Posts Tagged ‘play’

Of sports and such

I joined a rec league beach volleyball team this year. I’m having a lot of fun at it and this is presenting a dilemma for me – I’ve been a pretty strong opponent of organized sports the last few years because of the research out there that shown they rob kids of the ability to learn to play. That doesn’t mean that I’m anti-sport, I’m just not convinced that signing your kids up for league team sports are the way to go.

Instead, I think that there is tremendous value in kicking around a soccer ball with your kids in the local park, making up rules and developing a culture where playing outdoors in an unstructured way is a part of your lives.

I think that rec leagues are a part of that. As long as kids aren’t organized every time that they play, there probably isn’t much harm in them. I’m still not sure that they are a good idea for five year olds, but my mind is opening a bit.

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What to do on a rainy day

Looks to be pouring outside today.  This spring has been typical of the past few here in Alberta – wet, wet, wet.

Way too often, we think of rainy days as the time to get indoors and watch tv (actually, that seems to be one of the default activities regardless).  With the proper clothing, you can get outdoors in all weather and explore, play and splash in puddles.  Now, I don’t want anyone rushing out and buying the rain gear that would allow them to be outdoors for a three week expedition at sea.  That’s overkill.  But, if you and your kids have rain pants, a rain jacket and rubber boots (probably about $40 worth of stuff each), you’ll be all set for short trips outdoors in the rain (or for a week long canoe trip).

So, what do you do when you get out there.

First – make sure that you spend at least a few minutes jumping in puddles and enjoying the water splashing up.

Then, you can set up cups to see how much rain is falling.  You had talk about where rain comes from (the water cycle) and imagine where it’s going.

Play a bit in the puddles – let your kids touch them, maybe dig some channels in the mud if you’re near mud and watch where the water flows.  Float sticks down a river (assuming that it’s not flowing too quickly).

Make sure that you get good and wet, sing some songs about rain (it’s raining, it’s storming is a personal favourite of mine), and dancing a bit.  Play tag, laugh a lot and make sure that you go inside when the first one of you starts getting cold.  That way it will still be fun next time!