By Raising Children Network
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In these school-age years your child will gain a lot of satisfaction and self-esteem from testing out her physical abilities.

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There are adapted versions of sports like cricket, volleyball, Aussie Rules and tennis that suit the abilities of young children.


What to expect

Between the ages of five and eight, your child will probably:

  • be able to ride a two-wheeler bike
  • like to climb and swim
  • be able to throw and catch a ball
  • start to enjoy organised games and team sports.

You can expect your child to be completely his own person in what he wants to do. But research tells us that, generally, boys are often drawn to activities where they can run fast or play confidently with a ball. Girls are more likely to enjoy swinging on bars, doing handstands or skipping.

At around the age of eight, your child might also be interested in team sports. At this age your child might also want to try lots of new activities, such as skateboarding and rollerblading. It’s important to remind your child to wear a helmet and wrist and knee pads when doing these activities.

If you have any concerns about your child’s physical development it would be a good idea to consult your health professional.

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  • Last Updated 11-05-2011
  • Last Reviewed 02-11-2009
  • Gunner et al. (2005). Health promotion strategies to encourage physical activity in infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 19, 253-258.

    Pelligrini, A.D. & Smith, P.K. (1998). Physical activity play: The nature and function of a neglected aspect of play. Child Development, 69(3), 577-598.