A couple Fridays ago, Dexter's school had their annual play day down at the middle school field (Super Games day). All the kids in the city elementaries have their turn for half a day. This year there were more inflatables than I remember in the past. Anyhoo, I went down there to watch for a little bit, and ended up staying the whole morning. I'll share some photos (of just a small portion of the activities), then my interesting observation...
I wish I'd been able to get a photo of the AIR Dexter was catching when he bounced at the top of this slide!
Here's one showing some impressive jumps by Dexter's classmates; gravity-free zone!
But, speaking of impressive jumps, here's one of Dexter at my FAVORITE station:
The kids would grab a horse and run around the track as fast as they could while still making the jumps--four of them!--and then pass the horse to the next runner. There were lots of rails down, and some of the horses had their riders tumble on top of them, but it was great fun. I laughed the whole time. :)
Here's another favorite event. Who wouldn't love something that involved hoppity-hops?
The kids had to travel to their partner but stay on their side of the white line; when they both got there, they would pass a golf ball (carried in the yellow cup) to the other person. The kids figured out pretty quickly it was fun to see how high they could hop. :)
There were some crashes here, too, as you can see in the background--that's Dexter flopped on the ground, having gotten back to base, passing the hoppity hop off to the next person.
This event looked more comfortable for the smaller kids who were there that day:
Each team of three had to pull one person down & back over the course, then they'd switch and another person would have a turn riding, and do that a third time so everyone got a chance to ride. It was pretty bumpy, which made it funny to watch. I couldn't get over how LONG Dexter's legs look on this little cart. :)
The last events of the morning involved water play, which the kids had been looking forward to--it was a HOT morning. In this one, water-soaked balls are being flung across a field using a giant (6 feet tall) slingshot to a crowd of kids with nets. As they catch the balls, they get sprayed!
And in this one they had to pass water from the trash cans to each person's bowl and into a big bowl down at the end of the line. Within a few seconds, water was flying everywhere but the bowls! It was a squishy walk back to school...
So, here's what was interesting to me, and quite frankly, inspiring... There were at least a dozen stations that each class would spend a few minutes on, some of them merely entertaining (like the bouncy slide) and some of them with a bit more competitive goal (like the hoppity hop race or the horsey fences, and some others I didn't get photos of). It was a HOT and humid morning, but the kids approached each task with eagerness and tried their best. They ran, they threw, they jumped, they steered--they tried their best to achieve the goal at hand, whatever it was. After only half the events were finished, they were hot and sweaty and tired, but they kept going, kept giving it serious effort.
After a while, I realized that they were doing this WITHOUT ANY PRIZES BEING OFFERED. There was no reward for doing something the best or coming in first or jumping the highest or hitting the ball the furthest except for the satisfaction that they'd done it. Wow.
I think the future is going to be just fine.
I hope you have some fun today trying your best at something!