Watching the World Series with the Kids

Having the San Francisco Giants play in the World Series is a special opportunity to teach kids about baseball, and help instill a lifelong love for being active. After all, it’s not every year that your hometown baseball team makes it to the World Series! So how can we use the World Series to get kids moving?

Teaching kids lifelong habits of physical activity doesn’t always have to start with them playing sports themselves. Just ask Whitney from Rookie Moms: her son Julian didn’t like sports until he started playing Fantasy Football. Now he’s a full-fledged football fanatic! As Whitney says, “You never know which aspect of an activity will be the one that harnesses a child’s enthusiasm.”

Make a special occasion out of watching the game: let the kids invite a few friends over and serve up some healthy snacks. Teach the kids the names and numbers of the star players, because watching a game is more fun if you know the players. There’s nothing more exciting than recognizing Buster Posey when he steps up to bat, and cheering when he hits a home run!

We asked David Kim, our IT Manager and resident Giants expert, which players to watch from each team. Here’s his advice:

On the San Francisco Giants

  1. Buster Posey #28
  2. Marco Scutaro #19
  3. Matt Cain #18
  4. Angel Pagan #16
  5. Ryan Vogelsong #32

On the Detroit Tigers

  1. Miguel Cabrera #24
  2. Justin Verlander #35
  3. Prince Fielder #28
  4. Delmon Young #21
  5. Max Scherzer #37
Who you gonna call? Go Buster

From Randy Chiu on Flickr, Creative Commons (http://ow.ly/eKbEc)

The average baseball game is 3 hours long, but neither you nor the kids are going to want to sit still for that long. Make a game out of watching the game. Jump up and take a 5-minute Zamzee Challenge during the commercial breaks. Get creative and invent things to do for different plays – not only will this keep the kids moving, it serves the double purpose of teaching them the rules of baseball. For example:

  1. Strikeout: do 5 jumping jacks
  2. Walk: spin in a circle 5 times
  3. Stolen base: run to the kitchen and back
  4. Run: give everyone a high-five
  5. New inning: everybody find a new seat

Throughout the Series, you’ll want to build connections between baseball onscreen and baseball in your regular life. Set up a mini baseball diamond in the backyard so kids can pretend they are Major Leaguers. If swinging a bat and hitting a ball prove too complex, encourage kids to play kickball instead. They can still pretend to be Giants and Tigers. The most important thing is that they channel energy from the World Series into lots of fun moving.

At the end of the World Series, no matter which team wins, use the opportunity to teach good sportsmanship. You’ve had a week chock-full of baseball and moving and that’s something to celebrate!

Are you watching the World Series this year? We’d love to hear your favorite ways to watch the games with kids!

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