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Sports Activities & Games for Kids

Fun sports games is one fun thing that nearly all kids can agree upon. Whether it’s team sports activities, sports games for kids, kids exercises, or even just talking about sports (scroll down to see our inspirational sports quotes!), there is something for everyone.

UNICEF Kid Power is all about being kids being active, and a big part of being active can include kids sports games and activities. Whether it’s a parent, coach, teammate, or a kid, take a look at our list of kids sports resources below!

Table of Content:

Best Kids’ Sports Games & Activities:

UNICEF Kid Power understands the importance of kids team building when it comes to sports. And when sports activities are drawn up for kids, it usually includes fun kids’ sports games and other various kids’ sports activities for all ages including primary school. Check out our links below for our recommendations for our favorite fun sports activities and kids sports games recommendations:

Sports Activities for Toddlers

Every parent and teacher is trying to think of the right sports activity or game for toddlers, aged 1-3. This is a tricky age period, as a baby who is just 12 months old is not ready for full sports activities, but can definitely be exposed to a small number of athletic activities to get them primed for sports when they get a bit older:

  • Throwing: Most babies possess the ability to toss a soft foam ball if prompted
  • Catching: It is important to use a very soft foamy ball for this, since although most toddlers comprehend being able to catch something, they are not yet of age where they can do so successfully
  • Tumbling: Having a toddler tumble on a soft mat (by following the lead of the sports teacher) can be fun and somewhat instructive
  • Walking/Running: Depending on the level of your toddler, having them walk or run toward a “finish line” can be a great toddler sports activity

Sports Activities for Pre-Schoolers & Kindergartners

Pre-School generally starts at age 3 or 4 until age 5, and is the perfect time to start getting your pre-school kids involved with sports activities. Many of the above sports activities can begin to be played at this age, namely:

  • Basketball: Ideally with a hoop that can be lowered to 5 feet, and with a foam ball (even a Nerf hoop in a classroom will suffice for the tots)
  • Baseball: Obviously it is ideal to start with a foam ball, and make sure there is enough space around the hitter so that they don’t accidentally wack anyone!
  • Gymnastics: Getting kids into the gym and onto a playmat with stuctured activities will be a great starting point
  • Swimming: This should be done with caution and lifeguard on hand (experts say age 5 is a good starting point)

Indoor Sports Games & Activities for Kids

Stuck indoors? No problem. There are plenty of fun sports activities for kids that can be played indoors. Whether it’s too hot or cold out, with rain, snow, or even a brutal heat wave, sometimes indoor sports is the best option for kids. Here are the most fun indoor sports activities and games for kids:

Balloon Football. Obviously you don’t want to play football in your family living room, which is why this safer version of football is the perfect indoor sports activity for kids. This game is easy: simply drop a balloon in the middle of a long rectangle table, and have each team try to blow the football toward the other’s side goal. For a funnier, larger than life version of indoor balloon football, check out this must-see video.

Hula Hoop. While most might think that Hula Hoops are a solo activity, you can totally play hula hoop with others as a fun kids indoor sports activity. The most fun team-based activity using a Hula Hoop is racing: Have two kids spinning Hula Hoops and then try to simultaneously move, whether they run, shimmy, or herky-jerky their way to the finish line, and is then declared winner!

Foam Sports: Foam sports are perfect for indoors, since most foam objects won’t break any windows inside your home! Take your kid to your local department store, and be sure to pick up a foam basketball, foam football, or even Nerf foam guns. Make sure you ensure boundaries in your home when letting your kid play indoors with foam sports toys.

Outdoor Sports Games & Activities for Kids

Many of the outdoor sports activities and games for kids have been covered above in our kids’ sports activity section. However, there are certain sports activities which are great for outdoors.

Additionally, outdoor sports activities for kids offer various benefits, including physical and social. The physical benefits of outdoor kids sports such as soccer, skateboarding, hiking, biking, and football include: building muscle, gaining acute flexibility, improving balance and coordination, losing weight, and general endurance.

The social benefits of outdoor sports are extremely obvious and, well, beneficial. Playing sports outdoors with a bunch of kids together can improve general social development, in that kids will learn to interact with each-other naturally but with sports as the main social anchor of the activity. Additionally, social interaction will improve other facets such as leadership, self esteem, and general teamwork through the construct of the sports games themselves.

Best Kids Sports Games & Activities in the Rain:

When it rains outside, that should not mean that your kid should stop playing his sports game or end his sports activities. Kids can still have fun in the rain! Of course, you can always send your kids inside to play a board game, but if you’ve got an active kid who loves sports, then here are the best sports games for kids while its raining outside:

Ping Pong. Would you believe that ping pong is not only fine to play in the rain but even more fun than when it’s dry out?? Playing ping pong in the rain is a really fun activity. Sure, the rain might be a bit distracting, especially if your kid is wearing glasses. However, the ball still travels well, and hits off the paddle quite nicely, even with rain smacking down on it. Additionally, playing in the rain will probably improve hand eye coordination at a higher level so that when the rain stops, your kid will be much better at ping pong!

Football. If the NFL can play in the rain, then why not your kids. To be certain, playing football in the rain is obviously less safe, and should be closely monitored by an adult or referee. However, it is definitely an exhilarating experience to run around in the rain, especially chasing a football thrown in the air. It is recommended to wear cleats so that your shoes maintain good traction on the ground, thereby making it less likely that you will slip.

Swimming. The only trick here is to find an outdoor pool with no roof above it. But if you can, then this is definitely a fun kids sports activity – frolicking around in a pool is fun by itself, but with rain pouring down and causing ripples in the pool can also be exhilarating. Additionally, any kids sports games that usually happen in a pool or much more exciting in the rain: whether its Marco Polo, pool basketball, chicken fights, beach ball monkey in the middle, or just an old school swimming race – all of these kids swimming pool sports games will be a ton of fun!

Indoors. Sometimes, even though the rain can be exciting, might not be worth any risk. If the rain turns from a drizzle into something resembling a downpour, then it is probably best to head indoors for some indoor sports games for your kids to enjoy. Especially if it begins to get windy, or even worse, thunder, at which point you should get indoors immediately!!! But once indoors, you can certainly enjoy a bunch of active kids sports games like playing with Nerf sports toys, hide and seek, or an indoor soft basketball hoop that you can hang on any door.

What are the Most Popular Kids Sports?

We took a look at an ESPN poll from a few years ago which listed the most popular kids sports, and the winner of the most popular kids sport activity is basketball, mainly because both genders play it on a large scale across America. Here are the main takeaways from the article:

Basketball is the most popular sport by far! By the time kids reach the age of 9, both boys and girls begin to play basketball and it becomes the most competitive sport, with kids taking up competition and joining local youth leagues and summer camps. At age 9, an impressive 14% of boys and girls are playing competitive basketball in youth leagues. To be clear, it actually didn’t start that way. At age 8, the most competitive sport was baseball, with 12.5% of kids playing competitive baseball in youth leagues, with basketball at just 11% and soccer at 10%. Basketball’s popularity takes over at age 9, and the by age 10 jumps to 17%, then a staggering of 20% of kids play competitive basketball at age 11, followed by a hair of an increase to 20.1% at age 12, which seems to be the peak. By age 13, competitive basketball among kids begins to drop to 19%, which continued drops each year down to 15% by age 17.

For comparison’s sake, at age 17 we see drops for all sports, with baseball, soccer, football, and volleyball all hovering between 4 and 8% for kids (or teenagers at this point) taking up competitive sports. (It is important to distinguish between kids sports games and competitive sports – this survey only studied competitive sports which means official leagues via schools, camps, and programs, but does not include friendly or local sports games without officiating). What is most interesting in terms of the breakdown of most popular kids sports activities is that soccer maintained the most straight line out of all sports, with the least amount of deviations of popularity or lack thereof over the years. At age 6, soccer is played by 7.5%, then peaks at 10% by age 8, then stays at roughly 10% for 4 consecutive years, and then settles in at 6% by the time kids reach age 17. It should be noted that a reason for the drop-off at age 17 is not a lack of interest by kids in sports activities, but rather moving on from high school and to college, in which sports is less of a focus, and is replaced by classrooms, studies, internships, and general job prep.

This is not to say that interest in sports activities such as soccer or basketball dissipate, as this study does not account for recreational sports. There is little doubt that even after a teenager stops playing competitive sports, they are still active in sports games such as intramural basketball and friendly pickup soccer or football games with local kids or classmates.

Why Kids’ Sports Games & Team Activities Are Important

Now that we’ve presented to you a huge list of kids sports games and activities to make your kid a better athlete, we want to discuss the importance of sports games. Though it might seem like a normal fun activity, (and your kid having fun is important too), there are very important developmental aspects to your kid playing sports games.

There is tons of evidence out there that simply getting kids together for an activity or game is beneficial for their development. By making this activity a sports activity simply makes it more an active and healthy exercise, as it gets kids outdoors, moving around, and interacting with one another.

A research study from Yale University titled “Organized Activities as Developmental Contexts for Children and Adolescents” discusses the benefits of team-based activities: Research shows that participation in organized activities can have a range of positive influence on children and adolescence.

And it’s not enough to just participate – once your kid becomes talented at the (sports) activity or exercise he is participating in, simply makes their development that much better: Achieving competency at these tasks allows an individual to take advantage of personal and environmental resources that promote positive functioning in the present, reduce the risk for developing behavior problems, and increase the likelihood for healthy adjustment for the future.” 

How to Build Confidence in Kids Sports

The most important attribute to instill in kids is to stress the importance of hard work. All of the greatest athletes succeeded because they put in hard work. Talent and opportunity is not enough, and kids need to know this. Kids might find it hard to exert themselves physically, especially if it causes injuries. And of course they should know their limits, which is why parents should be on call and aware of their kids’ sports activities.

However, any kid who wants to be great, has to know that the more effort they put in, the more they work, practice, and train, the more likely they are to be better than their peers and become something truly great. Building confidence in kids when they play sports from a young age can have a great effect on their future performance and confidence as well.

How Do Team Sports Help Kids in School?

There is no question that being an active member of a sports team while in elementary school will help a kid perform better academically. The Washington Post summed up a study from 2013 proving such, and stated that “It not only helps develop muscles and fend off obesity, it also offers opportunities to socialize and learn new skills.”

Beyond the classroom, it is no surprise that sports, and especially team sports offers a multitude of benefits to kids in their life development. Partaking in sports activities with others increases social interaction, forces kids to work together toward a goal, and creates a sense of competition which each kid can tap into later in life in various situations.

Sure, on the surface, sports sounds like a way out of the classroom, but really, kids sports activities will help propel a kid further in and out of the classroom.

Benefits of Team Sports for Kids

In keeping with the theme of the benefits of sports for kids, it is important to understand that teams provide more than just a fun place to hang out with friends and kick or toss a ball around.

Team sports provides an outlet for kids outside of their classrooms and homes. It provides a way for kids to channel their talents, and exert themselves in ways that they otherwise could not have in a classroom or at home.

Furthermore, the idea of team sports for kids presents opportunities for kids to work together toward a common goal, which is usually to win the game.

But regardless of the outcome of a sports game, the real goal is for a kids sports team to develop camaraderie, respect for one another, and to learn about each other.

These skills developed during team sports activities will undoubtedly help these kids in both school and professionally later in life.

Inspirational Quotes for Kids’ Sports

Just like adults, sometimes kids need inspiration to succeed in sports. Whether it is a locker room speech from a coach, a pep talk from a parent, or even members of the team talking and motivating one another – the point is that inspiration can come from anywhere.

When it comes to inspirational quotes for kids’ sports, there is a ton of content to choose from in real life. But for the sake of entertainment and popularity, we can choose from a huge number of inspirational sports quotes from movies that any kid is sure to be motivated by. Here are our favorites:

  • It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – NFL Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi
  • My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.MLB Hall of Famer Hank Aaron
  • You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave–win or lose.” – NHL Hall of Famer Gordie Howe
  • I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying.” – NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan
  • Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” – Michael Jordan

Kids Sports Trivia Questions & Answers Games

When it comes to sports trivia questions and answer games, there is no right or wrong. Kids will be happy whether they know or don’t know the answers, because it’s always a fun, good natured competition, and kids love to impress eachother with their knowledge of sports and trivia answers.

Here are a few classic kids sports trivia questions and answers:

  • How many championships did Michael Jordan win in the NBA? 6 (1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998).
  • Who has the most home runs in Major League Baseball history? Barry Bonds – 762.
  • Who had the most receptions ever in 1 NFL game? Brandon Marshall, with 21 receptions in 2009.
  • Who has the most hockey goals in a single NHL season? Wayne Gretzky, 92 goals in 1981.
  • Who had the most rebounds in a single NBA game? Wilt Chamberlain, with 55 rebounds in 1960.


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