August 2009 - SIMPLE BACKYARD FUN
Because times are tough, doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Sometimes the best memories come from the life’s simples pleasures.
I was amazed to hear my messages the other day of parents inquiring about Survivor Games in my backyard again this summer. I couldn’t help but smile because it made my heart swell to know that so many children still enjoy the simplicity of good ‘ol fashion backyard fun.
Last summer I decided to get some kids together for what we called Survivor Games. I was a little nervous because I didn’t have a lot of money and because the kids in our neighborhood are older than mine. I was worried the older kids would turn their noses up to playing games in my backyard. But as it turned out, a small group was 32 children. The numbers added to my fear that the kids would ultimately be bored after week one. Apparently, they had so much fun they want to do it again!
With ages from 4-14, it may seem daunting to keep their eyes from rolling and the boredom at bay, but teens also love a challenge. What are they are trying to win? Front row seats at a finale show on the last day of challenges. With every child paying a small fee to participate, a finale show becomes very cost effective (Cold Blood Creatures, Monkeys and More, etc.).
To organize your games, simply choose dates, make a flier with dates, times, fees, ages, examples of games, finale show information, what each child brings (t-shirt, water bottle, snack), and your contact information.
When the children arrive, make sure your teams are divided equally with various ages. I made 4 teams of 8. I went over some general rules such as, no kids in the house, no sore losers or taunting.
The kids picked team names and decorated t-shirts. Challenge ideas can be found on the internet (search outdoor kid games), including a Yucky Food competition (frozen veggies blended with milk, fresh broccoli, raw cauliflower, bananas dipped in pickle juice, etc).
I took many photos and emailed the album to parents. Do not try to make this fancy or buy extravagant obstacle courses. The best advice I can give you is to keep it simple, and enjoy some good ‘ol fashion backyard fun!