Three Benefits of Exercise for Children’s Social Development

Want to learn more about the benefits of exercise for children's social development? Find out how you can help your child develop social skills now!

Which Type of Exercise Benefit Children’s Social Development the Most?

Exercise offers many benefits for children's health and well-being, including those related to social development. 

For example, research has repeatedly shown that fitness activities, healthy eating and exercise can have beneficial emotional effects, while increasing children’s self-esteem.

In fact, new research from the US National Library of Medicine suggests that physical fitness may positively affect cognitive development.

These benefits have the potential to affect children’s social development through a variety of mechanisms.

As a child’s physical fitness level improves, they may have an increase in confidence encouraging them to engage in social activities and have more success while doing so. 

Studies show physical activities that involve an element of cooperation are among the most beneficial for children’s social development.

Cooperative physical education has been shown to increase children’s social skills as well as strengthen their preferences for group work over individual activities.

One of the activities we run at SCH is the “heart course.” This circuit training not only teaches our youngest students about the heart, our circulatory system, blood and the body, but it also allows them to physically act out the circuit with their classmates. They scoot, jump, and run through an obstacle course, pretending that they are the blood pumping in and out of the heart. 

benefits of exercise for children's social development

Three Benefits of Exercise for Children’s Social Development

1. Improved communication.

Successful social interactions depend on your child’s ability to communicate effectively (and appropriately) in a wide variety of situations.

Our comprehensive physical education curriculum provides students the opportunity to interact with their classmates in a variety of  cooperative and team-building activities.
We value the team experience and the life skills one develops while being a team member.

Developing improved communication skills can be as simple as remembering the names of everyone on their team.

However, team activities also help kids develop more complex communication pathways.

For example, many sports, such as soccer, field hockey, squash, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, and softball require players to remember and communicate a variety of complex plays to one another.

2. Belonging to a group.

Learning how to successfully join and operate in a group setting is vital for your child’s social success.

Some children feel comfortable approaching a group and asking to join in the fun. For other children, joining a group does not come naturally. 

Through teamwork and sportsmanship, we teach children how to join a group as well as become more accepting of newcomers.

Our physical education program encourages children to work in a variety of social settings including cooperative groups, independently, and with a partner.

Students learn more about which roles that come to them most naturally in a group setting. Are they a leader, or would they rather follow others’ instructions and execute a play or project? 

When children participate in physical activity with a group of peers, they learn to recognize the value of both roles, which is something they can apply when faced with group situations later in life.

benefits of exercise for children's social development

3. Standing up for self and others.

Discovering how to assert yourself in a confident, yet respectful manner is one of the most important skills children can learn. 

However, it's not always about becoming more assertive. 

Some children may feel vulnerable standing up for themselves, while others may lean towards aggression and talking-back. 

Our physical education teachers are committed to fostering each student’s confidence in their own abilities. Goals for our students through physical education include the development of responsible personal and social behavior (teamwork, sportsmanship, communication). Students demonstrate understanding and respect for differences among people in physical activity settings. 

Ultimately, our physical education program supports the development of a well-balanced individual by providing the opportunity to develop not only physically, but also socially, emotionally, and mentally.

Why You Should Choose Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

benefits of exercise for children's social development

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) offers a superior educational experience that prepares students to be considered for the top colleges and universities in the world.

With over 150 years of tradition, community, and academic excellence behind us, we are proud to offer a superior educational experience that enables our students to lead incredibly fulfilling lives inside and outside the classroom.

At SCH, we have a longstanding tradition with field days—Blue & Gold Day and Blue & Blue Day—that allows all grades to participate together in relay race activities and school spirit, while providing multiple opportunities to communicate, belong, and stand up for others regardless of your color!

In Lower, Middle, and Upper School at SCH, we consider physical education and athletics an important part of the overall learning experience that is valued and appreciated by the whole community.

What’s Next?

Exercise is an incredibly important part of children’s social development and should be taken into consideration when choosing your child’s educational path.

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