5 Innovative Sports Equipment for Kids

Here are some really cool finds at French sporting goods retailer Decathlon.

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When I take the kids to EJ’s football matches, Ethan loves to kick the ball around too, and pretend he’s a goalkeeper like his dad. I find myself running all over the place, trying to make sure the ball doesn’t go onto the pitch (Elijah is strapped into the carrier all this time too. Can’t wait for him to be able to kick the ball around with his brother!). So, I’ve been looking for a pop up football goal, which is portable enough to bring to the games, but also compact enough to use at home too.

I’ve been looking for it at stores and online, but they were either very flimsy, or very expensive, or rather difficult to put up and take down. The Kage Light Football Pop Up Goal by Kipsta seemed perfect. And it’s sold at Decathlon!

Have you been to Decathlon? It’s a sporting goods store that, despite many other retailers struggling to stay afloat in these tough times, has opened 2 megastores here in Singapore within the past year alone. In fact, The Straits Times reported that Decathlon plans to open another 20 outlets in Singapore within the next 10 years!

So we headed to the newest Decathlon store at City Square Mall. And it is HUGE for a sporting goods shop.

Here are a few really cool finds. (All pictures from www.decathlon.sg)

1. The Kage Light Football Pop Up Goal

the-kage-light-football-pop-up-goalLooks just like the video. It’s a good size, lightweight, and it also comes with pegs for windy days outside. We tried it today during EJ’s football game, and it works really well! Ethan had fun because he could really “score” now. I also realised that it can be used as a protective shield for the children as well, so they don’t get hit by stray balls during the match.

2. Easy Net 

easy-net-3-m-badminton-net-caribbean-blue-grey

There are 3m and 5m versions of this Easy Net by Artengo. Badminton is one of those sports that is not expensive to get started on, and we all played in the void deck as kids. Having an actual net gives it a more “real” feel, and you can set this net up anywhere.

3. ARTENGO Rollnet 600 Adjustable Table Tennis Net 

artengo-set-rollnet-

It attaches to any table and converts it into a table-tennis table!

4. TRIBORD Easy breath snorkelling mask

easybreath-snorkelling-mask-pink.jpgA mask that allows you to breathe through your mouth AND/OR nose when snorkelling. It makes you look a little like Iron Man, and you can’t use it for free diving, but it’s an interesting design, and something worth trying out on your next water adventure.

5. Tidipool

Tidipool+88.5+cm+diameter+paddling+pool+with+watertight+carry+bag+-+yellow+YELLOW+Unique+size+-+424049.jpg

It’s a collapsable pool that is useful for babies and toddlers who aren’t comfortable in the large swimming pool, or playing by the sea. My kids would like this when they are at the beach, so they can still play in the water, but without the waves crashing onto them (I think the noise and the height of the waves scares them!) The bag that it comes in is also waterproof, and is used to fill the pool with water. Brilliant 🙂

EJ and I hope our kids gain a lifelong love for sports and the outdoors, because that has been a passion for both of us. There’s no rush to put them into any specific sports at the moment. An article by the Mayo Clinic says that toddlers who participate in organized sports typically don’t gain any long-term advantage in terms of future sports performance.   (although EJ can’t wait to get them really started on football!).

For now, unstructured free play is best. So here’s to lots of running, throwing, catching… which makes a great workout for mummy and daddy too!

Book Review: The Berenstain Bears – Computer Trouble

I have fond memories of reading The Berenstain Bears series when I was a kid. It has cute and cuddly characters, and teaches values based on Christian principles.

So when it was becoming a challenge to pry Ethan from watching endless Youtube videos or games on the laptop or handphone, I was happy to find that The Berenstain Bears have kept up with the times, and there was a book titled ‘Computer Trouble‘.

I’ve been reading it with Ethan for a few weeks now, and he loves it! He identifies with the story, and about how the bears spend all their time on the computer. When the bears try to think about activities that they can do instead of being on the computer, Ethan gets excited because he does those things too – play with sand, go to the playground, play football…

I relate the story back to him when he insists on watching yet ANOTHER video, and I’ve had mixed success. Sometimes he readily accepts another activity. Other times, the crying and tantrums still ensue.

The only thing about the storyline is that all the alternate activities are outdoors. In Singapore, it’s a little hard to always channel the kids outdoors because it is either too hot or rainy for most of the day! We make the most of the magical hour between 5pm-6pm, where the kids can run around in the playground and work off some of that energy. As they get older, they are starting to appreciate some tabletop games as well, like jigsaw puzzles. I’m all for non-screentime activities, and I’m always looking for new things to do with them.

What are your child’s favourite indoor activities? I’d love to hear from you and try it out!