Each of my children has spent some time at our local park and recreation's "playground camps" located at each of their elementary schools. These camps are the classic, "little bit of everything" camps; sports, arts and crafts, activities, etc. One of the big topics of conversation lately at our house is the game "wall ball" that they like to play at camp. They are always very excited to discuss playing this game.
Tonight, my wife suggested (I can't take credit for the idea) I take the kids over to the elementary school and play some wall ball with them. I thought it would be fun so I did. When we got to the school and found the right wall, both my kids immediately began peppering me with all the "rules" of the game. My head was spinning as I was trying to decipher not only who was rapidly firing the rules at me but what each rule or meant. Terms like pegging, aces, bus stops, bobbling, and tea parties are just a few that I can recall. After my brief introduction to the rules, we began to play.
The game is basically the game I remember playing as a kid called "butts up" where you have to catch a tennis ball thrown off of a wall without dropping it. If you do, you have to run and touch the wall before someone else throws the ball and hits the wall before you touch it. I just don't remember having all of these extra rules that my children informed me of. Either way, it was a ton of fun. Both my kids and I were laughing, running, jumping, catching, throwing and having a great time together. I realized as I was playing what a great work out it was for all of us. I was huffing and puffing after a few minutes and could feel myself working up a sweat. I thought to myself that this silly, little game was a great way to get us all active together. My children were having a blast playing and they probably didn't realize how much exercise they were getting; they were just excited to play.
I discuss on my "getting involved" page to find activities that you all can do as a family to get more activity in your life. I think our little game of wall ball is a perfect example of a fun way to get your whole family together doing something active. It doesn't have to be wall ball, ask your kids what games they like to play. Now is a great time to do this because many of our children are at camp where they might be introduced to new games and play some of their favorites. Let them explain the rules to you and go ahead and play. Finding activities to do together as a family doesn't have to just be exercising together. Games are a fun way to "hide" the fact that you are exercising. So go ahead, play some tag, kick the can, or wall ball together as a family, have fun.