Category Archives: Active Kids

Free Bike Helmets!

OK this is too exciting. I have to squeeze one more post in! I just told you about the Put A Lid On It Program, and it has expanded. The Griffins are going to give bike helmets away at various libraries; and I’m just going to cut and paste their press release in the interest of time.

A.P. has a friend over, and in the course of half an hour they have 1) located the shovel and put dirt all over the slide 2) peed in the yard and 3) removed almost all of their clothes. Meanwhile, the neighbor boy wandered down the street, would not come back with me, so I had to run over and alert his grandma to have her go get him.

I have to keep an eye on these boys.

I know a lot of you love the Grand Cycling Classic (the one that used to be the Priority Health Classic, then changed sponsors and dates) – I am still waiting for online registration to open up because it’s in July this year.  I have a link on my Active Kids page. Enjoy!


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – One hundred local children will receive a new bike helmet at no cost when the Grand Rapids Griffins and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids host the third annual “Lids at the Library.”

The event will take place on two separate days at branches of the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Kent District Library. KDL’s Wyoming Branch (3350 Michael Ave. SW) will be the site on Tuesday, June 15 at 1 p.m., while GRPL’s West Side Branch (713 Bridge St. NW) will host the event on Thursday, June 17 at 1 p.m.

Volunteers from Safe Kids and the Griffins will be on hand to properly fit these free helmets for the first 50 kids at each location. Helmets for kids ages 1-12 will be distributed (subject to availability), and a parent or legal guardian must be present for a child to receive a helmet. A Griffins mascot will entertain patrons and a variety of information from the Griffins and Safe Kids will be available for pickup.

“Lids at the Library” represents the start of the seventh summer of the Griffins’ award-winning “Put A Lid On It!” (PALOI) helmet safety program, which is presented by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Since the program’s founding in 2004, the Griffins have worked with dozens of local organizations – including Safe Kids, police departments, pediatricians, schools, libraries, bike shops and sporting goods stores – to encourage helmet usage during wheeled sports, prevent head injuries, and reward kids who wear their helmets.

PALOI, which earned the Brain Injury Association of Michigan’s 2007 prevention award, targets elementary and middle school students in a seven-county region of West Michigan. Children age 17 or younger who visit with parental permission and sign a pledge to always wear their helmet will be rewarded with a voucher for two free tickets to a 2010-11 Griffins game, and they’ll be registered for a drawing to win a new bike.

Ever-present at local bike races throughout the summer, PALOI will co-sponsor the kids race at the Grand Cycling Classic for the second straight year, providing helmets to the first 150 kids who register for the July 10 event.

Information for parents, including tips for choosing a helmet and getting children to wear it, is available at For more information about the program, call (616) 774-4585 ext. 3046.

The “Put A Lid On It!” program is supported by Centennial Securities, Comcast, Dean Foods and Delta Subaru.

2010 PALOI Event Schedule

June 15 – Lids at the Library – KDL Wyoming Branch (1 p.m.)*

June 17 – Lids at the Library – GRPL West Side Branch (1 p.m.)*

June 18 – Bike Rodeo at Glen Valley Dentistry in Caledonia (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

June 19 – Bike Rodeo at Walker Ice Arena (8:30-11 a.m.)

July 3 – Kentwood Fourth of July Parade (9:30 a.m.)

July 4 – East Grand Rapids Fourth of July Parade

July 10 Grand Cycling Classic*

Aug. 3 – National Night Out

Aug. 7 – U.S. Coast Guard Festival Grand Parade in Grand Haven (11:45 a.m.)

Aug. 7 – Ada Criterium

Aug. 22 – Gaslight Criterium in East Grand Rapids

All events subject to change

* Helmet distribution event

PALOI By the Numbers

10 – West Michigan police and sheriff’s departments that participate in our ticket voucher reward program.

18 – Michigan counties with kids who’ve made a helmet pledge.

60 – Michigan cities with kids who’ve made a helmet pledge.

1,649 – Different kids who’ve made a helmet pledge through since 2004, including many who’ve done so on an annual basis.

9,500 – Free Griffins tickets awarded to kids through the voucher reward program since 2004.

$15,000 – Grants provided by the Griffins to local Safe Kids organizations for the purchase of more than 1,500 helmets that have been distributed free to needy kids since 2004.



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A Black Belt By Age 10

We fell into Tae Kwon Do by accident.  A.P. was signed up for a track class at the Y in January, but it was cancelled so we quick stuck him in TKD instead.  What the heck, it was the same time slot.  Within two weeks we knew the kid was hooked.  He practiced all the time, but not how you would think a six year old boy would practice.  He is constantly kicking and punching, but surprisingly, not on his sister. 

The “Belt Test” was last night. This is a way bigger deal than I remembered it being. I took Tae Kwon Do in high school, but only made it up a few belts before I got punched in the face during a test and promptly quit.  I felt that a black eye was not becoming of a Pom Pon girl, and no amount of foundation was going to cover up that mess.

It was an incredibly long event and remarkably, all of the little ones sat and watched for the entire three hours.  Quietly. Not one child got out of line. Not one child pitched a fit. Not one child whined about being hungry or bored or even spoke unless it was time to speak.

Normally, even the promise of moving to a higher belt or getting to break a board at the end of the test would not be enough to keep a group of kids this size quiet for that long.  If A.P. continues on this track he will be a black belt in about four years. The panel of judges were supportive, but tough.  This is not one of those “everyone goes home with a prize” deals. You either do it, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you double down and attack it next time.

You want to see something impressive? Here is the list of “Home Rules for Children“.  It’s so old school; I love it:

1.Must show respect to their parents and family members at all times.

2.Shall greet their parents when they enter the house and tell them goodbye when they leave.

3.Will be truthful at all times.

4.Will maintain a good relationship with their brothers and sisters.

5.Must help with household chores.

6.Will keep their own rooms neat and clean.

7.Must keep their body, hair, and teeth clean at all times, every day.

8.Will not interrupt adult conversations.

9.Will study their schoolwork at school and at home.

10.Must show respect for teachers and peers at all times.

Children who do not obey their parents may be reduced in rank.

tae kwon do clipart

These are the lessons I want A.P. to learn. Respect, leadership, discipline. Maybelle also wants to begin classes in the fall.  Her motives are different; she would like to know how to “beat down bears”.  Fast forward 10 years, and I will make certain that all the boys in her high school know that she and her brother are both black belts.  I love this ancient martial art, and what it can teach to my very modern kids.

For more Things I Love Thursday, check out The Diaper Diaries.

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Filed under Active Kids, Things I Love Thursday

Active Kids Update

I have very active kids. Sometimes I wish they were a little more content to be still and know that I am Mom – but it’s just not their way.  They are simply very busy.  In an effort to brace myself for summer, I have added a whole BUNCH of events to the Active Kids Page (click on “Active Kids” up on top). 

There are a lot of 5K walks that allow strollers.  A.P. wheeled through a few when he was a baby.  The ones I’ve listed are runs or races that have a “kids’ event”.  I will continue to add to this page, but if you’ve only checked it once you will want to look at it again because there is a lot there that wasn’t before.  Get a few of these dates on the books, and get those kids out there!

I am also adding some May and June activities to the Calendar.  As usual, they are cheap, free or just different.  There is enough to do, and it’s Grand Rapids, home of Meijer. Why Pay More?

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