The Value of Sports and Books

9:11 AM Posted by Lori Calabrese

We often play just for the fun of it, but did you know we're also learning at the same time? Decades of research clearly demonstrate that play is more than just fun and games. We all know sports promote good health and they help keep us fit, but they also aid in healthy brain development. Play boosts our intellectual, social, emotional, and physical skills. It lays the foundation for later academic success in reading and writing. It provides hands-on experiences with real-life materials that help children develop abstract scientific and mathematical concepts. Sports teach us about failure, how to play as a team, how to strive for excellence, and how to get up when we lose.

There's no denying the ultimate value one gets from playing sports and there's no denying the ultimate value of reading. Reading helps our children master language development, build listening skills, and develop their ability to concentrate at length. It develops their ability to express themselves more confidently, easily, and clearly in spoken AND written terms. It develops and fosters their natural curiosity and imagination. That's why the more enjoyable the things children read are, the more they'll stick with it and develop the reading skills they'll need in their adult lives.

If you think about it, sports and books just go together. The more children practice, the better they become at sports. The more children read, the better they become at reading. Both sports and books should be inexpensive and accessible to everybody. They teach us about the world around us, and overall, they're just plain fun! So why not combine the two? Avid sports fans can read a Sports Illustrated cover to cover, recite the stats from the morning sports page, and read a program at a game. Avid readers can learn about a sport, a specific athlete, or sports in other countries.

There are so many ways to incorporate sports and reading. Make the most of all the resources that are available and waiting for you: printed books, online books, magazines, etc.... Encourage follow-up activities involving creative writing skills so your children can expand on what they've absorbed and, at the same time, develop their own creativity. As you help your kids appreciate the magic of reading and the value of sports, you'll find there's a whole wide world of fun and fundamentals!
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