No doubt about it, sports are great for kids. The problem? They can cost an arm and a leg! What's a parent to do?
The following youth sports are among the least expensive, from fees to uniforms to shoes. With a little help from this list, your kids can keep playing the sports they love without emptying your wallet.
Soccer1 of 7
Contrary to what you might think, soccer can be a low-cost starter sport for kids. Coach Renee Lopez, author of the upcoming book, "Looking for a Full Ride? An Insider's Recruiting Guide," says kids from three to eight years old typically need only the following items to start playing:
Registration fees for entry-level recreational soccer leagues range from $100-150 per season. Uniforms or team T-shirts are often included.
Cross Country2 of 7
Cross country is another relatively inexpensive sport for youth athletes. All it takes is a quality pair of running shoes. Jason Davis, cross country and track and field coach at Marietta College, says the costs for this sport vary, but they can include:
Cross country uniforms are usually supplied by the school at no cost, though there may be a participation fee for all school sports.
Track and Field3 of 7
As with cross country, the equipment requirements for track and field are relatively affordable. If your child is participating in a youth track and field program, costs will likely include:
Track and field registration or club fees range from $100-200. Costs may increase if your child decides to explore additional events, such as pole vault.
Swimming4 of 7
If you have access to a swimming pool, signing up for weekly lessons or joining a swim team can be an affordable option. Costs associated with swimming include:
Team or club registration fees start around $100 for an entry-level recreational swimming league. Additional fees may apply if the pool is part of a health club or larger fitness facility.
Baseball or Softball5 of 7
Younger kids often start out in T-ball and then progress to baseball or softball. Costs to get started include:
Look for used cleats to minimize cost, as kids grow out of them so quickly
Registration fees for entry-level recreational leagues range from $100-150 per season, and uniforms are usually included.
Basketball6 of 7
Another sport available to kids at a young age that doesn't require a lot of buy-in is basketball. Starting basketball costs include:
Registration fees for entry-level recreational basketball leagues range from $100-150 per season, and uniforms are usually included.