By Cynthia Marple
Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd; Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back.
From “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”
With the deep, sharp crack of a bat hitting a baseball, summer and baseball are synonymous with classic American fun. Like the lyrics above, this great American sport is a game for kids and adults equally. Whether playing or watching, baseball is an energizing way to connect with your kids.
Batter Up! Benefits of Playing Team Sports for Kids
Playing on a team provides learning for kids that does not feel like an academic classroom. On a practice field, working with the coach and other team members enriches your kid on many levels.
More physical activity is an obvious plus. Summer activities for kids need to include physical movement. Swinging a bat correctly and timing it to hit a moving ball improves eye/hand coordination. Running bases develops cardiovascular strength. Catching a moving ball and throwing it accurately develops many physical skills.
Learning to be Part of a Team
Working with a team develops social skills. Your kid’s place in the team gives a set of responsibilities to fulfill so the team is not let down. Learning a specific role such as outfield teaches accountability. Watching for when it is your turn to help – seeing the ball coming toward the outfield – develops patience.
More Resilience for Failure
Facing losing with a group of peers gives resilience – not everyone wins and not everyone hits the ball. Coping with “failure” and learning to get up and try again are essential skills.
A shy kid will need to overcome this to communicate with the other team members. Extroverted kids will need to slow down and listen to other team members.
From the Majors to the Minors, Houston Loves to Watch Baseball
No doubt you have heard about the Houston Astros. This major league baseball team calls Houston home and they play in a terrific stadium downtown called Minute Maid Park. Currently ranked third in the American League West, the Astros are having a vibrant 2016 season. Share the thrill of big time, professional baseball with your kid.
Did you know there is also a minor league team in the area? The Sugar Land Skeeters play in Constellation Field and that ball park has a huge playground and splash pad for the kids. These fun amenities are in full view of the action on the diamond so you can watch both your kids and the game.
Although a minor league team, this team offers major fun ways to earn free tickets and other goodies for your family. There is a summer reading program in which a kid between the ages of 6 and 12 can each two free tickets after reading four books and logging four, 60-minute activity sessions. The tickets can be used for one of the noted Summer Reading Program Redemption Nights. During the school year, the Skeeters offer another reading program through elementary schools so kids can earn free tickets. A buddy club allows kids to pay a fee to earn special items.
Connect with your Kids Using Baseball
Fantasy baseball leagues are popular and an inventive method to connect with kids over a favorite sport. Introverted parents can create a fantasy team with their kids and develop a shared hobby. Following a team’s progress and working on a team are also ways to deepen a parent/child relationship with a lighter, fun activity.
With our busy lives so overpowered by multi-tasking and technology, focusing on a physical game is a welcome break. There is lots of history to learn, stats that are fun to keep and follow plus a natural camaraderie with other baseball fans.
Summer programs in Houston and the surrounding area give lots of options for kids to develop baseball skills or other sports skills. Find a new sport or activity to try over the summer to foster both physical and emotional developments.
Check out some great baseball summer camps 2016 on iquriouskids.com.
D-Bat West Houston
What sports do your children love to play? If you or child has never tried a sport, take a chance on baseball. Share your stories in the comments!