EARNED RUNS SUMMER CHALLENGES I & II CAN ACTIVATE NICKELODEON’S WORLDWIDE DAY OF PLAY. ACCORDING TO AN ITEM FROM YPulse.com, a company that tracks opinions, trends, news, and insights of Gen Z and Millennials, Nickelodeon is suspending its on-air programing for 3 hours on September 29, “across all of its kid-focused channels, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Nick Teen, and Nick Music”.
At that time, 12pm-3pm EST/PST the brand will be hosting actual “grassroots” kid play activities “with its partners across the U.S”, per the official press release. Prior to the fall date, all summer long, the upcoming Day of Play celebration will be ‘hyped’ by Nickelodeon and in kid-activity events in several large cities.
Kidscreen.com, a trade publication that serves the informational needs and interests of kids’ entertainment professionals, covered the story and added more insight about the event. This will be the 15th annual Worldwide Day of Play (WWDoP); events have been held in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Columbia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Phillipines, Poland, and Russia in previous years.
The Nickelodeon press release indicates the multi-city tour visited Phoenix AZ (May 24), and that it will go to St. Louis MO (June 21); Pittsburgh PA;(August 19); Oakland CA (Sept 8) and Brooklyn NY (Sept 15).The purpose, it says, is “to encourage kids to get outside and be active”.
Also included was information on the announced renewal of four top-rated Nickelodeon pre-school programs: PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Rusty Rivets, and Top Wing.
The WWDoP celebration seems like it may be just another entertainment industry ploy to keep kids glue to video screens. But if your children are fans of any of this network’s offerings, consider that it may represent an opportunity to do exactly what Nick is saying they are attempting: getting them outside to play!
Perhaps making a big deal about this date and the preceding activities will enable parents and play leaders to regularly entice the youngsters to come outside to bicycle, swim, and play games with the family and friends.
Unfortunately, the network/organization isn’t offering any kind of online support to encourage play. I couldn’t find a plan or schedule of suggested activities that parents could use to promote free play before September 29. The possibilities for involvement appear to be limited to attending one of the tour stop events.
This lack of a high-visibility individual participation aspect calls into question Nick's commitment to the stated cause. There are oodles of show episodes and video games on the website, and radio. I could not find a mention of the WWDoP, other than the NickPress item, which links to the press release.
Sadly, it’s disappointing that an entertainment company which has so much influence on pre-school children cannot get its act together to offer real support to families in this area. If kids discover the joys that come with outdoor play, screen time might decrease. However, they will still find time to watch favorite Nick shows, and possibly be healthier in doing so.
Parents, check out the six Earned Runs 2018 Summer Challenges. Perhaps one will fit the needs of your family to be active together over the next few months. Especially the 2018 CHALLENGE II: Run-Walk-Bike ACROSS AMERICA, which can be scaled up or down to accommodate adults’ and children’s fitness levels.
Or Challenge I: STREAKING, that only demands a mile be covered each day walking, running, or biking. To adapt to a family, the distance can be decreased to one city block, one loop through a park, a walk to and from a playground or turnaround spot.
The duration of each challenge can be shortened to a time period that is manageable for the younger set and accommodates busy family commitments.
Request bibs and stickers to make your activity effort official. Decorate the bibs for more fun and to increase involvement. Plan to have a regularly scheduled family team dinner to discuss progress and encourage perseverance.
An awards banquet might serve as an exciting finish to the outside play season, before the fall television season kicks-off.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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