Most parents recognize the importance of exercise for the whole family, including their children. However, it can be difficult to encourage our kid-friendly sports day to get out there and move about. In recent years, video games and electronic devices have made it so easy for people to entertain themselves from the comfort of their homes. There’s no harm in moderate usage of these devices, but some children are far more willing to curl up with a screen than get out and exercise.
One way to encourage this is to organize a sports day. Whether you homeschool your children or not, a sports day is a great way to get your kids involved with physical activity. Even better, they’re playing with other children, so they can also socialize in a healthy and productive way.
As you can imagine, organizing a sports day is far easier said than done, but it doesn’t have to be horribly difficult to achieve. As long as you’re prepared and organized, you can put something together that will be fun for everyone involved.
The Guest List
Every party or event involves planning a guest list. While it would be nice to host a sports day that all the local kids can get involved in, this can end up being a logistical nightmare. So, especially if this is your first sports day, think of a guest list.
If you’re in a homeschooling group, then this isn’t a difficult step as you can simply invite all the kids and families in the group. Otherwise, you might need to think a bit harder about the children and families that you want to invite. You want to invite enough people to make sure that the games and sports are well supported, but not so many that it gets overwhelming.
When inviting families, make sure that parents understand that they are responsible for their children as well. Or invite other adults and ask them to help supervise the children and events. It’s impossible for one or just a few people to look after so many children while trying to keep sports going.
Events and Activities
The type of sports day that you arrange largely depends on how organized you want to be and the age ranges of the people there. When schools arrange days like this, they can set specific age groups and keep everything very organized, but you might not have that luxury.
Sometimes it can be fun to get everyone involved, including the adults. A sports day doesn’t have to be taken too seriously, but it can be a great way to encourage everyone there to move around. This more casual approach also takes some of the pressure off the people organizing it, which is never a bad thing.
When planning the events, bear the ages of the children in mind. If there are a lot of toddlers there, then a large-scale team sport like football or soccer might be a bit much for them to cope with. Stick to age-appropriate activities and sports to ensure that everyone has a good time.
If there are a lot of people, then consider a wide range of activities so people can cycle around the different sports or stick to something they enjoy. Or, if it’s a smaller event, then ask people what kind of sport they’d rather do and choose something that suits everyone. Low-contact sports like soccer are good options because most people can quickly pick up how to play.
Equipment and Uniforms
You should also consider what equipment you need for the sports. Soccer requires a ball and goalposts, for example. In a pinch, you can use anything to mark out goals for soccer, which is why it’s a popular sport for people who don’t want to bother with a lot of equipment.
Baseball or softball might require some more equipment, but you can make do with a bat, a ball, and some markers. However, some sports require safety equipment. Baseball balls are hard, and high-contact sports can easily result in people getting hurt.
If you’re playing team sports, then it could be fun to get some uniforms together. A uniform can be as simple as different colors for t-shirts, just to differentiate between teams. Or you can buy some vests to go over clothes or kits. Just don’t forget the ref shirts for whoever is refereeing the games.
Any event requires a venue, and it’s up to you to find somewhere that’s big enough to accommodate the group. In some cases, you might be able to find a nearby park that can host the sports day and give everyone plenty of space to run around and play sports. Or, if someone has a large backyard, you might be able to get a free or inexpensive venue that way.
However, if the weather isn’t playing ball, then you might want to get an indoor venue or a sports field designed to accommodate a lot of people. Grass can quickly turn into mud, especially if it’s wet. Not only that, but most people don’t enjoy the idea of playing sports in bad weather.
These venues might be more expensive and difficult to book, but it’s often more than worth it, especially if you spread the costs about.
Food and Drinks
No event is complete without food and drinks, and sports day is no exception. When everyone is running around and exercising, they build up an appetite quickly. This is especially true for children, as they burn calories rapidly and will need to build them back up again.
You could provide some healthy party food to make sure that everyone can build up their energy reserves and have fun eating. It’s a good idea to ask other adults or parents attending to bring something so that the cost and effort aren’t entirely on your shoulders. Whatever you do, make sure that you also provide plenty to drink so that everyone is hydrated.
This way, everyone can have a great time and stay happy and healthy.
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