29 JUNE 2006

Their mum is widely regarded as the hardest working woman in showbusiness, but it would appear life is all fun and games for Madonna's children Lourdes and Rocco. The two youngsters didn't seem to have a care in the world as they made the most of the open grassland in New York's Central Park this week.

Little Rocco has inherited his British father Guy Ritchie's rugged looks, but he's obviously developed a taste for American sports, too. The five-year-old was putting all his energy into a baseball game when he was photographed in the Big Apple landmark. His sibling, who turns ten later this year, also tried her hand at hitting a few home runs, but in the end she was content to show off her gymnastic skills with a hand stand.

Madonna is well-known for her commitment to her children, but a burly minder was watching over the playful pair on this occasion. The Material Girl, who has just begun a four-night run at Madison Square Garden, was no doubt busy preparing for her spectacular show.

And we'll soon be seeing yet another side to the multi-faceted performer, as she has decided to follow in her husband's footsteps by directing a film. "I've so many tales to tell," revealed the talented 47-year-old. "Making movies for me was never about being a big movie star, it was about being a good actress. But it's not easy with critics going after you before the movie is even released. It's easier to be a visionary as a director."

Photo: ©
There was no disguising Rocco's excitement as he practised his batting in Central Park. The family is currently visiting the Big Apple while Madonna performs a four-night run in Madison Square GardenPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
She may be growing fast, but his elder sister Lourdes was also keen to share the action Photo: © Rex
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