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As a parent, you understand the importance of getting your kids involved in physical activity. Not only will they enjoy the health benefits of being active, but The Aspen Institute reports that getting involved in organized sports as a child helps develop and improve their cognitive abilities, and actually boosts a student's likelihood of attending college.

While the high cost of buying brand new kids sports equipment may take a chunk of a family's budget, there are a variety of ways to get your hands on quality sports equipment for less.

1. Trade in Old Equipment at a Consignment Store

Do you have any gently used sports equipment of your own that you'd be willing to take to a consignment store? Maybe you don't have time to use your golf clubs, skates, tennis rackets or hockey sticks. Why not see if you can trade them in for the kids sports equipment your children need? Even if the store doesn't have what you need, you may be able to get cash to use toward buying new equipment. And don't visit the store alone – this is a great time to teach your kids how to budget, so bring them along.

2. Ask For Sports Gifts From Grandparents

Your parents may love to spoil your kids with bags full of toys or candy, but maybe it's time to ask them to replace those gifts with a contribution toward your child's dreams of being a great athlete. Perhaps they'd like to cover the cost of a new pair of skates or goalie pads for your child's next birthday or holiday gift. This could go a long way to reducing your child's sports-related costs.

3. Search Online Classified Ads

Remember, you aren't the only family with children enrolled in sports. Take a look at online classifieds such as Craigslist or eBay to see if anyone is selling what you need.

Parents of kids who've outgrown their equipment but play in a higher age group may be happy to get rid of their outgrown equipment cluttering up basements and garages. So check out local Facebook groups like the ones for your kid's team or activity to find gently used sports equipment at lower prices than buying new. Better yet, create a "Looking For" post on one of these pages and list the equipment and size you're looking for.

4. Check Out the Newsboards at Sports Complexes

Most sports complexes and arenas include newsboards in their lobby, so if your child participates in an indoor sport, spend some time reading the boards. And think ahead – as the season ends, parents may want to sell last season's equipment for cash to buy their child's next size up in footwear, helmets or protective padding. Just remember that kids grow fast, so you may need to look for one size larger than your son or daughter's current size.

5. Network at Your Child's Sports League

Your child's sports league or organization is a potentially great source of used equipment for kids. Ask their coach or the league volunteers. Or, maybe it's time to offer your own services to set up a Saturday morning end-of-season swap meet, or get a Facebook group up and running to connect parents selling equipment.

Organized sports offer a great opportunity for children to have fun, get some exercise and learn social skills. Don't let the high cost of equipment prohibit your own kids from taking part – get creative to find what you need.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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