|B-N helps celebrate 'Day of Play'|
|Written by Tim Crisp, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Thursday, 25 September 2008 18:00|
While Saturday morning has traditionally been the time children across the country plant themselves in front of the TV to watch their favorite cartoons, this weekend may be a little different.
This Saturday kids across the world will gather to celebrate the Worldwide Day of Play.
The event is hosted by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization comprised of the William J. Clinton Foundation, the American Heart Association and Nickelodeon.
According to Nickelodeon's Web site, this is "The official day to turn off ALL things electronic, get off the couch, and go PLAY!"
For the fifth year in a row Nickelodeon, its affiliate networks and website will "go dark for three hours [between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. CT]" as a way to encourage children to get up and play.
For the second year, Normal Parks and Recreation, Bloomington Parks and Recreation and ISU are teaming up to give children and their families the chance to come out and play.
Free events will be hosted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Children's Discovery Museum and Tipton Park in Normal and Anderson Park in Bloomington. Special appearances will be made by ISU athletes at all three locations and Reggie Redbird will be having some fun at the Discovery Museum.
"It's a great way to promote healthy living," Karalee Rotz, a senior public relations major and intern at the Children's Discovery Museum, said. "And I think it will be a fun chance to bring kids, their families and the ISU community together."
Heather Young, public affairs coordinator for the Children's Discovery Museum, gleamed with excitement for the coming fun.
"The museum has been putting a lot of focus on promoting healthy lifestyles for children and their families. This will be a great time for everyone involved and we hope it will help get kids into some good habits they can take with them," Young said.
Local children participating in the Day of Play will be receiving a Healthy Living Logbook which will include a healthy habits quiz, logbook for children to track their behavior and a list of the 101 Ways to Play in Bloomington-Normal.
Each location will offer unique play opportunities for local children as well as prizes, snacks and goodie bags, according to the Discovery Museum Web site.
At the museum, children will have the opportunity to participate in Kiddie Boot Camp, Obstacle Challenge, Animal Relay and Simon Says.
For children going to Anderson Park in Normal, there will be kickball homerun competition, mini golf obstacle challenge and a rock-climbing wall. ISU athletes will host basketball and tennis activities.
Bloomington's Tipton Park will be offering a homerun derby and a soccer shootout as well as the chance to take a walk on the park's trail.
Tipton Park will also be giving kids the opportunity to try their hand at NEOS, a new electronic fitness game that simulates and keeps score for nine different playground activities.
As Young noted, though, this is not just a day for kids as she encouraged students to come out as well. "Everyone is still a kid! Everyone should come out and play!"