By Barbara Bietz

Although the holiday season is busy, there are days when the kids get bored. It can be especially hard when the weather is bad and they would rather be outside playing sports. If you are looking for a way to keep the kids from tossing a baseball in the house or using your fireplace as a soccer goal, try a family friendly sports-related movie. Chances are the kids haven’t seen some of the older ones, and most are entertaining enough for Mom and Dad enjoy. Make a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for some movie fun for your sports fanatics!

THE SANDLOT has become a modern classic. Scotty Smalls is new in town and struggles to prove himself in the neighborhood baseball game. But Scotty becomes part of the gang, as they experience the summer of a lifetime, complete with age-appropriate rites of passage, confrontations with a beastly dog, and heart warming lessons of love, family, and friendship.

FIELD OF DREAMS is a powerful film about baseball, passion, and a bit of magic. Starring Kevin Costner as a baseball loving dreamer, the film is noted for it’s now famous line, “If you build it, he will come,” referring to Costner’s character Ray Kinsella, who “hears” these words and subsequently builds a baseball field on his farm. Throughout the film one wonders if Ray is delusional, or just passionate enough to see beyond the physical world. Ultimately, the “Field of Dreams” brings Ray’s dreams to realization with such heart and emotional impact, exemplifying the sense of magic and wonder that captures that will speak to baseball lovers, and anyone who has a dream others doubt.

AIR BUD While there have been many sequels, none can compare to the original heartwarming story of a boy and his dog. Anyone who has ever loved a pet will find this a touching memorable film. Josh is a shy 12-year-old boy who is new in town and lonely. Too timid to try-out for the basketball team, he practices on his own. While practicing he meet a golden retriever. He discovers “Buddy” can shoot baskets. When they both make the basketball team, Buddy becomes famous, attracting the attention of crowds as well as his evil former owner. Warning: There are some tender, emotional scenes that are heart wrenching, even for adults!

Other fun sport films for all ages:







Like A Maccabee – This middle grade chapter book tells the story of Ben, a 10-year-old boy who is gearing up for a championship soccer game while adjusting to the changes in his family that have occurred since his grandfather moved in. Ben faces challenges at school, including the bully from the opposing soccer team, and frustrations at home.

Some of the books reviewed have been provided by the author or publisher in order to present the most accurate information possible.

Children’s Book Reviews


Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz, -Childrens' Books and Movie Section, is a children's author, magazine writer, children's book reviewer, and past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. She loves talking about the creative process, books and the craft of writing. Her middle-grade chapter book, LIKE a MACCABEE,(Yotzeret Publishing) is a PJ Library selection. Barbara reviews books and movies and has contributed to numerous print and online publications. She also teaches writing classes for adults. Learn more about Barbara at
Barbara Bietz

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Barbara BietzChildren's Books & MoviesChildren's Book Review  MOVIES FOR SPORTS FANS: PLAY BALL! By Barbara Bietz Story Books | Help & Heal Books | Book and Movie | Springtime Books | Summertime | Patriotic | Back to School |  More Children's Book Reviews Although the holiday season is busy, there are days when the kids get bored. It can be especially hard when the weather is bad...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids