Turning Sundays into family sports days

Turn Sundays into a day of family fun with these five sporting activities in which everyone can get involved.

Hit the ice year round. Kim DeVigil and her four children ice skate year round. In the summer, the DeVigil family cools off at the indoor ice rink, where they can keep dry inside during the rainy spring season. Also, the family takes advantage of a lake near their home during the frigid late fall and winter season. As soon as the lake freezes over, the family heads out with their skates in hand to skate, play ice tag or ice hockey. “Ice skating is something all of us can do. We’re together as a family and we enjoy the exercise.”

Score a touchdown in flag football. Flag football seems like the typical “male” dominated Sunday sport during family gatherings. Today, it has become a trendy, fun game for kids, too. Create your own team flags with old towels or t-shirts. Or buy a kid-friendly flag football set, such as the one manufactured by NERF, which comes with colored clips instead of flags. So grab the football, gather your family and some friends and head for the backyard.

Organize a leap frog race. Enlist the gang in a hopping, fun leap frog race. Determine the starting and finishing point. Make sure everyone knows how to leap like a frog. To make the race fair, allow younger ones to have a head start with older kids and adults going in order, according to ability. Or turn this into a relay race by pairing up younger kids with an adult, balancing out the talent. The question will be, “Who can leap to victory?”

Go fly a kite. Kite flying might be considered an old-fashioned hobby of days gone by. With current technology, stunt kite flying has captured the interest of young and young at heart. Stunt kites range from $39 to over $100 at web sites like www.mackite.com. However, once you buy your kite, your major investment is over. With your kites in hand, each family member can create a game of his or her choice from who can fly their kite the highest to who can perform a nosedive without crashing. The challenge is on!

Swish the basketball from around the court. When it comes to basketball, there are games galore, including PIG, Around the World, Two-on-two and Twenty-one to name a few. Play a different game each week or give each family member a designated Sunday to select his or her game of choice. If you decide to divide the family into two teams, be sure to balance the skill level evenly. Now if you don’t have a hoop in your driveway, don’t worry. Your community school playground or park is sure to have one. To add fun to the activity, buy team shirts at a discount store. If you’re familiar with some of the basketball games, but want to review the rules, visit www.games-for-all-reasons.com/basketball_games.html for directions.

Mary Jo Rulnick is an author and freelance writer from Pittsburgh.