Saturday, July 27, 2013

Planning Fun Outdoor Events

Today I organized a fun day of kickball with my two boys and some other families. It was such an easy event to plan as I sent out a mass email to neighboring friends who also have children in similar ages as my own and I offered to bring the water. Often with our busy schedules, we think playdates are all we can manage but with a little more effort and planning, a fun activity can be arranged.

The main thing to keep in mind is the objective: making sure the kids get at least 60 minutes of exercise and have lots of fun doing so. Be sure to bring several bottles of water as one lap around the bases and everyone will be ready for a water break! Of course, my younger son (age 5) got upset when he didn’t kick the ball, or someone got him out, or just because he thought his older brother was looking at him the wrong way. So I grabbed a small ‘kid friendly’ baseball and bat and took him off to the side and played a small game with just the two of us. This way he was still getting some exercise while the kickball game continued uninterrupted by his tantrums. This also helped him gain his confidence in being able to participate in an activity with some success. So my advice to those who are listening, be sure to have a back up plan in your car for just such an occasion! After a few moments, he was ready to join the game and continued playing with everyone else for the remainder of the afternoon.

The parents got a great workout too as we encouraged the kids around the bases, ran for the balls when they were kicked by the kids into the field, and played pitcher (or ball roller). By the end of our two-hour time frame, everyone was laughing together, having a great time, and got plenty of exercise for the day. I expect the parents will sleep well tonight.

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