Sogo for a Run

Sogo SquirtsMy son completes his last lap around the designated loop in Fish Creek, completing 10 laps easily without losing breath or stamina. Nine weeks ago he could barely do 3 without being short of breath and collapsing on the ground. Endurance, which he has definitely built up over the past 10 weeks, is only one of 4 components in the Sogo Adventure Running Program for Youth.

A little tentative when we began, my son was unsure if he even wanted to participate in this program. “It’s running Mum, that’s boring.” But I suggested we go and check it out as there was more than that, not committing him one way or the other so he agreed.

After the first night watching the other kids zoom through the forest, jumping over obstacles and balancing clothes pegs, he was in and couldn’t wait to get started.

Sogo Adventure RunningSogo Adventure Running is an outdoor running program for youth ages 3-18, that runs each Spring and Fall, offering 4 levels of skill and age based programming. It is based on the Canadian Sport of Life Long Term Athlete Development model and is a great way to get kids out there and active!

It has four components, endurance, speed/power, strength/agility and navigation, 2 of which are done each week on a rotating basis. I was so impressed the first night with the obstacle course the kids did I wanted them to set up an adult program for me!

I loved the fact that my son was getting outside each week on a regular basis, rain or shine, and playing in the outdoors (as he spends far too much time on electronics). He was active, with his peers and really challenging himself. I also loved that we got to enjoy and explore different natural areas in Calgary, as the locations rotated every few weeks.

Sogo Adventure RunningHe looked so vibrant and alive after each class. We would often leave in a rush to get there; he would say he was tired and didn’t want to go, but once we got there he got right into it, literally glowing and happy afterwards.

I was also pleased to be part of Sogo Squirts (3-5 year olds) pilot program last spring with my younger son and daughter, as I am a strong believer that when you introduce things to kids at a young agethat it sticks with them. An active foundation is so important for children. This program had the same components but was set up through games and activities for their age. Both my younger children loved looking for the orange and white flags and punching their cards on their navigation course.

This unique program is part of the Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club and with registration allows youth to participate in their Family Fun nights on Wednesdays, where kids get to put their skills to work!

I was so pleased that this low cost, active program (all you need is a pair of running shoes) was available to all my children and I look forward to participating again! It is an experience like no other!Sogo Adventure Running

For more information on Sogo and registration go to their website sogoadventurerunning.com

Winter Inside and Out

winter activities

Often in winter it’s challenging to get active. Our bodies slow down, we just want to cozy up on the couch and watch movies. It can be a challenge in the cooler weather to not only get outside but to find fun and engaging winter activities. Both you and the kids start to experience cabin fever as you’ve done all the regular activities inside and out. Not only is everyone bouncing off the walls but you need some fresh ideas to enjoy the winter season. With Calgary winters often being long and chilly it is time to get creative!

For me I like to google it and see what’s out there for indoor and outdoor activities in the winter. Not only does it get my own creative juices flowing and I create activities of my own, I find some really cool ideas. These are just a few of winter activity ideas I recently found, but these are my favorites! So whether you’re inside or out, here are some unique indoor and outdoor activities for winter that will not only keep the kids occupied, but engage their imagination as well.

Outside

You’ve gone skiing, skating, tobogganing, and built many snowmen. There’s even a giant snowfort in your front yard that if it gets any bigger you will not be able to get to the front door. These outdoor activities will expand kids fun time outside and will definitely expand their horizons and create something new.

1-     A winter picnic. Pack sandwiches, cookies, and thermos of hot chocolate. Take a blanket and enjoy a picnic in our winter wonderland.

ice castles2-    Ice castles. Fill a variety of ice cream and yogurt containers with water; let them freeze overnight. Once they are frozen, take them out of the containers and build your castle. For a splash of color, put food coloring into the water before freezing.

3-    A scavenger hunt. Make a list of winter items, get the kids to help you with this beforehand, then go out and see how many you can find. A short list of 10 items is great, and learning about what there is in nature in winter.

4-    Snow mini-golf. Set up a mini golf course in your backyard using a variety of items from the house. Tramp down the snow to make paths, uneven surfaces and use things like hoola hoops, plastic rings, and balls to set up a course. Grab a putter and you’re ready to go.

animal track5-    Look for animal tracks. Winter is one of the best times to find tracks as the snow makes it easier to spot them. Go for a walk and bring a guide book to help the kids figure out what the track is (find one at the local library, find one online or purchase one like Animal Tracks of Alberta
on Amazon). As an option, bring your camera to take pictures of the tracks, so you can look at and identify them at home.

 

Inside

There are many indoor venues to go to in the winter to keep busy; the swimming pool, library, and local museum. At home it can be a bit more challenging, and after baking the 12th batch of cookies, and having multiple friends over, you need a little variety.

1-    Build a fort. Use couch cushions, blankets and cardboard boxes. Let the kids be creative as they build, let them knock it down a few times – and rebuild. Once completed they can enjoy playing in it. (Ensure it is safe and under adult supervision).

2-    Create a play. Have the kids write their own play, assign parts and do a performance. Kids can create the stage, costumes, props and present to friends and family.

IMG_69113-    Make an indoor snowman. This works great with a big group of kids; split them into 2 teams, give each team a roll of toilet paper. One team member is the model and the others wrap the model in tp to turn them into a snowman. Use construction paper to make the nose, eyes and other features.

4-    A puppet show. If you have puppets grab them, otherwise the kids can make their own. They can also make their own puppet theater and present to friends and family.

5-    Play hide and seek. Who says this is just an outdoor game? Set clear guidelines and boundaries about where to hide and let the game begin.

Do you have any great indoor or outdoor winter activities? Share your favorites below!