So, you want to get your kids moving, and you’re looking for someone to inspire them. Would you consider an aquatic animal?
The New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center in Boston, Massachusetts has a new program aptly titled “Move It!” to help kids get some exercise, and a little fun with seals while they’re at it.
Five northern fur seals will be featured in a new exhibit at the New England Aquarium. The seals can run on their flippers and dart around the water at great speeds. But how exactly does this entice kids to get active?
Panels around the aquarium will show seal movements such as stretching, jumping and swimming, explain the ways the moves are similar to humans and encourage kids to “Try It!”
“You can almost see a child in front of the exhibit, gyrating, trying to mimic the seal and saying, ‘Well this is pretty cool,'” says Paul Boyle, an environmental biologist and a vice president at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “Then they go home and they may roll around in the backyard and then they may start to, you know… run.”
Even if it doesn’t ultimately lead to better fitness for kids – it sounds more like fun than breaking a sweat – kids will learn something new and be outside away from the TV and video games for once.