Tag Archives: kids

The Very Best Playdate Ever

I have this friend.  She knows everyone in town.  She knows everything that’s going on in town.  She’s always tuned in to the great deals and exciting offerings way before anyone else. She’s a really good friend to have.

Said friend found a daily deal for a kid’s party at Stunt Ranch where a group could launch stomp rockets, navigate a low ropes course, enjoy the thrill of a zipline, and hang out under the beautiful Texas oaks and picnic.  Because said friend is an awesomely flexible thinker, she realized that having a big group playdate would be a super fun way to use this party package.  So she invited a few other moms with kids about the same age to buy a share in the discounted package.  I knew my boys would love it.

While we waited for the rest of the group to arrive, the kids ran around in a field and launched stomp rockets.  If you have a kid under age 10, you need this toy.  They never fail to amuse my boys, and I love watching kids run as fast as they can and try to catch the rockets as they fall back to the ground.

Once everyone had gathered, the Stunt Ranch leaders took the kids over to the low ropes course to, well, teach ’em the ropes.


The kids scrambled to find a place in the course, and were immediately engaged in the activity.  

Some of the skills were independent, like jumping on ‘rocks’ in a ‘lava pit’….



And some of the skills required communication and teamwork to keep everyone safe…..


There was lots of climbing and balancing….


And a good old-fashioned tire run, too.


Even The Stowaway worked her way through it.


The kids played on the ropes for nearly an hour, trying the skills again and again.

We then took a break for a picnic lunch, which is always a hit on a beautiful February day.  As the kids ate, they started buzzing about the zipline.  A few kids were unabashedly stoked and couldn’t wait to go.  A few kids were looking forward to it, but with a bit of hesitation.  One child– at age 11 one of the older kids in the group– was pretty sure he wanted nothing to do with the zipline.  The Stunt Ranch folks were patient and kind and explained how everything worked to keep the “zipper” safe as he went flying.  In the end, all of the kids tried it.

Here’s my Monkey, loving every minute of it.


What do you think? Did my Bear have fun out there?


Want to know the best part of the day? All three of my kids fell asleep in the backseat on the way home.  They were plain tuckered out. 

I was in no way compensated by Stunt Ranch to write this post.  I just had a blast out there– as did my kids– and wanted to share our Very Best Playdate Ever with my onbalance readers.



Old School Exercise

My parents, intent on recreating my lovely childhood for my children, gave the Bear and the Monkey a dome climber for Christmas.  My husband was skeptical of this newfound addition to our backyard landscaping, but I told him the boys would get good use out of it. 

Tonight some of the neighbors came over for dinner, and it was amazing how long four boys– ages 2-5– could keep themselves happy with such a simple toy.  First there was climbing.  Then there was hanging.  Then there was jumping off.  When they needed a little break, the dome climber turned into a spaceship, and some fantastic imaginative play really took off.  (Pun very much intended, thank you!)  Once the boy astronauts landed on the rings of Saturn, there was more climbing, hanging, and jumping so they could explore.

At the end of the evening, four red-faced boys came back into the house.  The evening reminded me about the joys of simple play, when exercise and imagination come together for good clean fun. 

As I stare down a long summer with no school for either of my kids, my mind is beginning to fire with ideas of games I played as a kid.  Kick the can.  Marco Polo.  Red light/Green light.  Red rover.  Those are all classics we can play together.  A backyard field day– with sack races, one-legged races, egg-and-spoon relays, obstacle courses– is certainly going to be on our calendar this summer as well.