Give my kids a soccer ball and within a few minutes they would have named it, drawn a face on it and made it a little cubby house. The simple fact is that they just prefer non-sporty type activities. Two love to draw, one loves music and the other (dare I say it), chess and puzzles. If your child is more the creative, indoorsy type, then you are going to love this list of 10 Fun Things To Do with Your Un-Sporty Kid.
Let’s Talk about Sports
I believe that Sports is one of the best (if not the best) way to get our kids to connect with the World and each other.
But what if your kids just aren’t Sporty? Now, if you are a parent of Sporty kids, then you might be frowning in mild confusion here. But if your kids are the type that feign illness on cross country or have an anxiety attack on swimming carnival days – I think you know exactly what I’m talking about.
That’s the issue I have with mine. In my efforts to find that one sport that ‘they will love’, I’ve done the whole force them to show up tennis lessons, dance lessons, golf lessons, soccer lessons … (trust me, this list goes on and on).
Just to put you a little more into our family picture – my husband loves everything that gets his Adrenalin pumping. So, it’s not through lack of trying on his part – it’s just the way they are. All of them.
The Technology Curse
Technology is a blessing and a curse for parents of non-sporty kids. My four love anything attached to WiFi and a charge cable. And sometimes I do too. But then sometimes I don’t. The ‘How much is too much’ technology issue is always on my mind.
It’s how my kids connect to one another. They chat to their friends from school, play games with friends from other Countries (in our day moving house often meant leaving friends behind, but not anymore). They do their homework, find mentors – that aren’t us.
The whole World is their play ground. They learn and they create more than we ever did and they don’t even need to leave their room.
The big problem is that Technology is awesome. Too awesome.
The attraction is a great big shiny light blinding our kids from doing other things. Everything else is just something they do while waiting for Mom to say they can plug back in.
Raising kids in a Technology obsessed culture wasn’t something our parents or grandparents had to deal with. We are the lucky first generation of parents learning to figure out how to manage our children and their access to everything tech. And it’s like trying to light a candle in a tornado.
Finding that balance is tricky, but having a few simple rules in place and a list of fun fallback family activities can make parenting a generation of technology obsessed kids a lot easier.
10 Fun (and Non Tech) Things To Do with Your Un-Sporty Kids
When you think of a Puzzle, I bet the regular jigsaw comes to mind? I’m about to rock your World. Puzzles are pretty much anything that challenges your mind to try and solve. For some kids puzzles = frustration but for others puzzles are hours of pure enjoyment. Take a look at these non-jigsaw brain teaser puzzles here (links to an Amazon page).
2. Hula Hooping
This old school activity is a whole lot of fun. It’s something everyone can learn and YouTube is a great place to see and learn new tricks and moves. It’s non competitive, gets the heart pumping and gives the kids something to do when you ‘send them outside to play’. Make sure you get a real hula hoop. Don’t waste your money on those dodgy ones from the Toy shop. Either make your own (see the tutorial here) or get one from a Hula Hoop Supplier.
3. Magic Tricks
Who doesn’t like a little magic? Learning magic takes a little persistence and focus, so it’s a great hobby for a child who prefers their own company. They can practice and master new skills in their own time. And the best thing is this – it’s kinda cool knowing a few magic tricks to show off to your friends.
4. Basketball hoop
Isn’t this sporty? A little. We bought a basketball hoop and attached it to the side of our house. Our un-sporty kids love it. They will spend ages throwing the ball into the hoop. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and is an activity everyone can join in with.
5. Dart Board
Darts don’t just belong in Dad’s man cave. A game of Darts can turn into a really fun family night. Just make sure you position the board far away from a double glass sliding door (just sayin’).
6. Board and Card Games
When it comes to family memory making, there are very few activities that can top a regular family game night. Stock up on the classics and slowly add to your library at Christmas and Birthdays. Board games are a hit with all ages. Here are a few of the classics:
7. Art & Crafts
Drawing, painting, clay, coloring. There are tons of activities to captivate a creative personality. Make it easy for them to retreat to their Art and Crafts corner. Keep things easily accessible and consider setting up an area in the home that’s always craft ready. This can be anything from a big container or bookshelf and desk.
- How to Make an Art Corner (Childs Mag Blog)
- Art Area for More than one child (Creative Nation)
- Small writing desk Art Center (Pinterest)
8. Journal Writing or Scrapbooking
The thing about Journal or Scrap booking is that it encourages your child to explore their World. They actively begin to seek out opportunities to fill the pages in their book. Start with gifting your child a simple journal or scrap book and watch the magic begin to unfold.
If your child never misses a Junior Masterchef episode, then get them to join you in the kitchen. Try and ignore the mess and let them give some of their favorite recipes a whirl.
Growing your own food is the best feeling ever! You can start a small veggie garden on your patio or grow some herbs on a sunny windowsill. OK, so it doesn’t even have to be food. The first thing we ever planted with our kids were these Giant Sunflowers. They grow quickly so even the most impatient child can see some daily progress.