Walk to end breast cancer: The Susan G. Komen 3-Day

Today’s post is dedicated to my friend and mentor, Myrta Rivera, who passed away of cancer earlier this week. One of the best people I’ve ever known.

Cancer sucks. Fighting cancer is awesome. As a cancer survivor myself, I know all too well how important family, friends and community are to the journey. One of the greatest demonstrations of this community support is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk to end breast cancer. Continue reading

How to build a trebuchet

Build a trebuchet (and launch flaming pumpkins)

I never took physics in high school. But friends of mine did and I remember them having to build miniature catapults (and other medieval instruments of destruction) as part of their coursework. I’m all for kids getting excited about education. But what happens when your students get too excited about physics, and decide to apply what they learned on a larger scale? Well my friends, you get the very bad-ass, very awesome Trebosterone Trebuchet: Continue reading

Collecting eggs on an organic farm

Go WWOOF’ing: World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms

A couple weeks ago I talked about my experience volunteering on a refugee camp in Ghana. Keeping up with the theme of volunteer travel, this week’s Buddha Belly Badge is all about WWOOF’ing. WWOOF stands for World Wide Opprtunities On Organic Farms. It pairs willing workers (affectionately known as WWOOFers) with organic farmers looking for help. In exchange for your labour, the farmers provide food, accommodation and the chance to learn more about sustainable and organic lifestyles. Continue reading

Croquet

Play Extreme Croquet

Croquet: The Gentleman’s Game? Not where I come from. Growing up, my brothers and sisters used to play this backyard game in very un-gentlemanly ways. We’d send our opponents’ balls flying into the bush, down our long driveway and into the little creek that ran next to our house. Out-of-bounds was for sissies and sending other players flying was as much a goal as winning. Continue reading

simple activities

[Blog] 20 awesome activities involving 1 item or less

simple activities

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on my Josh Martin Ink blog.

In an age of iPads, Xboxes and $200 shoes, our sources of entertainment and activity require increasingly sophisticated technology, equipment and infrastructure.

But there’s something to be said for the simpler activities. Activities that nurture creativity, ingenuity and imagination.

In 2005 the cardboard box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. The stick made the cut in 2008. “[T]here aren’t any rules or instructions for its use,” said Christopher Bensch, the museum’s curator of collections. “It can be a Wild West horse, a medieval knight’s sword, a boat on a stream or a slingshot with a rubber band.”

In a time when it seems that every toy requires 17 triple-A batteries and every activity requires mountains of gear, it’s nice to see the simple stick and cardboard box be recognized for the limitless entertainment potential that can be unlocked through imagination.

Here are twenty activity ideas for children and adults alike that require one item or less. Feel free to whip out this list if you ever hear a kid whining that they’re bored.

  1. Tag. I don’t mean tagging your friend puking on a cop on Facebook. I can’t count how many hours I’ve spent chasing friends around the schoolyard yelling “You’re it!”
  2. Soccer. It’s no surprise soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Whether you’re from Richmond Hill or Rwanda, all you need is a soccer ball and some open space.
  3. Ultimate Frisbee. Like soccer, but for hippies, the only thing you need for Ultimate is a disc (and perhaps granola).
  4. Cards. There are hundreds of games you can squeeze out of a single deck of playing cards. Perfect for games night or a rainy day. I come from a huge card-playing family. Euchre, Bugger your Neighbour, Hearts, Pork Chop—we grew up playing them all.
  5. Hopscotch. Any sidewalk or blacktop can be transformed into a playground with a bit of chalk and imagination.
  6. Yoga. Although many people go to yoga studios and gyms for this activity, all you really need is a yoga mat and a familiarity with the bizarrely-named poses.
  7. Red Rover. Oh man. No other game has been responsible for more clotheslines, bruised wrists and sprained fingers than Red Rover. “Red Rover, Red Rover, we call the paramedic over!” A personal favourite.
  8. Hide and Seek. Another favourite. All you need is a group of people and a good place to hide. Just don’t hide next to a bee hive like I did as a kid. That hurts.
  9. Charades. Great party game that doesn’t require anything fancy. Giving an easily embarrassed guest something x-rated to act out is always hilarious.
  10. Arm wrestling/thumb wrestling. Requires nothing but your own bodies. Think this is a lame activity? Watch Sylvester Stallone’s “Over the Top” and think again, buddy.
  11. Duck Duck Goose. Thrilling suspense. High speed chases. Patting people on the head. This classic has got it all.
  12. Bloody Knuckles. Taking turns rapping each other’s knuckles until they bleed is admittedly a bit violent and juvenile. But I wanted to mention this because it was a pretty common activity with my schoolmates.
  13. Touch football. If you remove the contact element from football you remove the need for all the pads, helmets and mouth guards. And the need for medical attention (in most cases).
  14. What time is it Mr. Wolf? I’m not sure how familiar people are with this game. It involves players calling out “what time is it Mr. Wolf?” to the “wolf” who has her back turned to them. The wolf calls out a time, like “7 o’clock!” and the players take seven steps toward her. This continues until the wolf thinks the players are close enough to catch and the next time they ask “what time is it Mr. Wolf?” she replies “LUNCH TIME!” and chases the squealing players around the playground.
  15. P.I.G. All you need is any sort of projectile – a ball, Frisbee, hard-boiled egg – that gets tossed back and forth between players. Drop the item and get a letter. When you spell P-I-G, you’re out.
  16. Rock Paper Scissors. I’m pretty sure more decisions have been made amongst my friends using Rock, Paper, Scissors than by thoughtful discussion.
  17. Tai Chi. A great activity I’ve wanted to try since my days in Taiwan. All you need is some instruction (and a cool paper fan if you want to look extra awesome).
  18. Tabletop football. Two players on opposite ends of a table. Object is to move a coin across the table in 4 or less pushes/flicks (downs) and have the coin partially hanging over the edge of the opponent’s end of the table (end zone) without it falling over. Harder than it sounds.
  19. I went on a camping trip/other car games. Before the days of DVD players in cars, iPods and PSPs, families going on a road trip had to occupy the long hours with driving games like “I went on a camping trip”, “eye spy” and “would you rather”.
  20. Debating. Probably the easiest way to pass the time of all these ideas is to open a controversial topic up for discussion.

These are just some of the ideas that came to my mind. What are your favourite simple activities?

Badge of AwesomeBadge of Awesome is a collection of cool things to do close to home, around the world and to help others. Share your own awesome experiences by visiting the Submissions Section. Or add your stories, photos and videos to the Badge of Awesome Facebook Page.

Add some awesomeness to your inbox. Subscribe for free to receive email updates of new posts. You’ll also get a free ebook as a thank you for subscribing.

Play the Tribe Game: Who would you want on your post-apocalyptic team?

How useless would you or your friends be in a post-apocalyptic world? The Tribe Game is a great road trip/time-killer game that answers this question.

Are you an SEO expert? Does your résumé brag about things like “results-based management”? Do you excel at Excel? Do you have an in-depth knowledge of branding, social media or database management? If you answered yes to any of these questions, odds are you’re going to be pretty useless in the event of a nuclear, zombie or Mad Maxian-style apocalypse. Continue reading

Knock out cancer: Canmore Fight Club’s KO Cancer event

Mom always told me that violence doesn’t solve anything. The Canmore Fight Club in Alberta, however, may beg to differ. For the past 3 years, Canmore Fight Club owner and Alberta Golden Gloves Champion (and this blogger’s  baby brother), Nick Martin, has been hosting a Rumble in the Rockies as a fundraiser to fight cancer. The KO Cancer event raise thousands of dollars each year in support of cancer research and local hospitals. Continue reading

Visit the museum of broken relationships: Zagreb, Croatia

Ah, love. The heady surge of endorphins. The joy. The companionship. The matching tattoos. The disgustingly sweet pet names that make your friends want to punch you in the throat.

But of course, love and break-ups go hand-in-hand. The pain. The binge eating. The binge drinking. The sweatpants. The Sarah McLaughlin purchases on iTunes. The mopey “poor me” demeanour that makes your friends want to punch you in the throat. Continue reading