At the start of the week I made a promise to myself. I promised I would spend more time playing with the kids this week, and actually engage with them. So much of my time is passed with my laptop in front of me and now that I finally joined the smartphone club I have access to Facebook even when I am at the park. The kids and I spend a lot of time at the park, they play and I sit on the bench (with my phone checking out Twitter and Facebook), they ask for a push on the swing and I say “in a minute,” which usually means 5 or 10 minutes. Don’t get me wrong I put in my time in the early days when they needed me with them in the park attached to their side so they didn’t get hurt, wonder off , or eat too much sand. I remember longing for the days when I could “park” my behind on the bench and relax! But I do a lot of stuff that is for me, including dragging my kids to the gym with me every day and sometimes twice a day. So I told myself that this week I would really try to PLAY with the kids, and be a kid myself, and get a chance to enjoy these cool little peeps.
So we headed to the park this afternoon, and like most days it started off with them playing on their own. The park was empty and I thought “hey I’ll grab a quick workout and play around” (I wanted to try some stuff out that I plan on using in an upcoming training session) so instead of parking my butt on the bench I did step ups and dips on the bench. I was in the middle of a set when my daughter asked me to come play with her and I told her “in a minute,” she looked at me with such disappointment and my heart broke. I stopped and said your right!
So when I told the kids we were going to play follow the leader and do an obstacle course in the park. Their faces lit up! I took off running and went nuts coming up with crazy and fun stunts for us to do. The kids were laughing and cheering each other on and having a blast. Before I knew it, about 20 min had passed of all out activity, we were covered in sand and grass, rosy cheeked, and spent. Best of all we were all smiling and laughing. It was fun!
So I thought it would be fun to share some ideas of things you could do in the park playing “follow the leader/obstacle course with the kids.” You can start it out, and once the kids get the hang of it let them have a turn coming up with ideas and being the “leader.” It’s a great way to play with the kids, sneak some exercise in, and get the whole family MOVING and LAUGHING.
**note, I was in my dirty workout clothes from the morning (ewwwww) , so I did go a little crazy and literally got dirty playing
- run up the slide, over the bridge, down another slide
- run under the swings, each person takes their own swing so no one get’s bonked with the back swing
- weave through the poles
- “balance beam” walk the landscape walls around flower beds
- run to the swings and run 2 circles around each swing pole
- “leap” climb over the see saw
- climb under the play structure comando style (on belly)
- side step to a mark
- bear crawl to a mark
- climb the play structure and back down
- run to the monkey bars, grab onto a bar and jump down
- run up the grass hill and ROLL BACK DOWN! (we totally did this, it was so fun!)
- run to the park bench and everyone step up onto it twice (even little Kasey did this! more of crawl climb up but she did it)
- run to the fence and crawl through the middle or over the top
This really is a fun game, its all about looking at your surroundings and thinking of fun and challenging ways to move about them (under, over, around, through). After you lead for awhile the kids will get the concept and will have a blast trying to come up with their own challenges. Kayleigh had us swinging on our bellies on the swings and digging a hole in the sand!
I challenge you to give this game a try this week and and be a kid too, you won’t regret it!