A few pathways around Lacombe now feature some bright, new ‘sidewalk games’ to help spur more activity.
City staff have painted some games on some playground trails around the City.
“Being that the City is a ChooseWell Community, we are trying to find fun ways to get people more active,” said Sonya Beauclair, an administrative assistant with recreation and culture. “So we thought that painting some games on the walks would encourage kids who may already be active to stay just a bit longer. There is research indicating that painted lines and games on playground surfaces can be a low-cost way to increase activity,” she said.
“The Be Fit For Life Centre from Red Deer actually sent an email out letting people know that they had these stencil games, and we jumped on it,” she said. “So we borrowed the stencils to paint them.
“They help make the playgrounds a little more colourful,” she said, adding the games can be found near the Kinsmen Recreation Area which are the ball diamonds behind the Co-op, Michener Park, the playground at Elizabeth Park, Terrace Ridge School and James S. McCormick School.
Beauclair said they will see how things go with the games and perhaps do a few more next year.
“All of the different games that we painted do have several different things you can do with them,” she said, adding that kids can enjoy a bean bag toss or maybe a jumping challenge.
“We also just really encourage everyone to do free play – it’s really great for kids to make up their own games, too, and it helps them develop some other skills.”
Communities ChooseWell is an energizing, healthy eating and active living initiative supported by Alberta Health and Wellness and managed by the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association.
According to the ChooseWell web site, the hope is that through this initiative, “Students will have more opportunities to play outdoors at school during recess, lunchtime and after school hours.
“The playground stencils and accompanying games are designed to build confidence and motivation through heart pumping and fun physical activity, contributing to the development of physical literacy and the pure enjoyment of play.”
Via ChooseWell, community activities can run the gamut from Find the Right Fit, the Winter Active Challenge and Winter Walk Day to Earth Hour, Lacombe NeighbourShare – A great way to share your extra produce, Operation Lunchbox and International Walk to School Week.