While many people are looking forward to the football world cup, there are other sports of interest in the summer. For me, summer means tennis. I don’t play anymore (apart from an attempted knock around with N). But May to July means French Open tennis, and the grass court season including Queens and Eastbourne tournaments, and ending with Wimbledon.
Think of tennis and Wimbledon and it conjures up lots of traditions.
Strawberries and cream
Playing tennis as a child on local park tennis courts
Tennis is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy whether you’re watching or playing. I’ve pulled together some themed ideas and tennis activities for families to enjoy together.
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You’d be surprised at how cheap it can sometimes be to join a tennis club. Yes big city or branded clubs can be pricy (plus it’s hard to get court time), but head out to a village and clubs are often looking for more members but still offer coaching, floodlit courts, ball launchers, and junior clubs. Our club only costs £18 for the year for juniors and it’s not much more for adults or family membership. And the courts are usually available at weekend with the team only playing in the mornings.
Alternatively look for public courts in parks. Some are just turn up and play, others you can book and have to play a small charge. If your children are at school, ask if their courts are usable outside of school hours.
If you’ve not got public tennis courts near you, set up a net in the garden. If you’ve a patio play mini tennis, if you’re on grass, make your own version of ‘tennis’ by playing with a foam ball and doing ‘volley tennis’ not letting it bounce.
Or of course try Swingball. I don’t think it’s as sturdy as it used to be in my youth when it was all metal based, but fine to introduce younger children to hand eye coordination.
Set up tennis drill challenges – based on the football keep up skill, but with a racquet
Try some of these tennis games and activities
Look online for tennis based crafts and templates. Here’s some tennis themed resources
Make a tennis tiddliwinks court. Make a mini net, draw the lines on a green card ‘court’ and play tiddliwinks across the ‘court’.
Tennis ball sun catcher – lovely craft for pre-schoolers once you’ve cut out the shape.
Maths and numbers
Obviously watch as much tennis as possible. While you’re watching there’s fun to be had. If you’re getting children involved, try bringing out the maths – score keeping, probability of winning and draws, learning about rankings and how gaining points from winning tournaments, moves players up the world rankings.
Tennis sweepstake – if you’re a big group, pick players out of a hat and hope yours win
Fantasy tennis predictor – choose a team of players across the different trophies – mens, ladies, mixed doubles, mens and ladies doubles who you think will win. Alternatively predict from the start of the draw all the way through the tournament and get points for successful predictions.
Get children to make moodboards, play games and wear the national dress of their favourite player’s country. Learn some of the language too. Or you can get them to make their own version of Top Trumps with their favourite players.
Tennis bingo – create bingo cards with tennis themed things to spot, hear and mark off.your cards. The winner is the person with the most squares covered off by the end of each match. Try including commentary phrases, players old and new, scores, outfits, equipment brands, food and drink or use my tennis bingo printable. Just cut into 4 cards, add counters (or laminate and mark off) and watch the tennis.
Strawberries and cream – make it into different foods like scones, smoothies, ice cream, fruit lollies
Children’s Pimms – try their own version of a fruit filled drink by adding chopped apples, strawberries and mint to lemonade, Appletizer or Ribena
Easy cupcakes – a quick and easy version using a mix, then just add the icing
For the adults, bombay sapphire gin and tonic jellies which sounds divine.
Why not hold a tennis party to celebrate the Wimbledon final. Have summer food, dress in tennis whites, have a mini tournament in the garden, decorate with tennis bunting (use balls and racquet shapes cut out of card).
Do you enjoy watching the tennis or playing? How would you celebrate it?
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