15 Fun Activities for Kids Who Don't Love Team Sports

Wendy Robinson | Aug 3, 2017 Big Kid

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According to the Center for Disease Control, most kids need at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise a day for best health. For some kids, hitting this number is easy thanks to being on a soccer or swim team. But what about the kids who just aren't into sports?

Because even the non-sporty kids still need to be physically active, we reached out to 15 moms who aren't living the soccer mom life to find out how they make sure their kids get moving -- and have some fun. These are smart ideas for physical fun with no teams involved.

  • Take a Hike

    1

    "I have three kids and so far none of them has expressed any interest in joining any teams. I think we're just not a join-y family. But I don't worry about them getting enough exercise because we go for long hikes almost every weekend. They can knock out five miles without complaining!" -- Jennifer R., Flagstaff, Arizona

  • Jump Around

    2

    "My daughter is really, really type A and a total perfectionist. We tried T-ball, tennis, and lacrosse and it became really clear that she is WAY too hard on herself when it comes to winning and losing. She's fairly athletic but she doesn't handle pressure well. 

    "She's really been enjoying our having a membership at our neighborhood indoor trampoline place. She goes for open jumping time and comes out totally sweaty and stress-free. I love it for her." -- Brianna E., Grimes, Iowa 

  • Have a Dance Party

    3

    "You know that kid in the T-ball game, standing in the outfield, picking her nose? Yeah, that's my girl! She's so not into sports. But she does love princesses and princess dance parties in the kitchen. We have a whole routine to 'Let It Go' because we're awesome." -- Emily S., Denton, Texas

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  • Lap It Up

    4

    "My daughter loves to swim, so I thought for sure she'd like to join a swim team. But it turns out that competition just isn't her thing. But she's happy to swim laps for fun, so we do laps together a couple of times a week." -- Amy C., Edina, Minnesota 

  • Get Paddling

    5

    "My son has autism. He has some coordination challenges and doesn't really love group activities. But he loves to be on the water, so we've been exploring things like kayaking and canoeing. He really likes it and I like seeing him get more confident as his skills grow." -- Tina S., White Bear Lake, Minnesota 

  • Get Your Om On

    6

    "Yoga has been a game changer for my non-athletic daughter (she's inherited my clumsy genes, I'm afraid). She's in a kids' class, and the teacher is great about making sure they all know they can do this. I think this is the start of a good lifelong habit." -- Mariza B., Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • Join the Circus

    7

    "My daughter is so not the team sports girl. She is collaborative, not competitive. But she loves to perform and she is strong and fit, so she joined the circus! There is a kids' circus troupe in town and she is learning acrobatics and lots of other really cool tricks. She works hard and she loves it." -- Allison R., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Ride On

    8

    "I think my kid would probably like to do a sport but I just don't have the bandwidth to be a soccer mom. I work full-time and I'm in grad school, so we just don't have the time to do a regular practice and game schedule. 

    "We do go for long bike rides a few times a week, so he still stays active." -- Katie B., Tucson, Arizona

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  • Walk and Talk

    9

    "Do nightly walks count? We walk outside every night when I get home from work. We chat about our day and check out the flowers. So far she hasn't expressed any interest in doing sports, so I'm cool with sticking with our walks." -- Josie D., Overland Park, Kansas

  • Keep It Old-School

    10

    "I don't believe that kids have to do all the travel teams and fancy sports stuff to be active. We go to the park every day for at least an hour, and the kids do what kids are supposed to do: PLAY." -- Claire R., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Take a Class

    11

    "My daughter is SO SHY that she wouldn't even go on stage for her preschool graduation. The thought of having to compete in front of people terrifies her. She does like to dance though, so we found a ballet studio that was good with her opting out of recitals. Maybe someday she'll want to be on stage, but not yet." -- Lauren D., South Haven, Michigan

  • Aim for a Yellow Belt

    12

    "Hoo boy, so my son wants to do team sports. He's actually done basketball and baseball, but [we] asked him to take a break because he needs to mature a little bit more. He has TERRIBLE sportsmanship, so we are doing karate right now in the hopes he'll learn some self-control and discipline." -- Ericka S., Albany, New York

  • Horse Around

    13

    "Horseback riding lessons are super fun and perfect for my daughter who is deep in the horse phase right now. Not cheap at all, but really good for her, I think." -- Ashley T., Mendota Heights, Minnesota 

  • Do It for Fun

    14

    "We live in Alaska, so we make the most of the of it by doing lots of snow-based stuff. My son is really getting into cross country skiing in the winter and roller blading in the summer. So far he doesn't want to compete but maybe he will someday. Right now he's just content to do it for fun with his dad." -- Dana D., Juno, Alaska 

  • Get Non-Competitive

    15

    "I want my kids to have a fitness base in activities they can do for their whole life, so they are taking tennis lessons right now. She is in a league that doesn't do competition until kids are at least 10, which I like. There is plenty of time for that as they get bigger. My little baller might not be the next Serena, but she is having fun." -- Sarah F., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

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