If you’re worried that your child won’t have much of a social life outside of their rigorous sports schedules, don’t be. A new study from the University of Toronto found that a busy extracurricular schedule doesn’t necessarily deprive kids of a normal, social childhood.
The study, which included researchers from U of T’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and a group from McMaster University, found that kids who participated in organized sports were, over time, having more free play.
“Given the importance of free active play to development, it is reassuring to see that participation in organized sport and physical activity does not negatively affect discretionary active play,” said John Cairney, a professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education at U of T.
The study, which tracked 2278 kids moving from Grades 5 to 8 over a five-year period, tracked socioeconomic status, sex and age was published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal. It can be read in full here.