Making fitness fun for kids: an interview with Mia Hamm (and a LeapBand giveaway for you!)


soccer

My kids have led active lives all their lives.  The Pea started ballet at age 3, and 10 years later, she's on a competitive dance team, taking multiple dance classes 4 days out of 7.  3Po and Jammy are crazy about soccer; they practice 3 days a week and spend their weekends playing league games and tournaments. They walk and bike to school. We walk downtown on the weekends and take them sailing or hiking now and then.

It's so tempting to feel superior and wonder why other kids don't get as much activity -- but different families lead different lifestyles, and getting physical activity can be difficult.  I should know: my childhood was nothing like my kids'.  I led a very sedentary lifestyle as a child.  I was driven everywhere, and although my parents put me in ballet and gymnastics classes, I never really liked them, so I never put in more than a bare minimum effort.  It wasn't until my early teens that I fell in love with volleyball and jazz dance, and in my early twenties that I started running.  So I know how challenging it can be to get into the habit of being active.


To help encourage parents to get up and get active, Leapfrog teamed up with soccer star Mia Hamm this weekend at the first National Fit Made Fun Day in Santa Monica, where families gathered to help set 3 Guiness World Records: most kids making snow angels, most people hopping on one foot, and most people doing a swim dance.  Leapfrog also launched their new kids' activity tracker, the LeapBand™, a new  which records kids' movements and combines screen time with physical games and activities. I had the privilege of interviewing Mia by phone a few days ago, where she told us all about Fit Made Fun Day:

Mia had lots of great suggestions for instilling active habits in kids from a young age.  Here are some of her pearls of wisdom:
  • Keep it simple, not too many rules because kids will tune out
  • Make it part of a daily routine (bedtime dance party to get the wiggles out)
  • Invite friends and family to be a part of it
  • Make physical activities a part of family gathering and events (football, wiffle ball game)
  • Celebrate physical achievements - go to different parks, go ice skating
  • Show kids that you appreciate having fun together
For school aged kids, Mia stressed the importance of letting kids follow the sport that they love, letting them enjoy the social aspect of sports, letting them pursue multiple sports (if they want) so they don't burn out, and being a parent ("a soft place to land"), not a coach. As for kids who don't like sports, even they can still get active!  Mia stressed that getting up and getting active doesn't have to be complicated.  Games and relay races keep kids active, but to them, it's not really a physical activity, it's just fun.  That's where the LeapBand comes in: it's a great way to make fitness fun by turning it into a game.

Win a LeapBand Activity Tracker

Leapfrog is giving away a LeapBand to TWO lucky Bonggamom Finds readers!
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Leave a comment on this post and share a tip for building active habits in your children.

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4) Pin this giveaway on any of your Pinterest boards (1 entry -- you can use the "Pin It" button at the bottom of this page!).

5) "Like Bonggamom Finds" on Facebook and write this on my wall (1 entry): I entered the Leapfrog LeapBand giveaway! Ends 9/24 at http://ow.ly/BmAhn

6) Tweet this once per day (1 entry per day)
See @bonggafinds interview Mia Hamm & enter to win a LeapBand activity tracker fr @Leapfrog! Enter by 8/24 http://ow.ly/BmAhn

7) Join any open giveaway on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for every giveaway you join) The Rules This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on August 24,  2014; I will draw 2 winners at random, on August 25 and post their name after they confirm acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here.

  Disclosure: Leapfrog provided the interview opportunity, a LeapBand sample for review, and two LeapBands to give away. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
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115 Comments, Leave yours here:

Tabathia B on September 11, 2014 at 7:39 PM said...

I like taking them to the park and going for walks in the wooded area and exploring and they seem to enjoy that

tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia B on September 11, 2014 at 7:40 PM said...

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Tabathia B on September 11, 2014 at 7:58 PM said...

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D Schmidt mummytotwoboys on September 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM said...

I encourage my children to be active by leading by example

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D Schmidt mummytotwoboys on September 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM said...

Follow on blogger

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D Schmidt mummytotwoboys on September 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM said...

Tweeted
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D Schmidt mummytotwoboys on September 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM said...

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D Schmidt mummytotwoboys on September 12, 2014 at 10:22 AM said...

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D Schmidt mummytotwoboys on September 12, 2014 at 10:23 AM said...

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Steph on September 12, 2014 at 4:38 PM said...

I get my kids to exercise by asking them to. It might be an inside video game, or a boxing lesson, or running around outside.

Steph on September 12, 2014 at 4:38 PM said...

I follow on Blogger (Steph)

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I follow on Pinterest (Steph E.)

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Steph on September 12, 2014 at 4:46 PM said...

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Tabathia B on September 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM said...

9/12 https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/510627747824402432

Steph on September 13, 2014 at 6:30 AM said...

Daily Tweet
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costana on September 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM said...

making healthy choices everyday

costana on September 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM said...

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Steph on September 14, 2014 at 10:40 AM said...

Daily Tweet
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MamaStace on September 14, 2014 at 1:19 PM said...

I encourage my children to go out side daily, even if it's for 20-30 minutes

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MamaStace on September 14, 2014 at 1:22 PM said...

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Tabathia B on September 14, 2014 at 8:19 PM said...

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costana on September 15, 2014 at 1:31 AM said...

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Steph on September 15, 2014 at 6:02 AM said...

Daily Tweet
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Sara Joy on September 15, 2014 at 12:09 PM said...

By setting a good example through exercise and playing with them (littlesillysally at gmail dot com)

Tabathia B on September 15, 2014 at 7:18 PM said...

9/15 https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/511699957729218561

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Steph on September 17, 2014 at 7:00 AM said...

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Heather! on September 17, 2014 at 7:37 AM said...

Our kids always had to either participate in a sport, whether school-related or not, or do some other exercise while they were growing up. I think it is so important, not only for their growing bodies, but also for their self-esteem and developing brains.
h4schaffer at gmail dot com

Heather! on September 17, 2014 at 7:37 AM said...

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Heather! on September 17, 2014 at 7:38 AM said...

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Heather! on September 17, 2014 at 7:39 AM said...

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Heather! on September 17, 2014 at 7:52 AM said...

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Heather! on September 17, 2014 at 7:58 AM said...

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costana on September 18, 2014 at 1:19 AM said...

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Cinderella10383 on September 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM said...

Get out there and play with them. If you're willing they'll always go and play with you. You are the best encouragement.

Cinderella10383 on September 19, 2014 at 12:43 PM said...

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Cinderella10383 on September 19, 2014 at 12:48 PM said...

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degood on September 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM said...

I encourage them to go outside and play every day after school.

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degood on September 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM said...

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degood on September 20, 2014 at 9:22 AM said...

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Steph on September 20, 2014 at 12:34 PM said...

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Tabathia B on September 20, 2014 at 8:43 PM said...

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Steph on September 21, 2014 at 7:31 AM said...

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Cinderella10383 on September 21, 2014 at 3:57 PM said...

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Christine Jessamine on September 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM said...

my best tip is just to do something active each day to get in a good routine

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Christine Jessamine on September 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM said...

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Shelly Peterson on September 22, 2014 at 4:32 AM said...

We try to do daily walks, If the weather isn't nice we put on some good music and dance around the house.

Shelly Peterson on September 22, 2014 at 4:33 AM said...

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Shelly Peterson on September 22, 2014 at 4:34 AM said...

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Shelly Peterson on September 22, 2014 at 4:35 AM said...

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Shelly Peterson on September 22, 2014 at 4:36 AM said...

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tweeted
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Steph on September 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM said...

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9/22 https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/514230581786607617

jakiesmom on September 22, 2014 at 6:53 PM said...

Going on walks with them

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Entered room on a broom

Tabathia B on September 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM said...

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Steph on September 23, 2014 at 5:35 AM said...

Daily Tweet
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Shelly Peterson on September 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM said...

tweeted 9/23
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costana on September 24, 2014 at 12:32 AM said...

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amanda whitley on September 24, 2014 at 7:13 AM said...

i like to bring them to the park to play on the weekends so they can be outside and active.

amanda whitley on September 24, 2014 at 7:14 AM said...

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amanda whitley on September 24, 2014 at 7:14 AM said...

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tweeted 9/24
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Steph on September 24, 2014 at 10:41 AM said...

Daily Tweet
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moushka on September 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM said...

My daughters are very active! They have to ask permission to watch tv, be on the computer and/or ipod/ipads. I allow about an 1 hour max each day. Otherwise they need to be playing outside or find something to do inside.

moushka on September 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM said...

Blog Follower!

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Tabathia B on September 24, 2014 at 8:27 PM said...

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Tabathia B on September 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM said...

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Shelly Peterson on September 25, 2014 at 4:15 PM said...

tweeted 9/25
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Shelly Peterson on September 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM said...

tweeted 9/26
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Bongga Mom on September 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM said...

Congratulations to the winner: #101, Amanda Whitley!

Bongga Mom on September 27, 2014 at 2:34 PM said...

Congratulations to the second winner: #63, degood!

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