Let me introduce Miles of Smiles, a fitness club for kids offered in Fort Morgan. It was crafted especially for young families who wanted more options than traditional organized sports. I was dreading t-ball after talking to a friend who mentioned that her five-year-old was bored waiting in line to hit the ball and even more bored waiting in the outfield. I imagined Big P similarly waiting
and waiting for his turn to hit. I like baseball. Big P likes baseball, too. But at age five he’s just as happy playing in our backyard with neighbors. I decided to wait a few more summers for t-ball and to create an alternative program.
Miles of Smiles was born. We pitched the idea of a fitness club for kids ages two through five and the city was willing to support the program. The community was ready for it, too. The first play session included twice the number I had planned for, not including the younger and older siblings. I was in heaven!
Each week features a theme with different imaginative games, scavenger hunts, and races. The point was to introduce the concepts of physical activity in a really engaging way. Miles of Smiles is a perfect segue into organized sports when they’re physically and emotionally ready. Plus, all of these games are also a model for parents to recreate at home for easy, inexpensive games.
All of the kiddos are also encouraged to run, walk, scooter, or bike five miles during the program. The final play session includes a fabulous field day with an awards ceremony for those kids who completed the five miles. I can’t wait to post those pictures of the kids proudly wearing medals. I think I’ll invite the Mayor to participate in the distribution of medals. Great photo opp, no?
I admit that I was nervous about getting my 2-year-old to walk that far. Little A is usually in a bike trailer, stroller, or I cave in and carry her because she’s my “baby.” This week she ran and pranced an entire mile while we were at two different Fort Morgan city parks. This little lady will be just fine and get a medal just like her older brothers.
What you see on my fridge are the Mile Tracker Forms that we’re using for Miles of Smiles. I will be making all of the Miles of Smiles materials available for free download for preschool and kindergarten groups. Stay tuned!
2014 UPDATE: Miles of Smiles has been well-attended and supported by the community. Wo hoo!