When it comes to after-school and weekend activities, sports are a great thing for your kids to do. It helps them get out their energy and aggression while building up their self-confidence and courage. However, many sports require a lot of expensive equipment that families on a tight budget just can't afford, so if your youngster is still inclined towards athletic endeavors, here are some of the cheapest sports they can play, both competitively and just for fun with friends.
Looking for a sport with absolutely no equipment purchases? Encourage your child to get into track sports like running. Granted, it's tough to run without a good pair of shoes, so you'll have to invest in some running sneakers, but those will last your child as regular everyday shoes as well, so you can essentially subtract what you would have paid anyway. Field sports, like javelin or pole vaulting, might require some extra equipment, but if your child's school has those sports, the equipment might be readily available.
Soccer is a huge sport in Third World countries because it just requires a ball. In the U.S., it's a bit more complicated -- cleats and uniforms are involved -- but as a casual sport it's still a very inexpensive pastime. A child's soccer ball only costs about $15 new (on sale), and you can find cheaper at secondhand locales like garage sales. Soccer can be played just about anywhere, and there's no need to travel to a special location just to do so.
Swimming is a great life skill as well as a strengthening sport. Although a membership to a local pool might cost a small chunk of cash per month, your child won't need any special equipment (besides a swimsuit, which he/she is likely to have anyway), and swimming can be done at any time a large body of water is around -- so don't rule out local lakes and big ponds for your young one to practice in.
Since basketball requires just uniforms and balls, a child can play for the school team without having to buy any equipment. You will have to drive him or her to the games, which racks up gas money, but as far as equipment goes, basketball is very cheap. Plus, if you have a ball of your own at home, pickup games are very easy to play on courts at playgrounds and school property.
Of course, you can always purchase the more expensive sports equipment second-hand at garage sales! To locate garage sales for free near you, come visit us at GarageSaleCow.com and read up on all our great saling tips, too!