Tag Archive | outside fun

Every BODY, Let’s Move in Dayton

In September Zamzee was contacted by the National Park Service in Dayton, Ohio about a “Let’s Move” event the community was planning. The park service asked if we could donate a few Zamzee meters to inspire participation, and we were happy to help! Leisa Ling, a park guide at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park coordinated the event, and she gave us a recap of how it went.

September 28, 2013 was a beautiful day. Not only was it the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day, it was also the day of our event dubbed “Every BODY, Let’s Move!”, a family-friendly event to promote First Lady Michele Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.

Held at Huffman Prairie Interpretive Center which is one of the units of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in Dayton, OH, the site offers the perfect spot for an outdoor event with its scenic position at the top of a hill under big, old shady trees. The goal was to create an event to draw people of differing interests and ages and fitness levels to come together at the park and do something active.

With five rangers and seven volunteers we offered many different activities, including…

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….a dog walk, a 3 hour hike… Continue reading

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My Kids Would Make Excellent Vampires

By Andrew Kardon from Mommy’s Busy… Go Ask Daddy

Zamzee_hiking

My kids would make excellent vampires. No, they don’t enjoy drinking blood; they just hate going outside.

Summer. Winter. Fall. Spring. Name your season and they’ll still whine and complain if you dare rip them from their cocoon and drag them outside.

My wife and I, on the other hand, love nature. Before we were married, we used to go on tons of nature walks, hiking in the woods for hours as we followed trail blaze after trail blaze. We’ve explored gorgeous (and freezing!) ice caves. We’ve even gone kayaking on the Hudson River with my parents.

Ironic then, that it’s one of nature’s cruel jokes which sees two nature lovers produce offspring that run as far away as they can from the outdoors. Yep, we love nature and hate that our kids hate it. So how are two nature-loving parents supposed to get our kids enjoying the outdoors? It’s certainly a challenge. Continue reading

How to Play Gaga Ball (and Other Games We Never Played as Kids)

By Heather from RookieMoms.com

My son is an active grade-schooler and embraces each new P.E. game to which he is exposed with gusto. Nearly every day, he tells me about another “sport” that I’ve never heard of; gaga ball, ant hospital, and toilet tag are a few that had me puzzled. I suspected he was just making these names up.

When I was a kid, we played games like freeze tag and kickball. Need more cooperation? What about red rover or tug-of-war? While I know that these games still exist, there are a bunch of new games that are played on the school yards today. So if any of you parents are, like me, from the dark ages of last century and need a little primer, I’ve got a cheat sheet for you.

Gaga ball is like fast-paced dodge ball played in a mini-arena, called a pit. Players can hit the ball but not catch or throw. Originally played in Isreal and popularized in the US by Jewish daycamps, here is a review of the rules thanks to Wikipedia: Continue reading

5 Playground Games from Around the World

We’re always looking for fun ways to get outside and earn a couple more Zamzee Pointz. But sometimes that old game of tag or duck-duck-goose needs a little extra spice in order to convince us to get moving. That’s why we’ve collected a list of great playground games from around the world. You don’t even need a ball to play these games; all you need is your imagination, some friends (the more the merrier!), and space to run around! Here’s how to join in the fun:

Pasi Misí (Spain)

Two players stand opposite each other and raise their hands to form an arch. The other players form a line, and follow one another as they run underneath the arch singing:

“Pasi misí, pasi misá,
por la calle de Alcalá,
los de “adelante” corren mucho
el de atrás se quedará.”
“Pasi misí, pasi misá,
by the Alcalá street
the first ones run quickly
the last one will stay.”

After the last verse, the players who have formed the arch drop their hands to trap the player who is underneath the arch at that moment. Then, the trapped player has to secretly choose between two fruits, each of which corresponds to one side (player) of the arch. After secretly whispering her choice, the trapped player is released and lines up behind the team leader for her chosen fruit. (None of the other players are able to hear which type of fruit corresponds to which line.)

Once all the players have been “caught” under the arch and chosen a line, the two teams do a tug-of-war. The winning team is the one who successfully pulls the other team past a line in the ground.

In this video you can learn the tune to the song, and watch how to play!

Continue reading

A Parent’s Guide to Sports Camp

By Heather from RookieMoms.com

Zamzee gets ready for sports camp

The Olympics have been going full-swing for a week now. And as I’m watching these amazing athletes, I’m just wondering: what’s it like being the parent of an Olympian? How do they coordinate things like carpool and equipment for sports practice – for years and years and years?

I’ve signed my son up for sports camp this year in hopes that he’ll burn off tons of energy each day and come home with that good, tired feeling. If he develops proficiency (or even excellence!) in a sport that becomes a long-term passion for him, well that’s a bonus. This is the second year I’ve enrolled him in this particular program which includes eight sports in a single day (!), and here’s what I’ve learned. Whether you’re sending your child off for a day of soccer, gymnastics, tennis or all three, here are some things to remember:

  1. Water. Every morning, I fill a sports bottle for Holden. He gets frequent water breaks but the line at the water fountain is long– too long, he reports, to adequately hydrate. For the car trip home, I sometimes bring a spray mist bottle if it’s been a very hot day. I can spritz him right in the face.  (Quirky tip: I recently learned that my son prefers drinking from a SQUIRT GUN. Would that work for your kid?) Continue reading

6 Tips for Camping with the Kids

Summer is a great time to take the kids camping – but it takes special planning to make sure the little ones learn to love being outside. After all, sleeping under the stars is a big change from the safety and security of home. Here are 6 tips to ensure your camping trip is a success.

Camping in the Savage River drainage, Denali National Park, Alaska

Flickr Creative Commons license (http://ow.ly/cb1dp)

1. Get to your campsite early

Make sure you have plenty of time to set-up your tent during daylight so the kids can get comfortable in the campground. If they feel familiar with their surroundings during the day, those shadows will look less scary at night. Build a warm, comfortable fire and give everyone their own flashlight. Bringing favorite stuffed animals and security blankets can do wonders to help with fear of the dark, which is well-worth the chore of washing off the dirt when you get back home.

In the tent

Flickr Creative Commons license (http://ow.ly/cb1Vh)

2. Pack for cold and sun

Temperatures have a habit of shifting unexpectedly when you’re camping, and kids get hot and cold more quickly than adults. Make sure you pack plenty of layers. A fleece pullover (not a sweatshirt) and a warm hat are essentials for night, and you can never bring too many pairs of warm socks. During the day don’t forget sunglasses and baseball hats to keep the sun off their faces. Of course, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe vera, anti-itch cream and a first-aid kit are essentials. If you anticipate the sunburn and mosquito bites, you won’t be caught unprepared by itchy skin after 5 PM!

Continue reading