By Elizabeth Putfark
Looking for a fun family event to enjoy this season? Look no further than this fall’s PHIT Kids Field Day, a family oriented function geared toward stimulating active lifestyles among our community’s youth.
What to expect
This outdoor event will encourage kids from six-months to five-years-old to get active and get moving in the cool autumn air. Booths will offer games from relay races and goal kicks to football tosses and parachute play, all designed to promote physical development. An infant and toddler section will include age-appropriate games like water play, musical instruments and an infant obstacle course.
Water and fresh fruit from community sponsors will be provided to keep the kids and volunteers hydrated throughout the event.
Everyone! Nika Lorenz, four-year leader of PHIT Kids and organizer of the semi-annual field day, says that she has made it her goal to keep a community focus in running the event. “I’ve tried to build on the skeletal idea left to me by the last organizer,” says the former Baby Gator teacher, “mostly by inviting more schools and encouraging more members of the community to come out. Last year we had over 500 people attend.”
Expect to see students and faculty from Baby Gator Childhood Development Center, My School Childcare Center, Holy Trinity, and St. Patricks. Lorenz has also contacted the American Athletic Association, who sent several gymnasts to run booths and play with the kids at the spring event.
“It’s organized chaos,” Lorenz laughs. “We’ve even invited some sororities to come out and run a couple booths. At the end of the day we just want to have a lot of people come out and have fun with the kids.”
Who’s to Thank
PHIT Kids (Physical Healthy Interactive Training) was launched by Baby Gator Child and Development Centers in response rising obesity rates among U.S. teens and adolescents. By partnering with Baby Gator and other local schools, PHIT Kids looks for ways to keep Florida youth healthy and active in their daily lives.
This year is particularly special to Nika Lorenz because of the teacher training event being held two weeks prior to the fall field day. At the event, educators will go over each booth, why it’s important and what gross motor skills it promotes.
Lorenz explains, “By adding this training component, we’re hoping to help out early childhood teachers by showing them how to get more active with their kids in ways they can take back to their own classrooms.”
PHIT Kids Field Day
9:30 to Noon, Nov. 1
Hume Field, on UF Campus