I'd like to get my seven year old into a group, non-competitive athletic activities. He's getting a little chunky, and I'd like him to be involved in something physical, but not competitive.. He gets too intense about it and doesn't have a lot of athletic talent, so it leads to him getting upset. He really likes the water and I thought he might enjoy a swim team but he told me he didn't like that idea...
How about dance classes? This is usually a group thing, and there are so few boys that any competition would be minimal at this point. Dawn
I'd recommend Head Over Heals Gymnastics. I think it is an activity that all ages love and is noncompetitive. It can be a little expensive, though, about 70/month (4-5 one hour classes). Ruth
For the chunky 7-year-old, I can't speak highly enough of the martial arts, especially at West Wind in Berkeley, Alameda, Daly City or Vallejo. Most kids that age love karate and the only competition is personal. Barbara
I'd recommend hiking. We've been hiking with my girls since the older (7 years) was born. You'll definitely need to develop your own set of motivational games--we play hide and seek, I spy, tell stories, etc. A good place to go is Abbot's Lagoon, at Pt. Reyes, because you hike in maybe a mile to these big dunes that kids love to climb up and down, up and down, for hours. Also good is the Berkeley Marina, the loop section, there's a sculpture at the end that the kids love to climb on. There are millions of places that kids can hike around here. An added benefit is that you get some exercise too. It's good for self-confidence for the less athletically inclined, because once the kid develops some stamina, s/he can feel good at putting in some miles. My seven year old did a six mile hike, with lots of ups and downs, on our recent vacation and can carry her own backpack for backpacking trips--and she's a bit on the plump side and not a gifted athlete! Meghan
Here is a recommendation for a non-competitive physical activity for the 8-12 yr old set.... As the parent of a relatively inactive, non-sports focused child (age 9), I have encouraged my jazzercise teachers to offer a course designed and tailored to the 8-12 year old set (boys and girls are welcome). Here are the details Junior Jazzercise, offered Saturdays, from 1130-1215, from Oct 14 through Nov 18. Six sessions for $60, at Jacuzzi Street Jazzercise, 5237 Jacuzzi Street, in Richmond, between highways 80 and 580, off Central Avenue. From Berkeley drive east on Marin, stay right instead of going over the overpass, and curve along to the right by the water. Drive a short distance to the Central Avenue shopping center, which is on your left, and that's where Jazzercise is! It's a seven minute drive from Marin and The Alameda. Come to the studio to pre-register by October 7! Adult classes are offered seven days a week M-F at 815 and 930 a.m. and 515 and 630 p.m., Saturday at 830 and 10 a.m. and Sunday at 930 a.m. I discovered this center through several parents and the P.E. teacher at Jefferson Elem, and this seems to me to be a much beloved center serving (in the adult classes) adults from their 20's into their 70's (and maybe beyond). The teachers have good dance instruction background, there are a number of people in class who have had years of dance experience, along with absolute beginners. All body types and levels of fitness present. No mirrors, just a lot of fun, and a good workout. Seven days a week. Melissa