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Airmen, families celebrate Worldwide Day of Play

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – First Lt. Nathan Flack, 21st Communications Squadron flight commander, and his son, Titus, finish the Color Run during Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play at Patriot Park, Sept. 26, 2015.  The event included a healthy cooking challenge, inflatable obstacle courses, climbing wall, games, snacks and demonstrations from the Peterson Fire Station and Mobile Emergency Operations Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – First Lt. Nathan Flack, 21st Communications Squadron flight commander, and his son, Titus, finish the Color Run during Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play at Patriot Park, Sept. 26, 2015. The event included a healthy cooking challenge, inflatable obstacle courses, climbing wall, games, snacks and demonstrations from the Peterson Fire Station and Mobile Emergency Operations Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Les Stewart, 21st Force Support Squadron special programs manager, explains the running route for the Color Run as part of the Worldwide Day of Play at Patriot Park, Sept. 26, 2015.  Nickelodeon’s annual event encouraged children to break away from technology and play outside. The event included inflatable obstacle courses, games, snacks and demonstrations from the Colorado National Guard, Peterson Fire fighters and Peterson Mobile Emergency Operations Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Les Stewart, 21st Force Support Squadron special programs manager, explains the running route for the Color Run as part of the Worldwide Day of Play at Patriot Park, Sept. 26, 2015. Nickelodeon’s annual event encouraged children to break away from technology and play outside. The event included inflatable obstacle courses, games, snacks and demonstrations from the Colorado National Guard, Peterson Fire fighters and Peterson Mobile Emergency Operations Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Pedro Muina, 21st Civil Engineering Squadron fire department, helps Logan Esplin shoot a miniature basketball during Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play at Patriot Park, Sept. 26, 2015. The annual event encouraged active, healthy lifestyles by providing fun inflatable obstacle courses, games, snacks, a Color Run and demonstrations from the Colorado National Guard, Peterson Fire fighters and Peterson Mobile Emergency Operations Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Pedro Muina, 21st Civil Engineering Squadron fire department, helps Logan Esplin shoot a miniature basketball during Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play at Patriot Park, Sept. 26, 2015. The annual event encouraged active, healthy lifestyles by providing fun inflatable obstacle courses, games, snacks, a Color Run and demonstrations from the Colorado National Guard, Peterson Fire fighters and Peterson Mobile Emergency Operations Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

Children wait for their turn to climb a rock wall during the Worldwide Day of Play event hosted by the Youth Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. The event featured a 2k color run, a healthy cooking competition and inflatable obstacle courses but also highlighted National Preparedness Month by featuring activities and booths from the American Red Cross, Ft. Carson’s Veterinary Clinic and the Humane Society, the Colorado National Guard, “Prepare Colorado” and the 21st Civil Engineering Squadron Fire Department. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Children wait for their turn to climb a rock wall during the Worldwide Day of Play event hosted by the Youth Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. The event featured a 2k color run, a healthy cooking competition and inflatable obstacle courses but also highlighted National Preparedness Month by featuring activities and booths from the American Red Cross, Ft. Carson’s Veterinary Clinic and the Humane Society, the Colorado National Guard, “Prepare Colorado” and the 21st Civil Engineering Squadron Fire Department. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Peterson and Schriever Air Force Base families participate in a variety of activities for the Worldwide Day of Play event hosted by the Youth Center at Peterson AFB, Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. The Worldwide Day of Play was created by Nickelodeon as a way to encourage children and their families to go outside and play. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Peterson and Schriever Air Force Base families participate in a variety of activities for the Worldwide Day of Play event hosted by the Youth Center at Peterson AFB, Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. The Worldwide Day of Play was created by Nickelodeon as a way to encourage children and their families to go outside and play. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Approximately 350 Peterson and Schriever Air Force Base families got off the couch and went outside to play during Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play event held in Patriot Park, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015.

"This is a Department of Defense-wide event where we partnered with Nickelodeon for the Worldwide Day of Play to promote everyone putting down their remotes, turning off the TV and getting outside to play - we want everyone outside and moving," said Carlos Wade, Peterson Youth Center youth sports director.

Each year, Nickelodeon turns off its programming and goes dark for three hours on the Worldwide Day of Play to encourage children to stop watching TV and go outside to play.
The Centers for Disease Control has found participation in physical activity declines as young people age.

"We always say this kind of event is for the kids, but this time we added a little more to really get the families involved," said Wade.

This event featured a 2K color run, inflatable obstacle courses, games and featured booths and raffles from various vendors.

"I think this is an awesome event," said Je'Mahl Ray, Schriever School Age Program assistant. "It gives the kids the chance to be active, to do some things they see on TV and for some of these kids, this may be the first time they've gotten to do these things."

In addition to encouraging children and their families to become active, the event also highlighted the importance of good nutrition with a family-oriented healthy cooking competition.
"Families get a surprise box, and won't know what is in it," said Wade. "They'll have to make a healthy meal from it - just like the shows you see on TV."

According the CDC, good nutrition promotes proper growth and development of children as well as reduces the risk of obesity, osteoporosis, iron deficiency and cavities.

"This is awesome -- the activities here are really going to get [the kids'] brains going," said Ray. "It will teach the kids and make them think about [nutrition and physical activity]."

Peterson's Youth Center spent four months planning and preparing in order to make the Worldwide Day of Play event successful and plans to do the same again next year.

"There isn't a cloud in sight and the kids are amped up," said Ray. "We want to make sure to get the kids involved in these events and just let them have fun and play."

For more information on Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play, visit www.nick.com/worldwide-day-of-play/.
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