What is Age and Developmentally Appropriate?

We hope that you are well.

Everyone is talking about "age and developmentally appropriate” programmes in relation to children’s sport. It keeps children motivated to play sport and makes it easier to learn.  But… what is an age and developmentally appropriate sports programme?

Mostly, it just means that children should have small-sized equipment, smaller playing fields, reduced game duration (duh) and little else – the rules seem to be the same.

At Shaws Little League, age and developmentally appropriate extends to more than that – the things highlighted above are the easy things to do.  We believe that age and developmentally appropriate is about each individual child.  We make sure that our planned activities focus on what each child is able to do, and challenges each child needs to reach their own next skill level.

Yes, what we do is not "real" sport – however children enjoy sport more when they are in the game, as opposed to watching the game.  Think when we used to play right fullback in soccer and our team was caning the opponents and we didn’t get to touch the ball – to us that is not fun.  The same applies when sitting down waiting for your turn to bat – when that happens, the only thing you get better at is pulling splinters. Standing in line waiting for your turn, just makes you better at standing in line.

We do this because we want all the children to have more hits, more kicks, more throws and more activity.  This gives them more opportunities to learn and improve.  And how cool is it to see your child smashing 20 baseball hits in a short space of time?

We base the activities on the individual child, then all children have an opportunity to improve and want to keep playing.  The easy examples of this are when we throw balls to the children – we change the speed, trajectory and direction depending on the child; also when giving instructions – just giving the children enough to improve on and think about and not “MF” them (sorry we can’t think of a better term, paralysis by analysis is too long); and also when giving praise.

The same applies to that “scary” game of bullrush – we move and position ourselves in a manner that helps each child improve their movement and enjoy playing, even though the game looks dangerous.

At Shaws Little League, making sure everything we do is age and developmentally appropriate will lead to children learning how to become better than before…over and over again. 

What this means is that your child will always be in the game, have a challenge to look forward to and thus provide more value for you.

Contact us on 64409545 or fun@shawslittleleague.com to find out more.

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