Miniature golf is an activity that is love by millions. The whimsical landscapes and creative challenges posed by the colorful pastime provide families with fun and memories that are anything but mini.
To beat the heat, I took my boys and one of their buddies early last Monday morning to play some put put. They were enthralled. From choosing their ball color to which putter they were going to use, just getting started was a thrill.
Each hole of the course offered fun distractions and attractions. While the two six year-olds were eager to compete at getting their balls in the hole first, the four year-old was way more interested in the features surrounding each putting area. I didn’t feel any need to rush. There wasn’t anyone behind us to let play on or anyone in front of us to distract. It was an ideal adventure.
As we made our way around the course, the boys wanted to understand the rules of the game and were fascinated by the aspects of how each hole was designed. They loved trying different techniques for success at each green and were really excited when one or the other made their shot. It was a wonderful experiment in sportsmanship.
As my youngest son took the engineer’s route around the course (He HAD TO know how EVERYTHING worked.), I had to laugh at the older boys’ reactions to his discoveries. When he discovered the cleverly disguised pump for the water fountain, they were eager to see where the water came from. By the 18th hole, they had joined the four year-old in scouting the areas surrounding the greens way more than they spent putting, but still celebrated any shots that were made when we got there. 🙂
The lessons that put put provided were anything but mini that day.
We learned about the rules of mini golfing and what to do in a number of questionable situations (such as what to do when a bird lands on the green. It was the slowest moving pigeon EVER.)
The boys were challenged to be patient and take turns.
We used problem solving skills to find the best way to get the ball into each hole. We used climbing skills to get the four year-old off the course decorations.
Paying attention to our surroundings was necessary for success and to keep track of the youngest member of our party. 😉
My boys also felt special because I set time aside and took the time to play with them. They knew it was a treat to play and were grateful. They keep asking to return.
I encourage you to take big opportunities like those presented in a game of miniature golf with your loved ones. Learning a game, taking turns, and getting away from the “norm” provide opportunities for healthy relationships and learning. While that 18th hole may seem a million miles away in the beginning, when the course is finished, you will wonder where the time went and hopefully will find that there is more than just a golf ball that comes out of sinking that last hole.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Keeping score is way too hard with two six year-olds and a four year-old. You can try but don’t be discouraged if you end up throwing the score card at a slow moving pigeon on the 10th hole.