This summer 2015, I've been a part of a kids event called Kidsgames,
I enjoyed it as much as the kids did. Continue reading to know more about this fantastic event!
During the summer season here in the UAE, a lot of kids are quite excited to be finally done with their studies and have some time to relax and enjoy their summer breaks. Together with their families, some go back home in their countries for vacation and escape the summer heat here. For the rest who are staying, summer is something to be excited for...especially when something fun and amazing is gonna take place, right here!
This summer, Kidsgames, a non-profit organization with a team of incredible volunteers helped make the season something really fun and exciting for kids! Kidsgames is part of a Global Community Games (GCG) strategic movement originated in the Middle East and Spain, and being held in several countries. The program includes sports/ games and experiential learning targeted especially for children aged 6-14 years old. It has its own curriculum and guides for those who want to host or organize this event that can take place anytime, anywhere! This is exactly the place for kids to interact with each other, meet new friends and learn together as a team. Its primary focus is to teach children the importance of well grounded relationships within the family and impacting the whole community through the opening and closing ceremonies.
The first Kidsgames ever held in the UAE took place last year at the Gloria hotel, catering over a hundred kids who said that they truly enjoyed the experience.
This 2015, two Kidsgames events were made possible through the help of dedicated volunteers who love children and are willing to teach them the importance of love for one another despite the differences that can take place.
The first Kidsgames this summer, happened last June, at the Dubai sports city. This event was hosted by a local church in Dubai accommodating over 200 kids! All kids from different races, backgrounds, schools, etc. played together as one. The children were divided into two groups, one is 'Alpha' for kids aged 8-12 and 'Omega' for those aged 5-7 years old; and then were later separated into different teams according to their age group. Team names were all taken from different animals which represents the strongest and yet beautiful ones like ravens, eagles, dolphins, stallions, falcons, sharks and a lot more. There were a total of 16 teams in all. The volunteers worked in different stations such as the registration coordinators, game facilitators and referees, experiential learning advisers, admin/ finance team, transportation, and the set up/ tear down team. Leaders were assigned per team whose role is to lead the children during activity time. The music team is responsible for all the singing and dancing, the tech team is in charge of all things that have something to do with the sounds, lighting etc., A first-aid team was also available to cater the needs of those injured during the games. The first day was really busy and hectic because of the number of kids who needed to be entertained and taken care of, but at the end of the day, everyone else enjoyed it and moved to the sound of the Kidsgames theme song. Another part of the event was the Compassion project wherein kids, including their families, were asked to fill in compassion kits with food, clothing, and other daily necessities to be given to the laborers in the industrial areas between Dubai. This is to teach the kids how important it is to give back to the people who help make the UAE such an awesome place to live in.
A lot of activities and games also took place such as the obstacle courses, water bucket relay, feather in the plate relay, tug of war and for the big ones, sports such as football, dodgeball, big ball football, capture the flag and a lot more were the games that they enjoyed playing. After the games, groups switched; the first group played games and the second group prepared as they listened to the lessons about life, love and caring for the environment. Each day, the kids were directed to choose one elective to attend to meet the goal of showcasing their new learned skills at the end of the event. These were the elective options: photography, dance, drama, choir, football techniques, arts and crafts. As the days went by, the kids were more thrilled to earn points through playing the games and competing with other teams and win as the champion and get their most awaited trophy; some didn't even bother taking some food to eat, they just wanted to play all day long! Nevertheless, everyone were given medals because in Kidsgames, no one goes home a loser!
The second Kidsgames event was hosted by the facilitators at the Sharjah Girl Guides which also took place there. This time, all of the participants were the Arab girls residing in Sharjah. The same team of volunteers and a few others were the ones who helped make this event rather successful. This happened last August 2-3 which was really very hot at that time, but no matter how hot the weather was, it didn’t matter as it was held indoor within the institution. The children really savored every moment they got, meeting new friends, doing some zumba and socializing in a bigger community. The first topic of the day was about trust (ثقة), the kids in their respective teams all played games that represented the value of trusting in playing and winning the game as a team. Kids learned a more in-depth understanding of trust during their experiential learning. All the things that happened in the first day were broadcasted live on Sharjah TV. The second topic that the kids had to learn on the second day was about unity (وحدة).The volunteers helped sing a song with a matching dance so that they can easily join in and memorize it. It was pretty much a very fun and wonderful experience as how the they had described it. After the games, everyone got the chance to go up the stage, together with their group to receive their medals. Some groups won "The most cooperative" award, "Most improved group" award, "Most behaved group" award and a lot more. All these resulted in everyone getting a medal including the team leaders who were part of the volunteers. You see, Kidsgames is not only for kids, it's also a time where all families can come and enjoy the atmosphere. Not to mention the 'oh so yummy' snacks that's been served to everyone.
The team was also thankful for the hospitality and kindness that the women from Sharjah Girl Guides have shown.
With that being said, I'll have to say that Kidsgames so far has been the most exciting community event I've ever been to in the U.A.E.
Indeed, summer is something worth waiting for. Watch out for the 'best kid thing on earth!'
"Kidsgames, everybody jump up! Kidsgames, we're here to have fun!". -Excerpts from the Kidsgames theme song
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