Friday, Sep 20th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 29 June 2014 00:00

Sports Day for Parents and Children

Written by  BY LIM HUI CHU & LIM YAN LING, MELAKA / TRANSLATED BY WONG MUN HENG

The objective of the Sports Day is not so much of winning or losing. Instead, it was meant for the parents and children to have fun and joy together. [Photograph by Chin Fook Kuen]

The Sports Day event organized by Da Ai kindergarten was fun and meaningful. All the games were related to environmental protection; all with the intention of inculcating awareness of environmental protection in our day to day lives and thus making the environment clean and pure.


On June 29, 2014, the Da Ai kindergarten held a Sports Day event at the Tzu Chi Melaka campus, with the participation of 290 parents and children. Early that morning, the field was packed with individuals coming in with attires of red, yellow, blue or purple. Apparently, this grouping of the parents according to colours was to facilitate team games later on. What a lovely sight of the parents and children mingling in the field!

Suddenly, the rain came. Everyone was worried if the Sports Day event could proceed. With all earnestness, everyone prayed with the song “Love and Care for All” and somehow, the prayer seemed answered, as the rain stopped and the sun appeared thereafter.

The Sports Day started with a lively warming-up exercise, where everyone was asked to dance to the tunes of the songs “Children of the Earth” and “Finger Song”. This was followed by all sorts of games, like “safeguarding lives and love – saving the Earth in actions”, “three-legged race”, “relay race”, “vegetarian dessert platter”, etc. All the games are fun and meaningful, and linked to environmental protection.

Inspiring games

The first game of the day was a test of family comradeship. In groups, the mothers surrounded the family members in big circles formed using 10 pieces of newspapers each, and then brought everyone in the group over to the fathers, who were waiting at the other end. The fathers were required to pick up their kids and step on a sheet of magazine paper, then move along with the paper and pass it to the next father until the paper reached the first father. In the process, the papers must be kept intact and not torn. It was a very exciting game with the kids screaming and fathers sweating away as they picked up their kids towards the finishing line. Amidst all the laughter and fun, they learned to treasure the resources, as the papers were like the Earth that needs everyone’s care and attention. Only through the effort of everyone, we will then be able to protect and extend the life of the Earth.

Zhang Hui Qian’s mother could not come for the Sports Day as she needed to take care of her younger brother at home. Despite that, the four-year-old Hui Qian was brave and steady. There was a moment during the game that her shoe came off, surprisingly, she did not cry as how she usually would. Instead, she got up and completed the game; much to the surprise of her father.

Every Friday, her father, De Yuan, will bring recyclable resources to the kindergarten, and together with Hui Qian, they would sort them out. Back home, her father would also bring the resources to a recycling station. Frequently, Hui Qian would share whatever she learns from the kindergarten with her father.

These days, whenever De Yuan is out for marketing, he would carry a basket to avoid the use of plastic bags. “If everyone has this concept of environmental protection, then there won’t be so many unnecessary items in the house,” said De Yuan.

“No hurry, or else we will fall!” six-year-old Zhu Hong Ying was very happy that his parents took part in the games with him. In the second game, Hong Ying was very cautious when he partnered his mother, Chen Hui Ling, in the three-legged race, as he was worried that being in “hurry” could affect the overall speed. They picked up the recyclable resources along the way and handed over the basket filled with recyclable resources to his father, Zhu Zhi Ming. His father then carried him on his back, ran to the finishing point and dropped the recyclable resources into bins catered for plastics, aluminium cans and newspaper accordingly. The father and child were seen beaming with joy and excitement as the mission was accomplished. Seeing his son running happily in the field, Zhi Ming muttered to himself, “My son has really grown up.”

The Sports Day was an excellent way to improve parent-child relationship through interactive games. Zhi Ming, who was frequently engrossed in his own activities even on off days, found the interactive games have given him an opportunity to have a taste of the children’s world. As for the mother, Hui Ling, she discovered that education and life are inseparable.

The third game was parents and children relay run. Some parents ran too fast, leaving behind their children and had to quickly turned back to look for their children. Then there were also cases of parents who literally dragged and lifted up their kids while running.

Hu Wen Yi was rather slow and as a result, she missed the chance to participate in the game. Her mother, Min Qing, knew that she was upset but there was nothing she could do to help. Just then, another family noticed what happened and they offered their participation slot to Wen Yi. Min Qing felt it was a good learning opportunity for her daughter to nurture the spirit of offering.



These days, with both parents working, especially some working out of town, 3C products are becoming a very important conduit of communication in the day to day life. This manner of communication has somehow affected parent and child bonding. The goal of the Sports Day is not in the scores. Instead, it was meant for the parents and children to have fun and joy together. The main coordinator of the Sports Day, Teacher Li Shi Qi, hoped that the games could help to cement the bonding between the parents and children.

Most important of all, it was meant to promote “purity begins at the source”, so that the parents practise recycling at home, and not just every Friday at the kindergarten. By reducing rubbish at the source, we can then make the world a pure and clean place. Environmental protection should be a way of life, and as there is only one Earth, all of us must endeavour to protect the Earth.

 

Through games, the fathers learnt that we must conserve the Earth and do recycling to extend its lifespan. [Photograph by Chin Fook Kuen]   Every effort counts. Environmental protection involves, other than purity at the source, leading by example and educating the next generation. [Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan]

Through games, the fathers learnt that we must conserve the Earth and do recycling to extend its lifespan. [Photograph by Chin Fook Kuen]
 
Every effort counts. Environmental protection involves, other than purity at the source, leading by example and educating the next generation. [Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan]
 
Zhang Hui Qian and her father, Zhang De Yuan, were having a good time together during the Sports Day. [Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan]   Zhi Ming and Hui Ling, who were frequently engrossed in their own activities even on off days, hoped to walk into the world of their child through the interactive games. [Photograph by Gan Han Jin]

Zhang Hui Qian and her father, Zhang De Yuan, were having a good time together during the Sports Day. [Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan]
 
 
Zhi Ming and Hui Ling, who were frequently engrossed in their own activities even on off days, hoped to walk into the world of their child through the interactive games. [Photograph by Gan Han Jin]