Sport for kids – classes and beyond

From toddlers to schoolchildren, see how you can get your children involved in a sport they love

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After a fantastic summer of sport, now is the time to keep children excited about sport and signing up to a club. From martial arts, to ballet, swimming and theatre, we look at the exhaustive range of sporting activities available to children…

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Football

Having a kick about in the park with your tots is a brilliant way to get out in the fresh air, spend some quality time together and exercise. If they’re more Rooney to your Rodney, why not get them into a football club?

Read our guide to toddler football classes

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Tennis

With Andy Murray’s success as fresh as the grass on your local tennis court, getting your youngsters to have a go at tennis couldn’t be more timely. Even if they’re pounding the balls into the ground – or your face – giving them a reason to get excited about the sport is a brilliant way to get them keen to join a club.

Read our guide to toddler tennis classes

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Rugby

The thought of rugby and all the scrapes, scraps and caulliflower ears probably doesn’t fill you with much confidence. But toddler rugby is very safety conscious and age appropriate. Non-contact versions and foam ball options are great ways to kick start a love for the sport.

Read our guide to toddler rugby classes

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Swimming

Don’t just dip a toe in with swimming, get in with your baby from an early age. Keep the sport interesting by taking them swimming away from lessons, where there will be more opportunity for fun and play.

Read our guide to toddler swimming classes

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Netball

There’s not many things more satisfactory than getting a ball through a hoop, and as kids will often be exposed to netball at school, it’s good to get a jump start on learning.

For kids already at school, read our guide to primary-age netball classes

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Gymnastics

Once little ones have had a go at baby gym it’s just a hop, skip and a jump (or should that be cartwheel, half backward turn and splits?!) to a junior gymnastics class.

Lessons range from trying different aparatus, to stretching and dance routines. Gymnastics is a good strength builder as well as promoting agility and flexibility.

Read our guide to toddler gymnastics classes

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Drama and theatre school

Theatre schools and drama classes can help build confidence, memory and fitness if taking part in dance productions.

Check out our interview with Denise Hutton-Gosney, Founder and Managing Director of Razzmataz for top tips on keeping the cost down and what type of school to look for. 

Plus, read our guide to toddler drama classes

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Ballet

There’s few things cuter than a little one in tutu – but ballet isn’t simply about looking cute. The classes will teach your child balance, agility, timing as well as an appreciation for classical music.

Read our guide to toddler ballet classes

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Martial arts

Starting martial arts classes from a young age can help children learn about breathing techniques, strength, movement and balance.

Martial arts for children is very age specific, so no physical contact will happen. Instead, children will learn about theirs and their opponent’s space.

Read our guide to pre-school martial arts class

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Cricket

In the summer months cricket is your one stop shop for exercise, team work, outdoor play and sporting achievement. Toddlers can get involved from a young age, with age-appropriate equipment and pitch sizes. 

Read our guide to toddler cricket classes

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Sailing and watersports

From learning the ropes (literally) to how to manage the changing winds and tides, kids will learn about water safety all the while having fun.

Read our guide to toddler sailing and watersports

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Golf

Pack up your best china, as many clubs now offer youngster golf classes to get kids out onto the green.

Your children can learn how to score points, hold a club and get that elusive hole in one.

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Read our guide to toddler golf classes

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