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Participation trophies get a bad rap. They’re often the butt of jokes, and sometimes they’re blamed for the so-called laziness or entitlement of entire generations.

Then again, some critics lean the other way, claiming that participation trophies are actually bad for kids’ self-esteem.

Among all these claims and passionate opinions, it’s hard to find any proof that participation trophies actually do any harm.

So let’s dare to look the question from a different perspective: Could simply giving kids some affordable trophies to recognize participation actually be a good thing after all?

Consider these benefits.

Participation Trophies Usually Celebrate Healthy, Responsible Activities

Most participation trophies are given out for activities like sports or academic extracurricular activities. Study after study shows how these activities can benefit kids’ development.

Encouraging physical activity is especially important nowadays, with a national childhood obesity rate as high as 18.2%1 and type 2 diabetes in children on the rise2.

They Foster a Sense of Belonging

The importance of socialization and a sense of belonging is well documented. Some research even shows that being a part of a group can have a bigger impact on someone’s self-esteem than their number of friends does3.
Research shows that children begin to develop positive or negative self-esteem as early as age five4. Why not reinforce their sense of belonging with a lasting physical reminder that they are part of something? The cost of a few affordable trophies now can help provide invaluable psychological benefits that last a lifetime.

They Encourage Teamwork

Just as important as helping children recognize the value of their own effort is helping them recognize the value of others. Not everyone can be an MVP, but everyone who truly puts in the work can be valued.

This type of mutual respect and recognition is part of teamwork, and it’s something that’s just important in adulthood as it is in childhood. In fact, teamwork is something your child’s future employer will likely be looking for.

Why not instill a team mindset early?

They Teach Kids the Value of Effort

Practice makes perfect. You can’t let a fear of failure stop you from trying. These are principles most of us know but don’t necessarily practice. And science says we should.

Research shows that it’s better to praise effort than to focus only on results 5. That’s how kids learn to keep trying.

Participation Trophies Don’t Stop the Drive to Win

Interviews with dozens of kids demonstrate that they know the difference between a participation trophy and a win6. And while they may value the recognition of their effort, they still value winning more.
Moreover, those with ambition will not become less motivated because someone else’s efforts are recognized. People who are truly driven and successful are most often motivated by the intrinsic rewards of success. Their biggest competition is themselves 7

 Having that participation trophy can simultaneously make a child proud of their effort — and also eager to do better. Because kids know there’s a difference between participation trophies and winning, that makes a participation trophy a visible reminder of their room to grow. Seeing it can make them think, “That was fun, but next time, I want to win.”

Ready to do something positive for kids? Buy trophies online now. The K2 Awards & Apparel online trophy shop has thousands of affordable trophies to choose from, and the benefits are more than worth it.

Top reasons participation trophies are a good idea:

  • They encourage healthy, responsible activities
  • They foster a sense of belonging
  • The encourage teamwork
  • They teach kids that effort matters
  • They don’t make kids stop wanting to win
  • They can actually make kids want to work harder
  • You can find affordable trophies online but the benefits are priceless
  • It’s easy to buy trophies online

Get participation trophies for your team or group today.

Take a look at our unique trophies options available.