When planning a movie night, why not focus on inspiring your kids to be active? Watching sports movies as a family can increase your child’s interest in sports, start important conversations about life, and teach important lessons.
There are many sports movies out there worth your family’s time, but there are also many that aren’t as ideal. We’ve combed through sports movies to find the best family-friendly options.
Below, find 7 great sports movies to watch with the whole family! To make it easier to choose the best sports movie for your family, we’ve included an age guideline and short description of each of our recommendations.
1. You’re A Good Sport, Charlie Brown (1975)
Age: 4+ (not rated)
In this classic, but short Peanuts movie, the characters engage in sports. The main theme in the movie is to try your best and to be a good sport, even when your opponents may be intimidating. Although the movie was made in 1975, the movie stands the test of time and is great fun for kids to watch today. This movie is great for the whole family, from the youngest to the oldest, as the themes are all family-friendly.
2. McFarland USA (2015)
Age: 10+ (rated PG)
This movie tells the story of a new gym teacher who is inspired by his student’s ability to run and creates a cross country team. The team of Latino students face many hardships. As the children of farmworkers, the students must contribute to their family’s financial stability in addition to going to school and running on the team. In the movie, themes of teamwork, communication, community and cooperation are central. More mature themes such as social class, stereotyping and privilege are also addressed. Watch this uplifting movie with your children age 10 due to mature themes and content in the movie.
3. Swim Team (2017)
Age: 11+ (not rated)
This great documentary tells the story of a swimming team whose members have autism. The movie tells the story of teenagers and young adults who overcome challenges and fears as they learn to compete on the swim team. Formed by the parents of one of the swimmers, the swim team becomes an amazing source of joy and inspiration for the team members. This movie is great for families with older kids, as there are some more mature scenes and the documentary style may not hold the interest of younger kids. However, the film brings up many important ideas, lessons and themes for families to discuss and is well worth a watch
4. Air Bud (1997)
Age: 7+ (rated PG)
In this movie, the main character, Josh, whose father has just died, meets his new best friend, a golden retriever named Buddy, in his new town. Basketball is the sport of choice in this movie. Together, Buddy and Josh engage in many adventures, including playing basketball together. However, there are a few tough parts of the movie, such as when Buddy’s owner reappears after learning that the dog can play basketball. Josh must decide how to respond to the owner because he does not treat the dog well. This movie is great to enjoy as a family, as it’s mostly light-hearted and positive, teaching important lessons about responsibility and teamwork.
5. National Velvet (1944)
Age: 5+ (rated G)
A different sports movie than most, this classic film tells the story of Velvet Brown, a girl who loves horses. Set in England in the 1920s, children will learn about a different period in history and the roles and expectations that used to exist for women and girls. In the movie, Velvet wins a horse who she names Pi. The girl trains “the Pi” to compete in the Grand National Race. Watch as Velvet experiences friendship, learns to race her horse and makes her dreams come true.
6. Hoosiers (1986)
Age: 9+ (rated PG)
This classic sports film tells the story of an underdog basketball team on its way to the state championship. With the help of dedicated coaches, the team learns to work together, embrace discipline and reach their goals. Bad language and scuffles are a part of the movie, so parents should be prepared. However, overall, the movie teaches great lessons about character, giving second chances and perseverance. Give it a watch for a great family bonding experience.
7. Miracle (2004)
Age: 9+ (rated PG)
Based on a true story, this movie tells how the US hockey team won Olympic gold during the 1980 Winter Olympics. While there is some violence and bad language used, the overall message is positive and inspiring. The team members must work hard together to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
Looking for more movies? We recommend using Common Sense Media’s reviews and information to choose great movies, TV shows and other media. They offer both parent and kid reviews, and an overview of what you’ll find in the movie. You can find out quickly if there’s any bad language, violence or sex scenes that may influence whether you decide to view the movie as a family or not.
Why not make a special weekly movie night so that you can spend quality family time together? This will not only give you the chance to relax together but also an opportunity to discuss the themes and ideas brought up in the movies. Not sure you can manage to organize this weekly tradition? With Picniic, making family plans is easy. You can quickly identify the free evenings in everyone’s schedule and add the movie date to the calendar where all family members can see it! With Picniic, you can make family time a priority.
Now that you have a great list of movies to get started with, schedule that movie night, pop some popcorn and enjoy a relaxing evening of family fun together!
Have a great sports movie recommendation we missed? Tell us about it in the comments below!