Keeping your children busy when the weather gets colder and the days get shorter can feel difficult. When it feels like the sun sets as soon as they arrive home from school and hats, jackets, and gloves are always needed, outdoor play can be a stretch. 

Luckily for you, there are lots of wonderful winter sports for kids and toddlers. Your child will get the opportunity to be active and get their energy while you both stay warm indoors (or bundled up outdoors). Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of youth sports and the best winter sports for kids and toddlers. Then, learn how you can find a large variety of winter sports for kids on Sawyer!

Benefits of youth sports

There are so many benefits of youth sports: Physical, mental, and social. Sports help children develop in all senses and can teach them lifelong skills and habits.

Photo of winter sports for kids

Physical benefits of youth sports

  • Studies show that participation in youth sports is associated with improved bone health, cardiovascular health, muscular fitness, and weight status.
  • Children develop their fine and gross motor skills, stay active, and increase endurance when they play sports.
  • Active children sleep better at night.

Mental and social benefits of youth sports

Both individual and team sports provide many mental benefits for children. 

  • Studies show that children who participate in sports (both individual and team) have lower rates of anxiety, depression, and stress. 
  • In addition, children who play sports see increased performance in school, fewer instances of risky behavior, and higher self-esteem than children who do not.
  • When children play team sports, they learn to work together with others. Plus, they get the opportunity to practice being a leader. 
  • Team sports also help children learn important communication skills and accountability.
  • When children play individual sports, like tennis or golf, they learn about positive self-talk, gain confidence in themselves, and practice relying on themselves.

Lifelong benefits of youth sports

  • Studies show that adolescents who play sports are eight times more likely to be physically active at age 24 than those who do not play sports.
  • Children who play sports gain important life skills that they continue to use as they grow up like  teamwork, communication, goal setting, work ethic, time management, empathy, resilience, critical thinking, and leadership skills.
  • Participating in sports as a child helps build positive habits and improved mental health that can last through adulthood.
  • Sports teach children determination, discipline, and dedication.

Winter sports for kids

There are a large variety of winter sports for kids and they all have their own pros and cons. Some activities are indoors, which is nice for spectating and playing, while others are outdoors and require a lot of bundling up, but are fun for the season. Try out a few with your children to find the right one or ones for your family!

  • Basketball. Basketball is an indoor team sport that can help your child increase their dexterity, run around, make new friends, and practice empathy. These are just some of the many benefits of playing basketball!
  • Bowling. If your child does not have a lot of interest in team sports or strenuous physical activity, bowling might be a good winter sport for them to try. It requires arm and leg strength as well as timing and problem solving.
  • Volleyball. Volleyball is a great indoor, social sport. Volleyball helps children learn important communication skills and keeps them active during the winter. Plus, they can play it outside when the weather warms up as well!
  • Ice hockey or ice skating. Ice hockey and ice skating can be done outdoors or indoors in the winter. Even if you are at an indoor ice rink, both you and your child should bundle up because it will be chilly! Children who play ice hockey or practice ice skating challenge their balance and coordination.
  • Yoga. Teens and older children are feeling stress from school or something else might benefit from unplugging. Yoga is a great physical activity that also gives them time to clear their minds and calm down. Plus, yoga is a great low impact sport that children can practice for the rest of their lives. Learn more about the benefits of yoga in our guide.
  • Skiing and snowboarding. While not the most convenient winter sport for kids, skiing and snowboarding are a great way for children to practice balance, coordination, leg and core strength, and so many more skills. Starting them young can help them get more comfortable on the mountain and continue skiing/riding for the rest of their lives.
  • Track. Most schools offer a winter track season, so if your child doesn’t do well with sports that have flying balls or equipment needed, this might be an interesting option. Running requires intense physical and mental energy and teens and older children can benefit from this sport immensely.

Winter sports for toddlers

While toddlers can try out all sports, there are specific ones that are generally better suited for their tiny legs, lack of coordination, and short attention spans. Raising a toddler, you know that keeping them active and letting them run around is extremely important. Try one of these winter sports for toddlers to keep them moving when the weather is cold!

  • Indoor soccer. Soccer is often one of the first sports that many toddlers play because they get to run around, kick a ball, and have fun while learning skills like balance, self awareness, and multitasking. Toddlers who participate in soccer also get a chance to practice playing on a team, which is great for their development. Learn more about the benefits of playing soccer in our guide.
  • Gymnastics. Toddlers are extremely flexible and they are usually not afraid of much. Signing your toddler up for youth gymnastics, tumbling, and musical acro classes is fun for them and lets them explore what they can do in a safe environment. There are so many additional benefits of gymnastics for kids, learn about them in our guide.
  • Swimming. Winter is a great time to get your toddler comfortable in the pool. Swimming helps with their physical development and winter lessons will keep them safe in the summer. If you are looking for guidance on when to start swimming lessons, check out our guide.
  • Martial arts. Another great indoor activity for toddlers is martial arts. When they learn martial arts, they get their energy out in an organized fashion, plus they can practice new skills, increase their balance and coordination, and just have fun. Not sure if your child should try martial arts? Our blog post has the answers!
  • Dance. Yes, dance is a sport and it’s a great sport for toddlers! When toddlers participate in dance classes, they are active while also enjoying music, having fun, and becoming more aware of their bodies in space. Toddlers also learn how to follow directions and interact with music while dancing. Learn more about the benefits of dance classes in our guide.

Learn more about the best sports for kids, toddlers, and teens in our guide.

Photo of winter sports for toddlers

Winter sports for kids near me

If you are looking to sign your child up for winter sports, look no further than Sawyer! Families can sign their children up for soccer, basketball, martial arts, baseball, yoga, swimming, and so much more. Check reviews from families like yours, then find the right type of programming for your schedule. Now you’re ready for your child to explore the wonderful world of winter sports!

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