Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nickelodeon Goes Dark to Encourage Kids: Get Out & Play

You'd think that a multimedia company that makes its money by providing children focused television programing and online services would be the last ones to pull the plug on their content to encourage kids to get outside and play; but Nickelodeon is doing just that!  In an effort to promote that children's television viewing, video game playing and online use should be balanced with outdoor active play time, Nickelodeon is going dark on September 20, 2014 in recognition of Worldwide Day of Play.

Beginning at 9 a.m. through Noon on September 20th, Nickelodeon will air special messages featuring stars from some of its most popular live-action series, including  Sydney Park and Tylen Jacob Williams (Instant Mom), Curtis Harris and Breanna Yde (The Haunted Hathaways) and Paola Andino and Nick Merico (Every Witch Way), that will encourage children and teens to take time to be more physically active.  Than at Noon, Nickelodeon will sign-off, not just the main Nick cable channel but all of is television and online outlets Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nick.com, NickJr.com, Nicktoons.com, TeenNick.com, and the Nick App for mobile devices, until 3pm.  While the network is turned off a message encouraging TV viewers and online visitors to go out and play will appear.  When Nickelodeon's channels, websites and app resume normal operations at 3pm, messages promoting getting outside and playing featuring highlights from "Road to Worldwide Day of Play" events that Nickelodeon sponsored in my hometown of DETROIT, MICHIGAN, San Diego, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia over the summer will continue for the remainder of the day.

If you didn't make it to one of the three summer kickoff events to Worldwide Day of Play, there will be thousands of events across the country taking place on September 20th hosted by Nickeldeon's national partners, including Afterschool Alliance, the Association of Children's Museums, the Boys and Girls Club of America, Girls on the Run, the Girl Scouts of the USA, Key Club/Kiwanis, the National Environment Education Foundation, NFL PLAY 60, Playworks, Right to Play (USA Gymnastics), Roller Skating International, Save the Children, the United States Tennis Association, Up2Us, USA BMX and the YMCA, to encourage kids to get off the couch and out of the house to spend some time playing.  Click here for a list of links to all of these national Worldwide Day of Play partners to check and see if they are hosting any events in your area.

The United States Tennis Association is probably one of the most active partners this year in holding and promoting events tied to Worldwide Day of Play.  Visit their website and you can enter your zip code to find an event near you.  I found one of their events going on 5 miles from our house.  You may also want to keep an eye out for other local tie-in events being promoted in your own community by various organizations.

What are some of the reasons why it is important to get kids outside playing?  Playing outdoors helps build up immune systems, provides exercise, stimulates imagination, promotes problem solving, and provides Vitamin D.  Check out a nice article from Mommies Magazine on this topic.  Add to this list that our family likes to get outside and take a few trips to our local zoo throughout the year to get a good dose of Vitamin Z too!

So how are you going to get out and play for the Worldwide Day of Play?  I know that we'll be out playing soccer that day.

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