rounded adult.

Football is the most popular sport around the world and in 2010 it was estimated that about 270 million people regularly played football; a figure which is sure to have risen in the last three years. And it’s not just dreams of becoming the next big thing that drives people young and old to take part in the beautiful game. Through organised football coaching a child can learn a number of things that will be invaluable through the different stages of growing up.

Teamwork is a major part of football and this will show children the benefit of trusting others and working with them in order to complete certain tasks.

The game will also teach children that losing is a part of winning and will help them deal with situations which may not have turned out the way they wanted them to. As football is a very sociable sport your child will form lasting friendships and improve upon their self-confidence.

Rugby is another sport that is played right the way around the world in different forms. And although it looks like something you wouldn’t want your child to get into; there is much more to this popular game than merely throwing each other to the ground.

From an early age children will learn touch rugby which is a non-contact form of the game. Not only does this help them develop technical skills such as speed and agility; it also helps with their discipline. Rugby players are well known for their respect of the game and of the officials that run it, and so this will be instilled in them throughout their learning of the sport.

As they get older and move onto the standard version of rugby children will learn how to distinguish between aggression and assertion. Aggression is something that can cause people to be out of control and is therefore not encouraged on the sports field, whereas assertion refers to the use of controlled strength within the laws of the game. Learning the difference between these will help children to stay on the right side of the rules on and off the pitch.

The sport of tennis grows in popularity every year and now that Andy Murray has finally won Wimbledon it is likely to be on the increase even more. Tennis is a sport that can be played either on your own or as part of a pair and so there are lots of skills it can teach your child.

Firstly there’s the physical and mental endurance involved when playing a game of tennis. Professional matches have been known to go on for over five hours and so this can teach someone to stay focussed and to never give up on their journey to victory.

There’s also the superior level of cooperation that it takes to play a game of doubles. Knowing where your partner is at all times and communicating well with them can teach a child the value of symbiotic relationships.

Strategic thinking is something else that can be learnt through tennis. You need to be constantly thinking about where you are going to hit the ball next and where your opponent might choose to hit it. This will help a child to develop excellent problem solving skills which is a great asset to have during school exams and when entering the world of work later in life.

5 Fantastic Kids Party Themes

Putting on a party for your child is difficult, especially making it fun and different. These 5 themes below will do the trick without you having to break the bank.

Superheroes.

With recent blockbusters such as Avengers Assemble and The Dark Knight Rises, superheroes are definitely back in style – providing an ideal theme for a kid’s party. Their great outfits make dressing up a possibility, and with so many superheroes protecting Earth the inspiration is endless.

For refreshments there are so many ideas. Limeade could easily become liquid kryptonite, or ‘gamma ray-de’ from the Hulk. ‘PUNCH!’ is an easy and popular choice with a suitable title. Cupcakes decorated with Spiderman’s webs, Superman’s logo and the X-Men symbol make for tasty treats. You could also try frozen treats in reference to Captain America’s frosty slumber.

When the world’s littlest heroes need entertaining, the classic ‘Who Am I?’ game works well with a superhero theme. Try renaming musical statues ‘musical Iceman’, or make a fake Mjölnir and swing for a piñata containing gummy ‘radioactive’ spiders.

Alice In Wonderland

Alice In Wonderland provides an interesting and unusual theme for a children’s party, that will have them all talking. Again, there is the opportunity to dress up as a variety of colourful characters from the Dormouse to the Mad Hatter. Why not make it a tea party? Have different types of tea for the kids to sample, but have juice on standby too. Cakes, little sandwiches, gummy caterpillars… simple but effective.

For entertainment, the kids can play a spin on the classic ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. Instead try ‘pin the tail on the Cheshire Cat’, and take part in a very apt game of croquet. This kid’s party is certainly a ‘very important date’!

Mystery Party

Murder mystery parties are very popular with adults, and kids enjoy them too. The set up is the same, but instead of solving murders the kids solve crimes like thefts. This is a good idea for a party theme as the children have to use their brains, and they end up getting quite into it!

To fill the little detectives serve them sandwiches in the shape of footprints. ‘Magnifying glass’ lollipops, and cookies iced with question marks make excellent sweet treats. An amusing idea is to have a burglar’s swag bag, and fill it with goodies that the thief has ‘stolen.’ This can be a lucky dip for the kids to delve into and see what they can recover.

Disney Princesses

One for all the little belles of the ball. The kids can come dressed as their favourite princess, or they could ask the mirror who they are. Set out a mirror for them each to ask ‘mirror, mirror…’ style which princess they are.

To keep them busy draw doors on either side of a pumpkin, and have the kids decorate it to make a carriage. If you can’t get a pumpkin, they could design their own ball gowns instead. Put on some music to dance to, and play ‘musical Sleeping Beauty’ (make sure they go down carefully). At the end of the party why not let off some paper lanterns, and enjoy the ‘floating lights’?

Feeding the princesses is easy. Sit them down on a ‘magic carpet’ sent from Aladdin for Princess Jasmine and her friends, and serve up some delicious sandwiches cut into heart shapes. Use Rapunzel’s frying pan to cook up some pancakes, then for dessert toffee apples are perfect – promise they’re not poisoned!

Arts and Crafts

Like the mystery party, this is a good one for keeping the kids entertained without having them running riot. They can start by making and decorating their own party hats to get into the swing of things!

Arty, crafty ideas are limitless. What about making clay versions of themselves – or each other? Or try the old painted pasta photo frame. A fun idea is to have them each contribute to personalizing plain white t-shirts for each other, as a memento of the party.

Get creative with the refreshments. Make different coloured, irregular shaped pancakes using food colouring, so that they look like paint splatters. If you feel like dealing with excited children, sherbet looks a lot like chalk dust. Finally, have a selection of dips and sauces for them to dip breadsticks in, and it will be like they’re readying a brush for painting.

The most important thing is to make sure that everyone has fun. So don’t over complicate things, let your imagination take hold, and use your inner child to make your own child’s party one to remember!