When it comes to picking a class or hobby for kids, sports activity is one of the most common choices for parents. And among different kinds of sports for kids, ball games have always played an essential role in childhood play.
There is evidence of children playing with balls made from papyrus or leather with straw stuffing. Kids in Ancient Roman times entertained themselves with sports and ball games like dodgeball and catch. The balls were made from reeds, linen or inflated pigs’ bladders. While the modern days that we live in, plenty of research shows that ball games offer numerous benefits across different kids’ developmental areas, especially in physical health.
Read on to know more about how 4 popular ball games in Hong Kong improves kids’ physical health as a sport and hobby!
Need not mention, soccer is one of the significantly loved sports for both kids and adults around the globe. It is an incredible sport that is suitable for kids of different ages, and is so popular that its international tournament - the World Cup can almost paralyse a city or even a region! As a sport, a sport teaches kids valuable life lessons like willpower and persistence on the field. Kids are also trained to build trust with peers and make the most out of teamwork in a soccer game, instead of focusing on personal achievements.
Physically speaking, soccer is a sport that requires a lot of running throughout the generally 90-min game. It is intense training for kids’ lung capacities and muscle strengths. Being an outdoor sport, soccer is also extremely beneficial for kids’ development since adequate exposure to sunlight allows kids to absorb vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial in terms of bone growth and helps calcium absorption in the gut.
Another great way to tire your little ones out, tennis is also an internationally played sport for kids that brings lots of health aces. With the use of a player’s entire body, playing tennis promotes the development of children’s muscular body strength, coupling with the strengthening of their cardiovascular and immune systems.
Tennis is also one of the few sports that is traditionally set on a grass field. As you may know, looking at greenery is good for our eyesight, as suggested by studies emphasising the fact that the colour green is soothing to the eyes. As a child, Korean tennis rising star Hyeon Chung was told to ‘focus on something green’ by his optician to improve his vision. Following the tennis ball, he honed his hand-eye coordination and vision and grew to be the first South Korean to advance to a grand slam quarter-final.
When it comes to sports for kids, badminton is another popular option in Hong Kong. Badminton is a great, full-body workout for kids that involves multiple body movements such as running, jumping and swinging the rackets. All combined, basically all muscle groups could be utilised in a badminton game. In order to master the sports, kids need to go for and improve their metabolism rates, reaction time, muscle endurance, attention, flexibility and so much more.
All physical benefits aside, in comparison to other sports for kids, badminton is relatively safer. It is because there is no direct contact between players and hence, reducing the risk of having accidents.
Perhaps the most particular sport on this list, Table tennis is amazing for kids starting from a young age. Also known as ping pong, table tennis is a sport that requires kids to think quickly and strategise which obviously, keeps the brain sharp. It is also excellent in terms of improving motor skills, hand-eye coordination and agility, as suggested by numerous studies. Some called the ‘fastest sports for everyone’, kids’ bodies get to eliminate toxins with the sweating process during a table tennis game alongside improvement in heart rate and blood circulation. Being a challenging game that requires ultimate focus because of fast movements and short range, table tennis is known to be the best sport to train kids’ concentration and eyesight by keeping track of the tiny ball.
Through ball games, kids get to maintain a healthy weight and good physical health with regular physical activities. They also pick up essential traits like patience, turn-taking, sportsmanship and so much more - all are inevitable lessons to get in life.
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