Celebrate Worldwide Day of Play on September 24th

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last week I wrote a blog regarding National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month with resources on how to encourage your children to become more active while pursuing a healthy lifestyle. But if you are at a loss as to what you can do to motivate your children, Nickelodeon, a network geared toward kids, has joined forces with the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award  (PALA) Challenge by proclaiming September 24th as Worldwide Day of Play. For three hours on this day, the Nickelodeon network will turn off all programming to encourage kids to get out and play, be active and have fun.

The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge is a pledge kids take to help motivatie them to get in 60 minutes of activity at least five days a week for six out of the eight weeks the pledge takes place. Activities include everything from walking the dog, riding a bike, rock climbing, taking up a new sport, even playing hide-and-go-seek with friends will count towards this goal. All this is in hopes that these kids will continue to pursue an active lifestyle well beyond the pledge period. Click on this link to download the pledge sheet so that your kids can track their daily activities. By posting this pledge sheet for all to see, these kids may just inspire others in the family to join in on the fun. At the end of the pledge period your kids will be given the opportunity to "share their accomplishment with Nick to receive digital rewards and a PALA certificate of accomplishment."  

In October 2007 the National Football League launched their NFL Play 60 program to help tackle the childhood obesity epidemic while encouraging kids to get in at least 60 minutes of activity a day. Their Play 60 website is a fun interactive way for kids to learn about health and fitness while pledging to become more active.

In this day and age where our kids are exposed to a multitude of media options from the computer, to smart phones to interactive games, having programs such as the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award pledge along with the NFL Play 60 pledge encourage kids to step away from the TV and computer. The goal is to help them become more active and these programs may be just what it will take to change the course our kids are on. I am all for doing whatever it takes to encourage this generation to turn off the TV, computer and gaming systems to head outside for some fun and games, even if that means they are getting in a little exercise totally oblivious to the fact that you can be active and have fun at the same time.

Will you be celebrating Worldwide Day of Play with your children on September 24th? Do you think these types of activities encourage kids to become more active?  What kind of activities do you have in mind to do this day with your kids?

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Guess what?! Every day, I ride my bike through the Ellipse, which is part of the White House and the surrounding park. A week or so ago, I start noticing that preparations were clearly underway for a major event. I just didn't know what it was. A few days ago, I even had to find an alternate route around the park because there was so much going on. A stage was being erected and numerous tents were being put up. I was still puzzled. The National Park Service is responsible for the Ellipse,so I checked their web site. There was no information. Then today, I found out. Nickelodeon (in collaboration with some other organizations) is preparing for a major celebration of Worldwide Day of Play on Saturday. There will be live entertainment (big names!), and who knows what else. I may even get down there, because I need to test a new bike route for the winter. My current route will be awfully dark (dare I say spooky?) when the days get shorter, and an unexpected fall or other mishap could be more serious if there is no one else out there to help me. I'm still planning to keep riding, though. Report
My children are 45, and 41 yrs. old. the 2 girls I raised are 24 and 21 yrs., and my 4 grand children don't live here...so no one to play with. lol. Report
Pop-Pop and I will be at our grandson's flag football game after which we will be at our granddaughter's soccer game with the whole family so yes we will be celebrating!!!! Report
Empty-nester. Grown kids. But will find a way to play. Report
My son is 19 but he was always on the move and ready for outdoors. One of my favorite toddler memories is of him walking to the door as his dad came home screaming outside! This is a great idea....but in order for it to work...parents must lead. Challenge your child to a bball game, kickball, race to the corner or just a walk counting windows or doors in the neighborhood, go to your local park and rent bikes if you dont own...anything to get them outside with you. Dont forget to invite a friend Report
I am lucky that my kiddos enjoy playing outside. I don't have to make sure they get excersize because they're always doing it with bike riding, swimming, soccer, ect. Report
Thanks for bringing this up. My mom, son, and I went for a walk today for an hour. We do these a few times a week. Now that we have the PALA chart, I'm sure at least Jimmy and I will be going on more walks. He is planning on doing the kid's fun run at the Hershey HM with me next year, so we have been practicing for that. Whatever works, right? Report
We will be more active on this day with our pups who definitely need to be more active. We are in the mountains and all of us will be out on the mountain trails together, enjoying nature. It will be a beautiful day too!

They will join us in the apple orchard fun too! Fur-babies are much fun! Report
I remember when I was young I hated the Presidentual Fitness Reward compitition at our school. Our PE teacher never did anything ahead of time to help us inprove in the activities, yet yelled at us when we didn't do good. I think teaching and patients would have gone much farther in helping us. Report
i will be more active on this day i do'nt have children Report
Why is this just for kids? Everyone needs to remember to play - both outside and inside.

I recently gathered all the Lego kits we have collected over the years and spent a Sunday afternoon at the dining room table putting them together. It was fun and relaxing, and it triggered a long buried feeling one only gets from immersed play.

I'm going to spend the 24th doing something playful with my husband - like chase him around the house! Report
How cool! I don't have kids, but I do run an after school program, so I think I'll share this info with the kids in my program and their parents. We do Fun Fitness every single day at my program, so it won't be hard for any of them to meet this goal! Report
My daughter started off being tall and skinny. When she hit 7 she chunked up a bit. Now that she's 11, she's slimmed down back to a proportional weight. I know that kids can sometimes be mean in middle school, so I try to make sure she eats a healthy lunch and atleast tries to be active and not just planted in front of the tv. I find it challenging though sometimes, with technology today, she's continuously inside the house on her ipod. I know myself as a child and I was always outside. I wish I had more ideas on getting her to be active and have more energy! I think this is a great idea that I'll definitely enforce and participate in with her. Report
My 14y.o.that stands '5 11" loves to play basketball and I think ill join her on this day,I already she's gonna murder me but i'll have fun anyway.Got to keep the ibuprofen available.I'm excited
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