Sports are a great way to relieve stress and work on team-building. What could be better for a family than getting together and playing a game? While some sports are more difficult for the entire family to play, there are some great sports that the entire family — old, young, or in-between — can play.
Martial arts are a great way to get parents interacting with their kids on an athletic level. These sports teach children self-control and discipline, as well as precision and focus. The benefits for all ages include an increase in stamina (particularly during cardio warm-ups), flexibility, and strength. Plus, there are many martial arts that teach children how to defend against attackers in everyday situations. Having parents play as the attacker will create a safe and comfortable environment for their children, where they can focus on stopping the situation and escaping. This focus will help ingrain the practices and can save them one day.
Soccer is a super easy sport to play, with minimal rules and lots of running. The continuous activity will keep kids from being bored, and the ease of the game means you’ll spend less time teaching the rules and more time running around your backyard. You’ll bond together as you work in teams, and your kids will feel accomplished when they score against one of their parents.
Croquet is a game most people associate with the rich, the British, or 80s movies. What most people don’t know is this game is fun for people of all ages! Croquet is an easy game to play, and while the rules are a little more complex than soccer, parents can coach younger kids on how they should make their next move. Just watch with this one; some kids may feel left out if they fall behind. As long as you promote a positive environment, you should be able to avoid most temper tantrums and end the game successfully.
Tennis is yet another simple game to teach. While very young children will have a harder time playing, parents can always let their children team up so they can cover more ground. There is also potential for upset children during this one, due to wild swinging of the rackets or out-of-bounds hits, so be cautious when approaching how you teach this. Once your children get the basic concepts, they will get better and have less of a chance of being upset.
Finally, we’re left with pool games, and I don’t mean the kind you find in a bar. Marco Polo is a classic swimming game, but there are so many you can play as a family. One fun and unique game uses a Watermelon Ball, which bounces on the pool floor just like a basketball. The goal of the game is to bounce the ball off of the opposing team’s wall to score a point. This game works best in the shallow end, so while I recommend your kids be good at swimming before jumping in, they can definitely play if they can stand with their head above water.
Finding ways to bond as a family can be tough when everyone has different interests, but playing fun sports together can make it easy. While you could play virtually any sport together, these are my top picks for the easiest, most fun games that the entire family can play.