In this age of online gaming, outdoor play may have taken a backseat in your household. However, that may not be an ideal situation. Studies have shown that outdoor exercises are more effective than indoor activity in decreasing tension, confusion, anger and depression. Especially in children, outdoor activities improve their mood and increase their self-esteem. But before you walk into your local sporting goods store to buy any available game, know what to buy and how it can help your children.
What to expect from backyard games?
Hark back to your childhood and recall some of the most socially tricky situations you were in. Chances are it included playing some sport with the neighbourhood kids in your backyard. Maybe you learnt the art of negotiation when you decided what counted as a goal and what didn’t. Perhaps you learnt how to react when someone was injured – your first stint with first aid. Give your children the chance to explore their environment and society, let them hone their physical and social abilities, and build self-confidence.
Core Values or character building:
Studies have consistently shown that sporting activities play an essential role in the holistic development of an individual. Introduce your children to some core values through fair play. A good sporting goods store will supply games that help your children learn about indispensable values like character, respect, integrity, honesty, sportsmanship and confidence.
Concentration and persistence:
If you have a large backyard and quite a few children in the neighbourhood who would like to play with your kids, you can invest in a cricket set. Cricket, the gentlemen’s game (very much for the ladies as well!), is perfect for inculcating the importance of persistence and grit in your kids. Each player is expected to pay complete attention to the game and be on their toes no matter the position. Additionally, it is a physically demanding game and playing it at least thrice a week helps in a child’s physical development. It is estimated that a batsman can burn as much as 350 calories an hour when on strike.
Teamwork and communication:
If you’ve ever played volleyball, you know how important it is to have a working rapport with your teammates. Introducing your children to volleyball in your backyard is relatively easy, as all it takes is a good Pro Series Volleyball Set to get started. You can even set it up at the beach for a fun game of beach volleyball – which is more intense and is the ultimate form of resistance training. Playing volleyball burns up to 585 calories in under an hour. Further, it improves muscle strength and tone in the upper body, arms, shoulders, thighs, abdominals, and lower legs. In addition, volleyball improves hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and balance.
Croquet is the perfect backyard game if you want to hone your child’s strategic skills. It is a gentle form of exercise that is suitable for all ages. Croquet offers the best of both worlds – the intellectually stimulating charms of a puzzle and the physically demanding situations of a sport. It hones critical skills such as strategic planning, goal setting and deft muscle coordination.
Paddle tennis is a great way to relieve stress. Again another activity for all ages, it is one of those games where the players set the difficulty themselves. Additionally, it helps tone the leg and thigh muscles while strengthening the forearms and the upper body. Children who played tennis or paddle tennis from a young age showed increased concentration levels.
Sports can be a significant contributor to a child’s physical and psychological development. Investing in backyard sports equipment and encouraging your children to play outdoors for at least 30 to 40 minutes a day can positively impact their physique, stamina, mental prowess, and moral character. Head over to your local sports store or their online mart to pick an appropriate sport for your child and the entire family.