On Monday I had an opportunity to attend an event hosted by Merck Consumer Care and celebrity spokesperson Elisabeth Hasselbeck to help launch the first annual National Family Playdate. Merck knows that times have changed and people have busy schedules plus technology changing the way we live. Merck is encouraging moms and households everywhere to be more active and celebrate the first annual National Family Playdate. They have also made it easy for you to not only schedule a playdate, but are offering a wide range of ideas right in your area. In order to help moms and their families schedule these dates Merck Consumer Care has also launched the Active Family Project Activity Finder. You can use your smartphone or PC and simply enter a city and state and pick the activity category to do a wide range search of destinations in your area. You also get playtime facts and activity tips to make your life as a mom easier.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, mom and TV personality spoke about the importance of being an active mom. She touched on topics that as a mom I am familiar with, guilt with taking time for yourself, being busy with commitments and working. In the end, taking time for yourself as a mom and modeling an active lifestyle is important to your family.
“I’m inviting every mom to join me in taking back family playtime and to start living a healthier and more active lifestyle, no matter what the day brings,” said Elisabeth Hasselbeck. “It’s so important for all of us to be our best selves, and that includes not letting our to-do lists dominate our lives, so we can be more active with our families and set aside time to run around, play, laugh and enjoy one another’s company.”
Hasselbeck answered questions and offered advice on the topic. She told us that she’s holding off telling her kids about her experience on Survivor. She said her children are young and she’s saving it for a “wow” moment. When motherhood gets hard she recalls standing on a log for 8 hours and thinks to herself, ” I can do this!” It was inspiring.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with a few people involved in the Active Family Project. Erin Gifford is a family travel expert and founder of Kidventurous, which helps parents plan family travel adventures and local escapes that are both educational and fun. We discussed the importance of actually exploring a place as a family, not just visiting a theme park. Gifford talked about using the Active Family Project Finder to help inspire parents to find something new to do and fire up a desire in our children to explore other areas.
Amy Mc Cready is a self-described “recovering yeller,” parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling (Tarcher/Penguin, 2011). McCready talked about having a no TV, no video game rule for the week to encourage active play. She also touched on the bonding aspect of playing with your children, not just watching them as they play. This is something I do with my kids and I do believe this is why our bond is so strong. I’m active with them. I received a copy of her book and I can’t wait to read it!
I also spent some one on one time with Fred Engh. Fred Engh is the founder and president of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS), a nonprofit organization that has been committed to providing safe and fun sports for America’s youth since 1981. He is also the founder and president of the International Alliance for Youth Sports (IAYS), the international arm of NAYS that he began in 2003 that works to build the value of sports worldwide and provide children in underprivileged regions with opportunities to learn and play sports that have never been available to them before. He was talking about starting a movement to encourage moms to be coaches. 90 percent of coaches for school age teams are male. Engh would like to see this change. He believes that under the age of 13 it’s not “real” sports. It’s about socializing, learning the rules, how to be a good winner and a good loser. It’s about nurturing a player. Engh feels that woman would excel in the role as coach. Being a coach is more than just knowing how to play the game. I found him to be very inspiring and he thought provoking.
So, this May 11 on the first annual National Day of Play what will you be doing? I’m hoping to take our boys out of the rock climbing gym and onto some actual rocks. If not, we will be hiking and exploring the beautiful parks in our area. Not sure what to do? Visit: http://www.activefamilyproject.com./ Take the pledge, get outdoors and play as a family! What will you doing on May 11Th?