It's a year of rising and renewal for me... mind, body, and soul. After a tough pregnancy that kept me glued to the couch for most of a year, I'm more than ready to stretch and strengthen. A big part of that has been getting myself outdoors. The days of sitting on my can for most of the day and then spending the token hour with Tony Horton (of P90X fame) are giving way to functional, natural, healthy movement; living and breathing in bigger ways with integrated prayer of thanksgiving and intercession. And... I'm dragging my kids along with me.
Remember when we quit youth sports and I lost my "soccer mom" (volley mom, swim mom... all the things mom) credentials but probably saved my soul? Well, the kids are doing great but they do get a little antsy and we are always looking for ways to help them stretch and grow physically. And actually, they are more than happy to lead the way with a lot of energy and a little more crazy. Cross-eyed, upside down, strong in mind, body, and spirit...
(Hey Mom! Take a picture of me and send it to my brother! So I sent the pic of him showing off on the nunchucks to his brother at seminary. Because apparently for brothers, the competitive never ends.)
This has been a Ninja Summer. Anyone else know what I'm talking about? Are your kids making obstacles out of every possible piece of furniture and overhanging thing in site? Yep, yep... they're all Ninja Warrior crazy, I tell you. It only took one episode before they were literally climbing up my walls.
Speaking of which... I have more footprints on my walls in one Summer than in the last decade. So mama said Enough! I sent them outside...
And the woods and yard were transformed into our ninja playground. But after one set of stitches to a chin from an ill-placed log, a few dozen ugly splinters from natural obstacles, and a round of poison ivy (which healed marvelously with an essential oil concoction I inflicted on my kid), I started googling "Ninja obstacles for kids." Because while I love the great outdoors, I do not love knitting needle sized splinters and medical bills.
Time to work smarter... And google introduced me to the Ninjaline.
One look and I was all in. I contacted the good people at Slackers and they sent me a kit to review and also promised a Ninjaline to give away to one of you!
*Please remember... I do not promote stuff that I don't own, love, and think some of my readers will appreciate. And we definitely use and enjoy our Ninjaline so we're good on that count.*
Let me tell you a bit about our experience and then I'm going to give one away...
This Ninjaline is a solidly constructed outdoor obstacle course similar to the overhanging obstacles used on American Ninja Warrior. It's basically a slackline that is set up above the head so that various Ninja accessories can be hung from it and navigated. All you need are trees and a teen or adult to adjust it. The installation is simple and now that we've done it a couple times, it only takes a step stool and 5 minutes to set up. The length is adjustable, the accessories are adjustable, and the whole thing fits into one box when we're done. Perfect.
I recommend the Intro Kit for beginners along with the ladder and rope accessories. The pro kit and accessories are excellent but definitely a level up.
My kids are monkey bar pros at the park but this Ninjaline is definitely harder than monkey bars! It takes some will and some skill to get going on this, but for a kid who wants (needs) to move and be challenged, it's really perfect.
*Sidenote: Do invest in some gym chalk for chalking up little hands when playing monkey. It took some literal blood before we learned this lesson at a local park. Apparently, it's not good enough to have callouses because callouses can rip off. I know these things. I recommend a chalk ball like these HERE (affiliate link) and being used in the pic below.*
This is the anti-video game apparatus. (That's a good thing.) For every successful kip off this line, I'm sure there must be a game system gasping it's last breath somewhere.
I would definitely recommend having the kids stretch and warm up a bit before practicing their Ninja Warrior skills. This is not your mother's playground toy but a real training tool with a youthful flare. There is technique and strength involved and is the perfect companion to our slackline. I love that the whole setup is portable and adjustable.
Click on the pics below to enlarge...
It will hold the weight of most kids and adults. And for the younger ones in your family who have some work to do before they can Ninja their way across the line, the ladder and rope accessories are a lot of fun. My toddler uses the ladder as a swing and insists that we assist her with her other Ninja skills on demand.
While you're exploring the Slackers website, be sure to check out their other active products. There are so many things in their catalog that are on my wish list and that would keep the kids busy outside and in. I definitely have my eye on their swings.
Below is a brief video of my 14-year old working his way along the Ninjaline. The height is a bit short for him because it is set for the younger kids but he said that trying to keep his feet off the ground adds to the challenge!