A weeklong program for children, hosted by the Marysville Parks and Recreation Department, could herald the start of more extensive offerings next year.

A weeklong program for children, hosted by the Marysville Parks and Recreation Department, could herald the start of more extensive offerings next year.

"We want to see more children involved in activities within our city parks, which is why we have decided to offer the program," Mayor John Gore said.

The 2012 program for elementary school-age children is a test to gauge community response, he said. It will be offered July 30 through Aug. 3 at Mill Valley Park Central and Eljer Park.

"If we have a good response this year, our plan is to offer a more extensive summer playground program next year," Gore said.

At a City Council meeting in June, Gore said the city's Parks and Recreation Department offered a similar program about a decade ago that was eventually discontinued.

The "structured" recreational program, designed by state-certified teachers Jenny Burton and Mark Easton, will be offered at 9 a.m. at Mill Valley, 701 Millwood Blvd., and at 1 p.m. at Eljer Park, 401 E. Ninth St., throughout the week.

After short periods of independent play and warm-up activities, children who have completed grades 1-6 in 2012 will participate in large-group activities, including ultimate flags, kickball, wiffleball, basketball, relays, soccer and volleyball.

Craft sessions will include kites, sand designs, puzzle-piece picture frames and custom ice-cream cones.

Water games will include a relay and a bottle race as well as games of "Drip, Drip Splash" and "Statue of Liberty."

"These activities are a great opportunity for children to participate in fun and cooperative activities where they can be creative, develop skills and enjoy time with friends in an outdoor setting," Marysville Events Coordinator Amanda Morris said.

"It's important that our youth are involved in outdoor activities and it seems that we don't see enough of that," she said. "One of the main reasons we revisited the idea of having a summer parks and playground program was to encourage kids to enjoy the outdoors within our city parks."

A registration form must be filled out by a legal guardian for each child participating in the program and should be turned in to City Hall by Friday, July 27. Registration forms can be obtained at Marysville City Hall, 125 E. Sixth St., second floor, or at the city's website, marysville ohio.org.

The daily recreation program is free and there is no obligation for children to attend every session. However, Morris reminded parents that the program is not a child-care service and that parents leave their children alone at the park at their own risk.