Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting Your Kids Involved in Water Sports

Olympian Swimming pool in Sea Garden, Varna, B...Image via Wikipedia

Every parent wants their child to take up a hobby that they can turn into a skill and a passion, but finding them a hobby they enjoy can be more difficult than it at first appears.

If musical instruments, ballet classes and tennis lessons have all been exhausted, there may be another option that might be just the ticket – water sports.

Getting your children involved in any hobby is undeniably fantastic for their brain development, whilst also helping to mould them into happy, passionate and skilful adults. However outdoor pursuits, whether team sports, athletics or water sports offer another benefit – they’re getting kids to embrace the outdoors. This has been proven to benefit their health and happiness even further than hobbies carried out indoors.

In fact, children who spend a significant amount of time embracing the joys of the great outdoors have been shown to possess lower stress levels and fewer symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, they tend to do better in school. Time outdoors also increases the levels of vitamin D that the body produces. Vitamin D is not only vital for everyday health but current studies are concluding that it may contribute to a lowered risk of cancer.

But what choices are there for outdoor hobbies? While sports such as tennis, football and hiking are all obvious choices, many children want to do something a little bit different, and that little bit more exciting. Water sports are a fantastic idea, as long as there is a facility nearby.

For those living near the sea, surfing is a cost-effective and highly enjoyable pursuit. If there are any lakes or water sports centres within the region then kayaking, canoeing and yachting are all fantastic options. Even if there are none of these facilities within a reasonable distance, the local swimming pool may well offer scuba diving lessons – a great skill to have in place for any future holidays abroad.

Yet many parents are deterred from getting their kids involved in such pursuits due to concerns for the costs. The initial expenses may involve the purchase of childrens wetsuits. A pair of kids waterproof trousers might also come in handy for time spent around the water areas while they are not actively participating.

However, childrens wetsuits and kids waterproof trousers do not need to be expensive and if funds are really tight, buying second hand is always an option.

In regards to the activities themselves, the cost of this can vary widely. While private lessons will in most cases be very expensive, lessons performed in large groups will cost considerably less, and even less so if the classes are booked in monthly, termly or yearly slots.

It’s also worth seeing the money spent as an investment for the future. Some children who learn these skills may make a career out of teaching others. Even those that don’t will learn skills such as team-building, quick thinking and independence that they will carry into the future and will help them in the working world. Even money spent on the childrens wetsuits, or on kids waterproof trousers can still stand as an investment – the clothes may still be useful in the future should the first sport they try out turn out not to be the one for them - and they can always be sold on or passed onto younger members of the family.

This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Little Terra. James writes on a number of subjects including outdoor activities and sports.

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