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Sportopedia - an illustrated introduction to the world of sport [with an addition]



Which sport did you encourage your children to play (if you did)? At what age? How was the decision made?
Many questions about apparently ordinary decisions. Physical exercise is so important for children and adults alike, and practicing a sport can have so many benefits on a child's physical and emotional health, also shaping his personality. Each sport is unique, demanding a wide range of different skills: some might require strength and speed, others intelligence and mental strength. 
Sport (al sports to some extent) teach humility, courage, sharing, teamwork, trust, focus and resilience, as it also teaches some vital lessons: 
-we are not always gonna win
-taking risks can help to  win
-sharing success feels great
-hard work pays.
Sport forces us to leave our comfort zone, and it's probably the first occasion for children to experience the same.
So this is actually an important topic:) 

Sportopedia is an illustrated introduction to the world of sport, exploring more than 60 of the world's best-loved sports. It's perfect for 4-8 year olds who might be in the process of deciding what they wish to try, or just as a guide to watch the next Olympic Games together :)
Contents are arranged by sport type: 
Ball and Racket sports, athletics, gymnastics, water sports, motor sports, target sports, combat sports.
Each spread or double-spread is dedicated to one of them, featuring one big colourful illustration and a good amount of text, sensibly laid out using text boxes and bullet-points to increase readability.
The author gives an overview of the rules, setting, props used and facts for each sport so that children can have a specific understanding of how it works and possibly be inspired to try something new.


Because let's face it, young children usually choose based on what their friends do, and ultimately the choice is often left to the parents' preferences: either they want the child to play something they played, or they encourage the child to practice individual or team-sports based on the idea that these might develop some coveted life skills in the child.

Children are now encouraged to practice some sport from a very young age and pre-schoolers are often over-scheduled with after-school activities.
This is very true here in London, where the weekly schedule of a 4 year old can be extremely busy.
Montessori teachers advise parents to refrain from over scheduling their child's life in the first years up to the age of 10, and to stick to one, maximum 2 activities per week, trying to leave one at weekends.
the reason for this is that children continue to need a good amount of time for unstructured play after starting school. 
On one side, the information that the child takes in during the day needs to be processed and settle, this can't happen if the child is asked to switch constantly from one activity to another.
On the other side, children who are constantly directed will somehow be deprived of the skills needed by free play, and will be more stressed, more bored and less creative.
"What parents don’t realize is that each of these learning opportunities requires children to conform to a set of rules (attire, etc.), and be directed, taught, sometimes even tested.  In even the loosest, most playful of these classes, children sense that some sort of performance is expected of them.
So activities that might sound interesting and enriching to us create at least some level of pressure for our toddlers and preschoolers.  The more of these situations children have to endure each week, the more pressured they feel.  Instead of learning through the play they choose — tinkering, exploring, creating, daydreaming — they must spend most of their time being quiet, listening obediently, imitating, trying to “get it right”.

[Janet Lansbury, Full article here ]


Did you know that "Sport"comes from old French disport, which means "activity that offers amusement or relaxation, entertainment, fun"?

Sport should be fun, and not all children will do well in a competitive environment.
The thing is, there is no reason to push them to do so.
That's why I paired Sportopedia with Babar's Yoga: Yoga practice is not considered a sport, but it's a fantastic full-body workout building strength, focus and body awareness, and providing the child with oh-so-important relaxation skills and mindfulness.
Do consider Yoga when choosing what options you're going to offer to your child, it might just be the perfect thing for him.
-
Sportopedia
An illustrated introduction to the world of sport [6th September 2018] available on Amazon Books
Words by Adam Skinner
Illustrations by Mark Long
English-language edition by Wide Eyed Editions, an imprint of the Quarto Group
Reading age: 5+
Themes: Non-Fiction, Sport

Babar's Yoga for Elephants [2002]
Text by Phillis Rose De Brunhoff
Illustrated by Laurent De Brunhoff
English-language edition published by Abrams Image Books
Reading age: 3+





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