Protected: “Sports Day” at Anthony’s Preschool
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Today was the undoukai (運動会 sports day) at Anthony's preschool. It was very fun for all.

I was impressed with the design and organization. It was all about fun for the kids. The preschool has three classes: first year (3&4 years old, like Anthony), second year (4&5 years old), and the big kids, third year (5&6 years old). There were age-appropriate “events” (more like activities) for all.

It started out with a march onto the field, and “Happy Body Movement”, more or less dance/exercise to music as the kids did simple, practiced routines while standing in lines. Then there were “races” for the youngest, where they ran about 20 yards in groups of three between ill-defined start and end points. The goal was not to “win,” but to just have fun. (These kids are 3 years old, after all.) The picture above is from Anthony's run.

Over the course of the day, each class had their own obstacle course.

The oldest kids started lying on the ground, got up and into a potato sack to hop for 10 yards or so, then over some crisscrossed ropes held half a foot above the ground, then climb through a hanging hula hoop, then finally a run to the finish.

The 4- & 5-year-old class's course was ocean-themed: they first got into a pool inner tube and ran for a bit, then under a blue rope (apparently representing water), then to pluck a paper fish from a row of them hanging above head height, and finally a run to the finish.

The youngest kids started with a short run during which they had to go over a rope a few inches above the ground...

...then into a bottomless box to become a train....

...and another short run....

...and then into the station for the finish.

All told, there were something like 15 events. “Winner” or “1st place” was mentioned only twice all day: there was a relay race involving four teams made up of all 60 kids in the upper two classes. I think the “yellow” group came in first. Then there was a parents' bean-bag toss. Parents were split into two groups and had 20 seconds or so to throw bean bags into a raised basket. The parents throwing the white bean bags won. Otherwise, there was no competition, just fun.

In the end, all the kids got a medal. They're three-to-six years old, and there will be plenty of time for them to hone their Japanese hyper-competitive spirit..... later.

Today was all about fun and friends. Here's Anthony having a fun moment with Haruto-kun:

I was somewhat limited in my picture taking because I forgot one of my memory cards, so I ended up with only 408 photos for the day 🙂   Nevertheless, I'm sure we'll see a few more from this event on my blog in the coming weeks....

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