Iola Recreation Department’s Mad Hatter Day at Riverside Park kept 60 school kids busy Tuesday.
Inclement weather kept most activities indoors, but outside, an obstacle course, croquet and impromptu races allowed outbursts of energy from the elementary-aged crowd.
The races, run “because the boys were really hyper,” said Jefferson Elementary School second-grader Ella Taylor, were fun. “The losers had to run around the tree 80 times,” added Caleigh Porter, a Jefferson third grader.
Another favorite activity of the day was pickleball, a sort of large scale ping pong played using short nets and a small court. Pickleball enthusiasts were on hand to give the children pointers, but most seemed to get the game without much effort.
A couple of the day’s participants came from out of town. Adon’dre Allen, from Kansas City, was visiting family for the week. Jaden Hart lives in Chanute but attends Iola schools, she said. Mad Hatter Day gave the Lincoln school third-grader time with friend Porter, whom she doesn’t see as much since Porter began attending classes at Jefferson two years ago.
If the kids hadn’t been at the Recreation Community Center, they’d probably be reading books, most said, or playing video games.
Today, 30 children were signed up for sports games at the park, and Thursday 30 plan to attend movie day there.
The activities were offered free of charge by the Iola Recreation Department and Iola Public Library.
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