SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A summer program that got its start nearly 80 years ago in Sioux Falls is still going strong.

The Supervised Playground Program has been a staple of summer in Sioux Falls since 1944.

“We visit 12 parks a day and we bring out a variety of activities, whether it’s Fore Par and Nok Hockey for a sit-down game or a game of Kickball or Horse playing on the basketball field,” Recreation Program Coordinator Eric Saathoff said.

Sioux Falls Parks & Recreation offers an assortment of low-tech activities for kids ages seven to 12.

“This is our 79th summer with the Playground Program and we really try to engage the kids away from electronics,” Saathoff said.

“We love that they’re off their screens, they’re out playing with kids, getting sun,” Sioux Falls resident Kate Althoff said.

Kate Althoff lives a short bike ride from Prairie Trail Park and has brought each of her seven kids to the Playground Program over the past 15 years.

“Our kids come almost every day in the summer. We just love that it gives them a little bit of routine in the day, they get a chance to know kids they might not know from the neighborhood that live not right on our street,” Althoff said.

Saathoff says Parks & Rec staff undergo 20 hours of training, much of which is learning games.

“How to instruct games, how to pick teams so the kids have an enjoyable experience, and we also talk about the importance of a variety so that when the kids are coming back each week there’s always a new game for them to play,” Saathoff said.

And with a dozen parks taking part, an opportunity to paint is never too far away.

“We cover the whole city with a variety of activities for all the different neighborhoods,” Saathoff said.

The Supervised Playground Program is free and runs Monday through Friday until August 4th.