Soccer, Baseball and Dance Aren’t the Only Sports for Kids

When I first signed my daughters up for sports, I went the traditional route of dance and gymnastics. My friends opted for soccer, baseball, basketball and volleyball with their kids.

Kansas City has so many fantastic options for all of these, but what if the traditional options don’t work out? Maybe your kids just aren’t good at them or they want something different. Here are some things we tried that you might want to consider:

Whether you think of swashbuckling pirates or lightsaber wielding Jedi Knights, most kids (and a lot of adults, too) are attracted to fencing. My daughter tried Heartland Fencing. Hana found out that what they do in the movies is a lot harder than it looks, and she was surprised at how much of a workout she got. You might be surprised that kids as young as 4 can take classes, and you don’t have to invest in any equipment to get started. 

Indoor Rock Climbing 
I bet you have been to a birthday party where they did rock climbing. You might not realize that this is a competitive sport! Once kids master the basics they can advance to higher classes where they learn the technical aspects of rock climbing and can compete. I had a gymnast who was not quite ready for the gymnastics team and wanted to try something different. Rock climbing was the perfect fit. Aubree took classes at Emerald City Gym and at Apex Climbing Gym and loved both places. Like fencing, this is a harder workout than you expect and there is a lot of discipline involved with learning how to handle the equipment and all the correct terms. This also is a sport you can learn as an adult, so you can join your kid for open gym nights! 

When my daughter asked to take a boxing class I was not sure what to say. I pictured Muhammad Ali, mouth guards and concussions. This didn’t exactly fit with the image I had of my ballerina daughter. But, after researching it I realized boxing is great cardio and a good way to work off stress.  Learning2Fly offers scheduled boxing classes for kids as young as 8, but we needed more schedule flexibility so Hana and I both signed up with 9Round Fitness and had a ridiculously fun time learning how to jab, cross, hook and uppercut the boxing bags!    

Indoor Sky Diving 
Our family celebrated the end of the school year with a trip to iFly.  We found out that my youngest daughter is a natural at sky diving and she loved it so much she was ready to give up everything else she was doing at the time to join their youth flight school.  She went once a week for two hours and still talks about how fun it was. I have a friend whose son did not excel at other sports, but has done amazing with this. Being able to have bragging rights that you are learning to sky dive is a big confidence booster. Kids as young as 4 can join the youth flight school.

Aerial Arts 
I saved the best for last. If your kid liked The Greatest Showman, you might want to sign them up for an aerial silks, trapeze or lyra (hoop hanging from the ceiling) class. When I learned about these places, I took an aerial silks class myself at Learning2Fly. I couldn’t move my arms for several days afterwards, but it was worth it. My daughter heard about my class and she wanted to try it, too. She learned more quickly than me and it ended up being a great way for her to build more upper body strength. She is now at KC Aerial Arts and working hard to try out for their training company performance group. It is a great conversation starter when people ask her about her hobbies.

Good luck finding the perfect sport for your kid!

Lori grew up in Olathe and graduated from Kansas State University. Sick of cold weather, she left Kansas and headed to Phoenix. Turns out the heat can be just of hard to take as the cold, so she and her husband, Bill, moved back to Kansas so they could be close to both of their families. Lori is mom to a tween (Aubree who is 11) and a teen (Hana who is 15). Despite the challenges of raising two strong-willed girls who have way too many extracurricular activities, Lori loves having daughters who binge watch Charmed and Gilmore Girls with her while making clay dragons. She is passionate about photography, traveling, exploring around Kansas City and dragons.