Most of us know that physical activity encourages healthy growth and development in children; however, it certainly doesn’t stop there. Did you realise that getting your child active can also help improve their self-esteem, concentration and even aid in enhancing social skills?
With half-term just around the corner, we’ve scanned Phuket for some motivating activities to help inspire your young ones to get moving.
Children as young as 4 or 5 years old can start getting involved with tennis, so what are you waiting for? Not only does it engage and improve hand-eye coordination, but it also helps younger children with attention to detail and following instructions. Lessons can take the form of balance practice, refining throwing and catching, and fun tennis ball games to build their ability and confidence before more traditional tennis training starts. As children progress and grow, it becomes a more social sport, helping with problem-solving and strategic planning abilities.
Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort offers private and group tennis lessons with Sean Panton. He is particularly good at positive reinforcement for the younger ones to help build up their confidence and game ability. Contact him directly on 0833915869 for any questions or to arrange a tennis consultation.
Horse riding allows children to be outdoors with nature, whilst strengthening their posture, helping with coordination and of course, allowing them to connect with these beautiful animals. Younger children can get involved with feeding, learning to care for, and bonding with the ponies as well as shorter rides to get them started. For older children and teenagers, the concentration they experience can compare to meditation, and it may even help to reduce levels of cortisol for regular riders. If you combine the health benefits, social environment and getting back in touch with nature, then these are all great reasons to get children out horse riding.
Red Bamboo Horse Riding has stables in Thalang near the British International School and offers private, group, trekking and membership options. They also run a ‘Little Hooves Trekking’ session which is suitable for 3-7-year-olds and combines a short ride, bonding opportunities and balance exercises and games all for 500 THB. There is also a ‘Jumping Camp’ during half term from 12 – 14th October suitable for Level 2 riders and above.
Martial arts training traditionally teaches respect, discipline and patience. However, do not overlook these activities as an opportunity to develop your child’s strength (both physical and mental), flexibility and balance. With such a wide variety of options to select from there is sure to be something for every child – from Judo or Muay Thai to Karate and Taekwondo.
Sutai Muay Thai in Surin follows the International Gracie Barra’s Anti Bullying curriculum for children. It offers holiday camps including a mixed martial arts program called ‘Little Champions’ for 3 – 12 year old’s which is a combination of Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and focuses on helping children build up their physical and mental abilities.
DoJo Active Studio inside Bluetree offers after school classes in Judo, Jujitsu, Self Defence and Wrestling to keep your children busy too.
As well as being good fun and challenging, rock climbing can also help children build confidence, enhance their hand, foot and eye coordination. Rock Climbing is also excellent training for their flexibility and strength. Something that the whole family can enjoy together, this can be a fantastic bonding experience. We are lucky enough to have a full-scale rock-climbing indoor facility right here in Phuket.
Rebel Rock Climbing offers something for all ages and levels with over 700 sqm of wall climbing challenges. Staff are on hand to help out with their belay service too, so your children are in safe hands at all times.
Surfing is seen as a lifetime sport where children can start as early as five years old and continue throughout their adulthood. As well as being a thorough cardiovascular workout for active children, it also helps with balance, core strength and coordination. Children who enjoy the beach get to take this passion to another level by learning something new in an outdoor, natural environment.
Located near Catch Beach Club on Bangtao Beach, Skylas Surf & Sup Club offers single and package surf lessons for adults and children. In October they will be running surf lessons during the school break as well as regular after school lessons throughout the month. After November, children can switch to SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) courses. They also plan to introduce a ‘Junior Lifeguards’ program which sounds like an excellent idea, centred around lifesaving skills, rip current education and ocean safety. For more information, please contact Tim from Skylas Surf & Sup Club directly on 0825193282
With so many fun and engaging physical activities available right here in Phuket, (after school and during the school holidays), it’s a matter of finding something your child enjoys and then encouraging and motivating them to learn a new skill to stay fit, active and healthy.