Manheim’s new summer playground program is a hit

By on July 27, 2016

Manheim’s summer playground program is winding down. Held in Mummau Park located off West High Street, it’s the first time that a summer playground program has been offered in the borough in quite some time. It launched on Monday, June 13, and it will conclude on Friday, Aug. 5.

“Manheim parents enjoyed a playground program several years ago and, based on parent feedback, a desire for a similar program existed,” said Bryan Howett, Manheim borough council member and chair of the parks and pool committee. “Through our business partnership with the Lititz recCenter, we were able to re-establish a program in Manheim.”

It’s being offered to Manheim-area children ages five to 12. It’s held Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Parents drop off and pickup children at Mummau Park’s pavilion.

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Maria Tivoli, Lititz Rec regional recreation director, said that the program is similar to what’s offered in Lititz Borough. Additionally at least one of the center’s returning playground staff members is part of the Manheim playground program staff. The program includes sports, games and themed activities. Tivoli said that daily activities vary depending on what the kids want to do.

Friday is activity day. Special activities have featured relay races, creating sun catchers and bouncy balls, and “Water Wars.” As with the rest of the program there is no charge for participating in the weekly activity day.

“At the beginning of the program, I create a schedule of the activities for activity day, but it’s not set in stone,” Tivoli explained. “We watch the weather and make sure that ‘Water Wars’ is held on a hot day.”

That hot day turned out to be Friday, July 22. A water balloon battle, super soakers and water blasters, and runs down a Slip ‘N Slide were all part of the fun. Kids gleefully participated &tstr; not only having a good time, but also managing to beat the heat.

“We’ve been averaging 30 kids per day, and that’s great for the first year,” Tivoli said. “Some of the kids are dropped off first thing, and others come after swim lessons at the Manheim pool.”

Howett added that the attendance is an indication that parents value the program. He anticipates that a proposal to continue the program next year will be presented to council sometime later this year.

Participants in Manheim’s summer playground program cooled off with super soakers and the slip 'n' slide, on July 22.

Participants in Manheim’s summer playground program cooled off with super soakers and the slip ‘n’ slide, on July 22.

“I believe they will overwhelmingly support it. We currently don’t have any plans to modify the program, but we will discuss that with recCenter officials following the end of the summer,” he explained.

A link to the program flyer is available on the borough’s website: manheimboro.org.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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