One of the best gift decisions I’ve ever made for my kids at Christmas was to get them a ping pong table. I scored big time the year I did so because I snagged a deal where a set was on sale that included an air hockey table that is easily converted to a ping pong table. We continue to use both on a regular basis.
Our family is generally a game-loving and active-lifestyle family. Like most modern households, we have our share of gadgets and we spend daily time plugged in. However, electronic devices do not impede with our willingness or opportunities to interact in person with each other and any guests that happen to visit our home. From board games to card games, strategy games, such as chess or Stratego, our game closet is stocked full of choices for anyone who wants to spend a few hours in friendly sit-down competition.
Our ping pong table room is a popular hang-out area in our home. One of my teenage sons throws a javelin on the local high school track team. We were thrilled when his coach recommended playing ping pong to condition for that particular sport. It apparently involves the same type of blind hand-eye coordination that is needed to throw a javelin. We were happy to oblige!
Ping pong surprisingly involves a lot more physical movement that I’d expected. Yes! You can lose weight playing ping pong, so if jogging is not your thing or you don’t have time for a traditional aerobic workout, you can work up a good sweat, increase your heartrate and stretch your muscles by engaging in best out of five ping pong tournaments in your very own home.
Playing games with my kids keeps me young at heart. Sure, it would be easy to decline their invitation on the grounds I have a million other adult-y things to do but why would I? I mean, there are worse things in life than having kids who want to spend time with me. I also love how friends of my kids jump right into participate when they come to visit and we are playing ping pong.
The friendly banter, laughter, competitive spirit and comradery we share around our ping pong table helps us build memories that we will cherish the rest of our lives. An annual ping pong tournament has become part of our long-standing New Year’s Eve traditions as well. Our older kids who live on their own come by with their families and friends and by the end of the night, we learn who the new reigning champion will be.
It makes me sad when I hear parents say that they don’t bother spending money on games because their kids won’t use them. In some cases, I think the kids are just waiting for an invitation from their parents. If a parent buys a board game or ping pong table and simply lets it sit there, hoping it gets used, he or she might be disappointed. If, on the other hand, the parent invites his or her children to play, most kids will jump at the chance to spend time together as a family. The kids that visit our home often tell me that they love coming to our house because our family has fun together and they get to be a part of that.
Before long, it will be Christmas shopping season again. What’s on your list for your kids this year? Why not get a ping pong table? You can find one second-hand if buying a new product is not feasible for you. I have a friend who made one for his family out of a scrap piece of plywood and some sawhorses for legs! Do you want your kids to spend less time with earbuds in? Does your family need more exercise? Are you longing for interaction and inexpensive ways to spend time together? A couple paddles, a ball and a ping pong table might be an answer to your prayers!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.