October 14, 2009

More phenomenal Play Day stories and pics

It’s great to see that people are still sharing stories and photos from their Play Days. Did you have a great Play Day? Don't forget that you can be eligible for a $10,000 grant to improve a local park by simply sharing your stories and photos! Here are some of our favorites that have come in lately:

Georgia State Parks made sure that kids all across the state had a chance to take part in Play Days.  Thirteen (yes, I said 13) state parks joined in on the fun. At General Coffee State Park in Nicholls, Ga. a great group of kids showed up to help restore the bog with a muddy and fun service project. In the morning, they helped to re-deck a portion of the boardwalk and cut trees that were shading the plants in the bog. After washing off all of the mud, the kids played games while the Park’s Friend group served lunch and some homemade ice cream. You should see the fun photos from the Play Day at General Coffee State Park.

In Indiana, the Huntington Boys and Girls Club hosted the Go Green Picnic Play Day. Over 60 kids participated in 12 different games and even received prizes! Each kid received a jump rope and water to encourage them to be active. The most creative part of this event was the green theme added to the Play Day. The kids played recycling relay games and junkyard pick-up. The Boys and Girls Club is working to put recycling bins in the park, and the amount of recycled materials from just one event really amazed the Parks Department. Don’t forget to check out the pictures from the Go Green Picnic Play Day.

Kids were able to explore, play, and learn all at once at the Nature Adventure Games Play Day in Terra Ceia Island, Fla. The attendees may have been close to town, but it seemed like they were in their own private woods with some neat hiking trails. The kids could participate in fun nature contests: guessing the circumferences of a giant oak tree (it was 149 inches), gathering the most Spanish moss, and catching the most grasshoppers. They found tons of grasshoppers, saw all kinds of birds, a huge spider, a black snake, and a sneaky squirrel. In addition to these awesome adventures, the kids helped to remove invasive plants that harm the natural environment. Learn all about the Nature Adventure Games Play Day.

In Arizona, the Tempe Play Day attracted over 1,000 play-seekers to Tempe's Kiwanis Community Park on Sept. 19 for three hours of non-stop fun! Each attendee was given a Play Day Passport with a list of all the games, events and activities staged throughout the park. Activities included a one-mile fun run, kayaking, jump roping, sandcastle building, creating chalk art, and playing lawn games. They even hosted an NFL Punt, Pass & Kick youth skills competition. For each event they participated in, Play Day 'travelers' received a stamp on their passport. After four stamps, the passports could be turned in to a Play Day raffle for sports- and recreation-related prizes. Check out the pictures from the Tempe Play Day 2009.

It was a great day for kids in Rex, Ga. at the Fall Festival Play Day! With help from a group of parents, the kids painted flower pots and then planted a bunch of flowers. Then, the kids had different options to choose from to play, including the parachute and jump rope. The children were extremely happy, as they were able to take ownership of their playground and see the entire community come out to play with them.  On top of all of that, the parents were amazed at how much learning could go on in a play environment: language, math, science and above all the social skills. Don’t take my word for it, check out some photos from the Fall Festival Play Day.

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