According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, playing sports benefits children in a variety of ways. They develop physical coordination while making friends and learning essential life skills like teamwork. If your child has shown an interest in athletics, encourage that curiosity. Here is a list of places near Leawood, Kansas, where your kids can play.

Leawood Parks and Recreation

Image via Flickr by DanDee Shots Licensed CC BY 2.0

The City of Leawood’s awesome Parks and Recreation Department offers youth sports programs with the mission to provide an excellent athletic experience. Your kids will have the opportunity to be part of a team and to learn sportsmanship by winning and losing on the field. Organizers designed the soccer leagues for children pre-K through fourth grade. Coaches focus on developing a player’s individual skills with an emphasis on fun and participation.

T-Ball seasons for ages 4 to 6 and coach pitch for 6 to 8-year-olds start in June, while kids 7 to 13 years old can play golf at the city’s Ironhorse public golf course. You can also introduce your 3 to 5-year-old to tennis. With six lighted courts in Leawood City Park, they can progress all the way to the junior varsity level at 13. You can register online or at City Hall on Town Center Drive.

Paul Henson Family YMCA

Your local YMCA is another terrific organization that offers exceptional athletic programs to Leawood’s kids as young as 3 years old. Located on West 79th Street, it’s the place to go to be active, learn new skills, and build lasting friendships. So whether your kids want to dive in or have a ball, it’s probably here at your Leawood branch.

The Y’s long list of budget-friendly sports classes includes all of your family’s favorites, like swimming, baseball, and basketball. There’s also dance, gymnastics, and tumbling. You can get involved with flag football, soccer, track and field, or volleyball programs as well.

Learn something new, like martial arts. The Paul Henson center has expert teachers in Karate, Aikido, and Tae Kwon Do, or help your child improve their skills with a group clinic. Develop their talent in the water on the swim team. Kids ages 5 to 18 get to compete in sanctioned meets all over the Kansas City area.

i9 Sports

Get in the game at i9 Sports. Its youth coaches and instructors provide local youth with quality, age-appropriate athletics instruction that’s fun. Its philosophy sets this program apart from others. Area developer Jack Humphrey upholds the company’s mission to teach kids necessary life skills with hobbies like sports.

Your child can play games like baseball, flag football, basketball, and soccer at i9. Spring seasons start in April and end in June, while the summer leagues wrap up in August. You can join in on fall’s play season from the beginning of September through the last week of October.

i9 Sports programs are also convenient for busy parents like you, and staff members hold games and practices at Lakewood Middle School. The campus provides tons of open space, and the doors are open so everyone can use the restrooms and water fountains. The program director’s office is on Edgewater Drive in Overland Park. Sign up there or register your kids on i9’s website.

Leawood City Park

Leawood City Park and Aquatics Center on Lee Drive is the neighborhood gem. It’s the place to go to play all kinds of sports. This 66-acre space touts soccer fields, lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball fields, sand volleyball courts, a playground, and a half-mile trail. If you want a longer route for a family bike ride, pick up the 2.5-mile Tomahawk Greenway trailhead from the park.

There are plenty of open grassy spaces to play activities like Frisbee and a pond for fishing. The pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and there’s even a park for your dog to play ball. Remember to bring a picnic lunch and fuel up after an afternoon of family-friendly recreation.

KC Watersports

KC Watersports on Edgemore Road is a top local wakeboarding destination whether you’re new to the sport or your kids want to level up with programs like day camps and private lessons. Your children will learn to perfect their skills with expert education. Your family won’t find a better place to learn in the area, and you don’t even need a boat. Its facility offers a 5-tower cable plus a challenging set of equipment, including rails, ramps, and sliders.

The staff invites parents to find a spot on the shady beach and relax while the kids play, and if you need to stock up on gear, visit the Surf Shop. KC keeps it well stocked with the best products in the industry, including rental equipment. People young and old love climbing on the inflatable Aqua Park. You’ll slide and jump on this fabulous floating playground.

Crème de la Crème of Leawood

The CDCrecommends that preschoolers engage in at least 60 minutes of active playtime a day. Research also suggests that physical activity contributes to cognitive development in children. That’s why our teachers believe physical learning should be the foundation of every educational program. It helps create opportunities for social interaction while promoting healthy habits.

Our 30-minute classroom rotation program incorporates loads of physical activities that stimulate little bodies and minds. The Creative Movement Studio is one of Crème de la Crème’s nine enrichment programs. It allows them time during the day to stretch their legs, while our outdoor facilities support your children’s growth with equipment like:

  • Baseball diamonds.
  • Play structures.
  • Soccer fields.
  • Splash parks.
  • Tennis courts.
  • Basketball courts.

There you go! Crème de la Crème of Leawood just listed some of the best places your kids can play sports in the area. Did you like our picks? Did we miss a favorite recreation program of yours — one Kansas locals love? If we did, let us know! Drop us a line so we can add your suggestions to our list.