Children often seem to have an endless supply of energy. Whether they've been cooped up in the house for the second consecutive snow day or they are getting stir-crazy after only the first week of summer vacation, children need opportunities to positively focus their energy toward physical and mental outlets. The good news is you have Morale, Welfare and Recreation on your side, and together you can tackle your children's boredom, get them active, out of the house and involved!
There are all different kinds of exercise and many of them are disguised as games or leisure activities. Children will be so busy having fun that they won't even realize that they're improving their health at the same time. Each child defines fun a little differently, but Morale, Welfare and Recreation has a little something for everyone. Your child can:
- Register for a sports team, like youth football, baseball, track, swimming, golf, soccer, lacrosse and much more. League availability may vary seasonally, by age or according to participation levels at your installation. Check with your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation for age requirements and eligibility. Contact information can be found through a simple search on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.
- Rent equipment at discounted rates. Whether your belongings are currently packed for a permanent change of station move or your children are just exploring new interests, equipment like footballs, hula hoops, volleyball nets and more are available for daily rentals. Equipment availability will vary by location - for example, a northern installation may offer ice skates or sleds - so be sure to inquire locally.
- Bowl at the installation bowling alley because children still need a little activity even on cold or rainy days.
- Access fitness facilities, like gymnasiums, sports fields, tracks, hiking and jogging trails and swimming pools. Whether these facilities are open for public use, free play or there is a fun scheduled event, your children can take advantage of quality facilities at low or no cost.
- Enroll in lessons or classes to sharpen skills and fundamentals in their favorite sport or learn the basics of a new activity. Your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation will have information about upcoming swimming lessons, other scheduled lessons and classes, registration eligibility, costs and deadlines.
Get out of the house
Even in homes full of the latest electronic gadgets and in-demand toys, children may still beg to get out and socialize with friends or see new places. Other children may be perfectly content sitting in front of the television for hours at a time, but that may not necessarily be time well spent. Whatever your situation, Morale, Welfare and Recreation offers plenty of entertaining and exciting options for your children outside of your home:
- Installation parks and picnic areas offer plenty of fresh air, room to run and possibly even a scenic place for a picnic.
- Water recreation is a great seasonal option if your installation is positioned near a body of water. Your family may be able to squeeze in an afternoon at the beach on a hot summer day. You may also be able to rent a kayak or boat and lifejackets from Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
- Installation movie theaters frequently show family friendly features. Theaters may also have concerts or shows starring some of your children's favorite characters scheduled. Check your local listings for upcoming movies and events.
- Recreation centers are available at many installations and may offer games, arts and craft activities, gaming consoles and computer access. These centers are a great place for your children to socialize and enjoy new activities even during the hottest part of a summer day or during those cold winter months.
- Installation libraries can serve as quiet study environments and they offer great resources for research. Whether your children simply want to read for enjoyment or they need help with a school project, your installation's library may be the perfect way to fill an afternoon.
- Information, Tickets and Tours is the place to go if you are looking for family fun in your surrounding community. You can find discounted admissions to theme parks, sporting events or other local attractions. Plan a weekend vacation or staycation and make some lasting memories with your children.
- Best Kept Secrets are scattered all over the country, and they are great destinations or stops along the way to wherever you may be traveling. Browse the directory by state to find something near you or choose a location that interests your family. You can find a location that suits your interests, whether you enjoy camping or the comforts of a beachside cottage. Reservation requirements vary by location, so check the directory and begin planning a fun and memorable vacation for your children.
As a parent, of course you want your children to be active and healthy, but you probably also want them learn responsibility, social skills and grow creatively. Morale, Welfare and Recreation offers plenty of opportunities for your children to get involved in their community, and they may even learn something in the process:
- Volunteer opportunities are available for older children and teens at most installations. Your children can volunteer their time at special events or on a regular basis. Volunteering can help your children learn important life skills and help them reach their educational and career goals by giving them priceless experience. Applications and parent permission forms may be available on your installation's Morale, Welfare and Recreation website.
- Job opportunities are readily available for your teenagers through Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Application information and available positions may be available through your installation's website or through a quick phone call. Opportunities may be available year-round or seasonally to accommodate your children's educational commitments.
With all of the facilities, programs and activities available through Morale, Welfare and Recreation, your children are sure to find safe, fun and worthwhile ways to spend their free time. Help your children fight the urge to be bored by reminding them of all of the fun opportunities from Morale, Welfare and Recreation.