Sport for different age group 

There has been so much said about how critical physical activity is to us, as early as from childhood. The Straits Times article “Singapore launches 24-hour activity guideline to improve the health of children and teens” shares insight on local youths and guidelines for a healthier lifestyle.

Thankfully, kids have a natural urge to play, and getting them engaged in sport is a good way to optimise their natural energy. What parents can consider are different areas of focus and recommended activities, for different age groups. Laying a progressive foundation will also make it easier for your kid to move to the next fitness level, as they grow older and have new or more needs.

Pre-schoolers (3 to 6 years old)

Kids of this age:

  • Have seemingly endless energy.

  • Love running, jumping around and playing.

  • Are still developing essential skills, such as hand-eye coordination (motor skills), how to follow instructions and rules, and yes, even socialising.

What’s good for this group:

  • Activities that help build fundamental motor skills and self-control.

  • Fun and free play - rather than organised sport – there is no need to be overly structured and complex in what you introduce to your kid.

  • Trying out a variety of activities – it is all right if your kid does not demonstrate interest in some of them, just keep trying others.

  • Getting creative – parents can even be the ones teaching or guiding, and participating in the same activity with your kid.

Suggested activities:

  • Ball games (just lots of kicking, throwing and running around!)

  • Dancing

  • Gymnastics

  • Karate

  • Riding a bicycle

  • Swimming

Sport for different age group 

Lower primary (7 to 9 years old)

Kids of this age:

  • Have better control of their vision, concentration span and motor skills (such as throwing over a distance).

  • Are better able to comprehend and follow instructions.

  • Are starting school and will interact with more adults and other children, making social skills even more important, including understanding and responding to conflict, sharing things, winning and losing, and playing in groups.

What’s good for this group:

  • Exploring and identifying sport activities that are closer to their interests, abilities and personalities.

  • Recognising what motivates your kid. Is it engaging in activities together with his/her friend from school? Is it the opportunity to be outdoors every weekend with the whole family? Is it a chance to participate in school competitions?

  • Organised group activities, that strengthen his/her foundation of team work.

Suggested activities:

  • Badminton

  • Basketball

  • Football

  • Tennis

  • Track & field

  • Volleyball

Sport for different age group 

Upper primary (10 to 12 years old)

Kids of this age:

  • Have mature vision and better coordination and balance.

  • Are able to understand (or even coordinate) sport strategies, involving team work.

  • Are more likely to know what they prefer, and have demonstrated an inclination towards certain sport activities and hobbies.

  • May need even more time and a regular schedule for their chosen activities, thus developing their sense of discipline and responsibility.

  • Will also require more commitment on the parents’ part, such as sending them to and fro extra activities, registration fees, and even buying your child his/her own sport equipment.

What’s good for this group:

  • Registering your kid for a sport club or association, in his/her identified area of interest, to encourage systematic training and regular commitment.

  • Parents being encouraging if your kid has been participating in a particular CCA in school, and has the opportunity to sign up for the school or even national team.

  • Introducing activities or sport during family vacations, that may not be part of their school’s programme, such as hiking, skiing or snorkelling.

Suggested activities:

  • Basketball

  • Canoeing or kayaking

  • Floorball

  • Football

  • Hockey

  • Indoor rock-climbing

  • Martial arts

Sport for different age groupSport for different age group 

For ideas on what you can get your child involved in, see what ActiveSG Sport Academies and Clubs have to offer here.

Contributed by:

Active Parents