It’s winter and it’s cold out, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has provided Activity Trunks (listed as a Treasure Trunk in the library catalogue) to a number of community organizations for public use. We have two trunks, located at Brodie and Waverley, which can be taken out for a period of three weeks. And while we think of these fun games for kids let’s not forget ourselves and our health. We’re nearing the end of January and resolutions are beginning to fade, so remember when you have fun playing, you’re doing yourself a lot of good too.
How did we get these trunks?
They are a project of Take Heart Thunder Bay, which received funding from the Province of Ontario to provide these trunks encouraging healthy living. The Health Unit then distributed the trunks to partners (such as the Public Library and community centres) to make them accessible to the members of our community.
Why do we need activity trunks?
The trunks encourage us to be more active and they provide great ideas for free. Often people are concerned at the cost to be active, but with some space, a group of people and a trunk you have a whole afternoon of fun. The trunks serve as another way of encouraging us to get out and get active! We also have great books and DVDs to encourage active living so come in and see the full range of what you can do in 2008 and beyond.
What’s in the Trunk?
The trunk has balls, rubber chickens, a hacky sack, jump ropes, bean bags, a parachute and more fun equipment. It also includes a cookbook and a binder chock full of game and craft ideas. The binder is divided into sections for the main items in the trunk. For example in the rubber chicken section (yes there’s a rubber chicken section) some of the games included are Ultimate Chicken and “thanks for the snowball (beanbag)”. Ultimate Chicken is like Ultimate Frisbee, only played with a rubber chicken and “thanks” is like tag with no person being “it”. Everyone has a beanbag or snowball on their head and walks around briskly with hands behind their backs trying to keep the beanbag balanced on their head. If your beanbag falls you have to stand still with your arms out to your sides. You can be unfrozen by someone else picking up your beanbag and putting it back on your head, without losing their own beanbag.
I love the idea, but I’m a little nervous about organizing the games, is there any help?
There are two sections at the beginning of the binder with information on safety and guidelines for running games. Also, the Health Unit will be providing a session on how to use the trunk. It is currently in the planning process and will allow people to try out the equipment and learn more about running games for children. This session will likely be run in a few months so watch for upcoming announcements.
What do I need to take it out?
The two trunks located at the library can be checked out by anyone who has a library card. I’d suggest that you either drive or bring a wagon as it is quite a large trunk. There are other trunks available for community use at Ogden School and the Rural Family Resource Centre in Murillo. Keep an eye out for more trunks becoming available for home use.
But everything’s for the outdoors, how can I take advantage of this now?
Some of the games can be modified for indoors or depending on the age of the children involved you could do them in a clear space. With young children a game of chicken parachute could be tons of fun and they aren’t strong enough to send them up to the ceiling. All you need is a clear space and some enthusiastic kids. There are also great craft ideas and a recipe for playdough! Or check out our collection for books with loads of activity suggestions and DVDs of all kinds of exercise you can do alone or with your family.
Your Public Library is also a great resource for ideas on keeping active. From books on games and play to exercise books and programs we have it all.
Some materials to check out include:
Ruth Hamlin-Douglas, Children's and Youth Services Librarian at the Brodie Resource Library – www.tbpl.ca.