Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Fall Green Hour Idea: Picnics and Obstacle Courses!

Fueling up for the games...

Fueling up for the games…

Not sure about your family, but ours got really into American Ninja Warrior this past summer.  Our favorites to watch, of course, were the climbers, and we had a blast jumping up and down for Brian Arnold as he got SO CLOSE to becoming the first American to finish Stage 3.  The show was fun on a very elementary level – I mean, who doesn’t love an obstacle course, right?  Events like the Mud Run, Spartan Race, and Muddy Buddy popping up in major cities all over the country are just more proof.

C was always in bed by the time we got around to watching the show, but after asking a lot of questions about an obstacle course that was shown on a page of one of his recent library books, we realized that the obstacle course bug had bitten him as well!  So last Sunday evening we put together the perfect Green Hour combination – picnics and obstacle courses!

A sweet little monkey mid-swing

A sweet little monkey mid-swing

Our evening began with Papa John’s pizza on a picnic bench by the park (don’t judge…it was too spur of the moment to pack our own, plus we had a coupon 😉 ).  After we’d had (more than) our fill, we worked off all that pizza grease on the playground.  We took turns plotting out obstacle courses for each other – run up the ramp, then down the curly slide, traverse across the climber, etc.  C of course had no concept of time, but he did try his best to go as fast as his little legs could go, and after completing each lap would proudly announce, “I win!”

The really fun part was that there were a few other boys and girls on the playground as well, and once they saw all the fun we were having, they wanted to get in on the action too!  Pretty soon parents and children alike were racing around the playground apparatus, giggling and laughing the whole way.  By the time it started to get dark, everyone was happily exhausted, and my bet is that the kiddos weren’t the only ones that slept hard that night!  (I know I sure did!)

Our impromptu picnic/obstacle course evening was so fun that we did it again the very next week!  In fact, I have a feeling our newly discovered Green Hour combo will turn into a regular occurrence this fall.  And that’s perfectly fine by me – eating, playing, laughing as a family…AND getting in some exercise?  I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening…

Why watch American Ninja Warrior when you can make your own course at a local park?!?  What green hour activities do YOU enjoy together as a family?

C demonstrating the "Silver Ladder Traverse" on Day 2 of obstacles

C demonstrating the “Silver Ladder Traverse” on Day 2 of obstacles


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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN