In 2004, when Play Like A Girl started this journey, the prevalence of childhood obesity was high. Since then, there has been some progress among 2-5 year olds but the overall obesity epidemic among children remains about the same. Today, approximately 17% (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents ages 2-19 years are obese.
Our goal is to get that number to zero–especially among girls who will eventually birth the next generation of healthy children. We’re taking a bold and unexpected approach to get there. We are doing our part to reintegrate the physical activity this generation lost when society began innovating and engineering physical activity out of daily life.
Simply put: We’re on a mission to bring back play.
Last month, Play Like A Girl began a new adventure in bringing recreational activities right to your doorstep with our Pop-Up Play Day. The project is operated from a colorful box loaded with a variety of old-fashioned play equipment, sporting gear and games for girls all ages–from toddlers to grandmothers.
The Pop-Up Play Day was first piloted in May 2012 with only one event that served roughly 250 children in Dallas, Texas. This year, we launched a grassroots campaign to solicit the support of mothers to reach over 800 children from 30 communities across the United States and Canada. These events are imaginatively themed to include agility and fitness games, relay and toss challenges, dance and music, scavenger hunts, sports skills and drills, nutrition and health education, team building activities and other wellness-related activities.
Our success last month would not have been possible without each of the mothers who hosted a Pop-Up Play Day in their backyards and local parks. And, there is more to come with three simultaneous events on July 25 in Toronto, Canada.
This is only the beginning! We’re working hard to make Pop-Up Play Day available to girls of all ages and abilities all year round with a traveling Pop-Up Play Day tour suitable for school recess, after-school activities, health-related events, parks and playgrounds in underserved communities where the burden of overweight and obesity are greatest.
Don’t wait! Let us know how you’re bringing back play for girls you love this summer.
Follow #bringbackplay on social media to join the movement.