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Nickelodeon promoted its fourth annual day to get outside and play, called “Worldwide Day of Play.” It promoted activities to get kids off the couch and out of the house. Its taken the event a step further than prompting kids to go outside, the network (and the Web site) were off line for three hours.
Nick’s Web site lists things NOT to do on this day (which was Saturday 29, 2007):
It’s great to see a television network, one who pays their bills by having kids watch its TV shows and buy its related products (i.e. toys) change the game up a bit in order to promote something good for children.
Also on their “not to do list” is read a book. I never really think that reading a book is bad, but understand the message is to be active and I’m fine with that.
Although I just learned about this day after the date passed, I think it’s good to do this at home whenever you get the chance. You don’t need a national day proclaimed to establish a day in your own home where you abolish all things sedentary.
As a general rule, we have limited TV viewing around our son. It’s not easy to enforce, especially because I really like TV myself. We do let our son watch TV on occasion … especially when he is sick, or when he wasn’t sleeping — it helped calm him down. But, for the most part we really limit how much TV he watches. It means that we don’t watch as much TV either. In order to watch as much TV as I used to I would have to stay up later and watch my shows after our son goes to bed. Most nights I choose bed over TV.
Bravo to Nickelodeon for prompting parents to choose playing as recreation instead of media and electronic devices. Beyond the Day of Play, Nick has joined forces with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association to promote healthier lifestyles in children. They’ve created a challenge called “Let’s Just Play.” Looks pretty cool. There’s even an e-calendar and online tracker to monitor your child’s successes with their healthy lifestyle. Maybe this will become a good habit for families across America.
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