Fun Fall Get-Togethers for Young Athletes and Sports Fans
Kids who play sports tend to eat, sleep and breathe their game of choice and often it involves technology. If your son or daughter is one of the 7.7 million in the U.S. who play on a high school team, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, or if they dream of doing so when older, support their athletic focus and competitive spirit by hosting one of these fun fall get-togethers, and keep intelligent sports tech products in mind.
Sports Trivia Contest
Every young athlete has a role model and favorite pro team, and they can typically recite details about them from memory. A sports trivia contest allows young fans to test their knowledge against each other.
Tailor the questions to the age and intensity of the young fans you invite over. For example, if hosting a group of elementary school kids, stick to positions and memorable plays from the current or previous season. Older kids may know stats and records.
If you aren’t quite as up on player and team info as the kids, all of the major sports associations have websites with comprehensive details and searchable stat databases from which you can pull questions and answers. For example, at HoustonTexans.com, you can find everything from total touchdowns for the team so far this season.
With the weather beginning to cool down in many areas of the country, a fall field day will be a big hit. Again, choose activities to suit the age of participants. Younger kids can test their coordination and speed with a three-legged race, and older kids can prove their strength with a wheelbarrow relay, whether using wheelbarrows or just having players hold up their teammates legs.
Other fun field day activities include the water-balloon toss, Frisbee throw and spin-bat race, the latter requiring kids to put their forehead on a bat, spin around five times and then run to the finish line.
If you don’t have a large yard in which to set up three or four different activities, host the field day at a neighborhood park.
If the weather doesn’t allow for an outside gathering, or if you have young athletes and sports fans who like to also play their chosen games virtually, host a tourney that involves exactly that. Kids can play against each other on a video game system or online via a tablet hooked up to your TV for all to see.
Online sports games and eSports include both the traditional team contests such as football, basketball and soccer, as well as more leisure sports including pool, darts and paddleball.
Be sure to designate an adult to act as scorekeeper if the game itself does not track how multiple players do. That way, you will know who gets bragging rights until the next tourney comes around.
Serve Hot Food and Award Cool Prizes
To carry the sports theme throughout the get-together, offer snacks and other food items typically found at a game. Peanuts and popcorn are excellent apps for kids, but a hot dog and ice cream sundae stations will keep them fueled for hours.
To reward the kids for using their bodies and brains, offer a variety of small token prizes throughout the get-together and one big grand prize, such as a team jersey or even two tickets to an upcoming game if all of the parents want to chip in for a big-ticket prize.
Sports Techie, High school sports are competitive like life and often compliment your child’s educational experiences with the right program, coaches and teammates. The 7.7 million figure of high school aged athletes actually seems small to me when considering our U.S. population has an estimated 316 million people. Encourage your kids to diversify their sports, playing soccer is one of the best fall sports and the foot skills kids learn carry over to most all other sports.
NFL.com gets kids and the need for increased education which is why they have teamed up with Topps in order to make fantasy football trading cards that are designed to help with math skills. You can use these during sports trivia contests.
A form of field day in our family is the free, fun and entertaining driving game we play with our 15-month old son when he is strapped into a department or grocery store cart that is designed like a race car. We walk around the aisles letting him feel like he is in charge of where the racing vehicle is going, much like a NASCAR, F1 or Indy car driver. Doing this exercise allows children a sense of independence, it helps their visualization skills and they learn steering wheel mechanics as you go around a corner or head down a straight-away together. Every other aisle or so we let him out of the seat and allow him to walk around for a while to stretch his legs out and see life from a new perspective. This game provides useful life skills for youth when they finally reach their teenage years and start driving all by themselves which can be a stressful learning curve for parents.
Gaming tournaments are super fun, even for adults. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have plenty of sport gaming options for the very young, middle aged kids, and older boys and girls. Even men and women can find interactive games that help with fitness. Kids can learn valuable game strategies playing EA Sports Madden 15, FIFA 15, NHL 15 and NBA Live 15, or MLB 14: The Show, developed and published by Sony.
Inside or outside, with tech or without, playing is essential to child’s development especially when performed together with both parents, a single parent, grandparents, or their guardian. You might want to try a putt-putt golf course, a gaming-centric pizza chain or a swimming pool outing. New wearable tech apparel that has fitness tacking options are another avenue to consider.
Winning a prize is good fun as is eating the right kind of food. Searching YouTube videos for kid-friendly recipes is a good way to find fresh and even relatively healthy eating and drinking ideas since so many kids are facing obesity issues around the world and here in America. Be sure to have prizes everyone who attends an autumn get-together can win, that way it will feel like Halloween day for everyone in attendance. Be sure invite kids with learning disabilities, handicaps or wheelchairs to help everyone learn tolerance, patience and good-will.
I advise you to film these lifetime memories on your mobile device smartphone and tablet so images can be shared via social media with family and friends, and used later as training tools at the appropriate times.
All these engaging activities can indeed bring tremendous joy to young athletes and sports fans.
See y’all later in Seattle and here in Atlanta.
I will see ya when I see ya, THE Sports Techie @THESportsTechie – http://twitter.com/THESportsTechie
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