Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious event in tennis, and it takes place in July. Here is a fun and simple activity to help you and your family get into the spirit of the game, even if you have never played. Better still, you can do it indoors to escape the summer heat while enjoying plenty of physical activity.

Start with a couple of paper plates, which you can decorate with crayons, markers, pencils or even paint. Give it your personal touch or simply create a bull’s-eye design to help you focus on your target.

 

Next you’ll need to fashion a handle, which you can make with a couple of extra-large craft sticks, popsicle sticks or even a ruler or unsharpened pencil. Fasten the handle to the back of the plate with glue or sturdy tape and you’re ready to go. If you don’t have those materials handy, ping pong paddles make a great alternative.

 

Before inflating the balloon, consider the age and ability level of your children. If they’re younger, fill the balloon with more air so it will fly slower and be easier to hit. A less inflated balloon will fly faster and provide more of a challenge for older kids.

 

Designate a ‘court’ to play. Perhaps clear a space in your living room and create a net with a string, line of pillows or small piece of furniture. You can play a competitive game in which you score a point when the balloon touches the ground. Or try cooperative play and see how many times in a row you can keep the balloon going. If you can reach 100, you may be on your way to next year’s Wimbledon.

 

The YMCA of Austin offers tennis lessons and clinics for all ages at the Spring Family YMCA as well as Pickleball at multiple locations. Find out more details at austinymca.org

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