When we were growing up, the “lazy days of summer” meant kids would be out biking, swimming, playing flashlight tag and just being active and healthy. But for today’s children, summers really are lazy. Instead of heading out in the morning, playing all day, and coming home for dinner, kids are spending their free time on the couch, and they’re paying the price.
Children are more overweight than ever, and research shows they are actually gaining weight over summer break. Today’s children spend 50 percent less time outside than they did just 20 years ago, and according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids spend 6.5 hours a day with electronic media. And the problem is getting bigger and bigger. According to the CDC, the number of overweight children has doubled in the last 20 years, while the number of overweight teens has tripled.
This lack of play time has become a national issue. First Lady Michelle Obama says, “We've got to get kids moving. We've got to get them active…Too many kids are sitting around watching TV, playing computer games…in order to stay healthy, children are supposed to get 60 minutes of activity every single day. [When] they're playing, they don't even know they're getting exercise.”
But what can be done to get kids active again? Part of the solution is as close as the neighborhood playground. Get your kids playing and active with friends by hosting a Play Day in your community. For a step-by-step guide and fun toolkit, visit kaboom.org and plan a Play Day for the week of September 19-27th. A KaBOOM! Play Day is a free, fun-for-the-whole-family outdoor event that celebrates play. It’s a day to gather at your favorite park or playground and reconnect with your community. When you sign up, you’ll get a free KaBOOM! Play Day Kit (valued at $100), tips, templates and much more in our Online Planner.