If Your Kid Likes Sports...
Introducing your child to T-ball, soccer, or other sports can teach him about teamwork, fitness, and self-confidence -- valuable lessons on (and off) the field. Plus, studies show that kids who play sports have more self-discipline and tend to do better in school.
What you can do: Something as simple as playing catch in the backyard, shooting hoops, or kicking a ball around with your child will show him the basics, boost hand-eye coordination and other motor skills, and help him figure out which sport he likes more. At this age, your kid doesn't have to be athletically gifted or even inclined: It's more about having fun, staying active, and making new friends. Kids with an older brother or sister playing a sport often want to follow in their sibling's footsteps. But if your preschooler doesn't have a preference, expose him to your favorite first.
If your child shows a lot of interest, consider signing him up for a noncompetitive team that focuses on fun, teamwork, and skill building -- and not on who wins. T-ball and soccer clubs are especially good at creating a friendly environment for preschoolers to play and learn. Or you can start a neighborhood league that meets after school, suggests Brooke de Lenche, author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports. "Kids will get plenty of social interaction and physical activity without becoming overscheduled or burned out at an early age."