Lifestyle

Busy family finds time for recreation

Jackson Luchtmeyer, left, 5, enjoys attending soccer camps provided by parks, recreation and culture and his sister Violet, 3, loves taking ballet classes. - Rachel Stern Photo
Jackson Luchtmeyer, left, 5, enjoys attending soccer camps provided by parks, recreation and culture and his sister Violet, 3, loves taking ballet classes.
— image credit: Rachel Stern Photo

The Luchtmeyer family keeps active despite having a busy schedule.

Natalie Luchtmeyer and her husband Chris both work and Natalie attends grad school, but the parents still manage to enjoy recreation time with their two children Jackson, 5, and Violet, 3.

What makes it easier to fit activities into their busy lives is the flexibility and times of the recreational courses and camps offered by Nanaimo’s parks, recreation and culture department.

“It’s nice because parks and rec offers activities after school and before supper time so we can actually get there and get them done rather than having them all stacked through the day,” she said. “You just can’t do activities all on a Saturday. It’s not possible.”

She said it helps the family maintain balance.

“It’s also really important for parents not to put their kids in too many things, and that they still have fun,” Natalie said.

Balance between recreational classes and other life activities is important, she said.

When kids do too many activities it can put too much stress on the family and the kids. The mother is also impressed with the program instructors and said they are “absolutely fantastic,” especially in the Teddy Bears program and baby ballet.

“To be able to drop off your kid at three-years-old and know that she is going to have all of her needs met by caring people is probably the best part of the Teddy Bears program. They (instructors) are very caring individuals,” said Natalie.

In baby ballet, Violet gets to be a prima ballerina, said Natalie. In the class, the girls dress up in tiaras and tutus.

“It is honestly the cutest thing I have seen in my life,” said Natalie. “It’s adorable they are all dressed up in their ballet costumes.”

Violet said she loves going up on her tip toes during the class.

Jackson’s soccer camp practice times allow his father, Chris, to join him.  The camp encourages parents to join in and learn the skill alongside their kids. Natalie said it makes the kids feel more at ease, especially the younger ones.

When the weather is good the Luchtmeyers head outdoors.

“One of our favourite places to go in the summer is Westwood Lake because it has lifeguards,” said Natalie.

The family also loves to go to Bowen Park and play the Frisbee golf circuit, go along the river and learn about the wildlife, or go to Beban Park and play basketball and soccer.

For more information about parks and recreation programs please go to www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200.

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