We're not going to lie. Saying goodbye to the magic yellow school bus last week had us "shaking in our flip-flops." How on earth were we going to keep these kids entertained, and off of their respective mobile devices? We absolutely lived in fear of the addictive qualities of the "f" word - FORTNITE. What could we do to survive and win the summer battle, with funds still available in our bank accounts, and with children whom we can honestly say we enjoyed spending the summer with?
Enter beach games. Our children's borderline obsession to Fortnite and other video games had fostered a competitive spirit, which we decided to tap into during a recent day at the beach. With a handful of kids to work with, we divided the group into two equal teams, and initiated " Beach Olympics." The first event was a distance run: first person to run to the lifeguard stand and back got a point for their team. Next, we challenged the crew to appoint a swimmer to race to the buoy and back. After that, we started a whiffle ball home run derby. Beachball volleyball went next. Then, we cooled off with a surfboard kick relay race. A "best frisbee toss" was the next event, followed by a corn hole playoff event to wrap up the Beach Olympics. We even held a closing ceremony, with the losing team having to take a running dunk into the water, and with a popsicle party for all participants.
We're not going to lie, the afternoon at the beach was an absolute blast. The only time mobile devices were used, were to play the "Rocky" and "Chariots of Fire" theme songs. There was laughter. There was team-building. There was sportsmanship. There were memories in the making.
Yes, it did require a little bit of effort and creativity, to coordinate the games. But really, not much, and it was fun to watch the whole event play-out. Our gaggle of friends and family are already planning the next Beach Olympics. The younger kids are advocating for a "best sandcastle builder" event, while the older set is looking to add a kayak or paddle board race to the agenda. The parents on hand are itching to join the fun, and are lobbying for a "kids versus the parents" epic Beach Battle. The possibilities are endless, really.
We will admit, that Fortnite did come in to play during a few of the events: some of the winners broke out in Fortnite celebration dances, which were funny to watch, and which we had no idea even existed.
Also, it is important to know that we are not looking at summer through "rose-colored" swim goggles; we know that we are bound to get the dreaded "I'm bored" declarations, and that we are sure to takeaway iPads and xbox controllers in fits of frustration. That being said, the Beach Olympics experience showed us that with a little bit of effort, there is still plenty of room for "good old-fashioned family fun" this summer! Ride the wave.