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Port Discovery Exhibit Encourages Children To Exercise With Interactive Activities

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– As childhood obesity rates skyrocket, a local children’s museum is trying to do its part to get kids moving. Thursday, a new exhibit opened at Port Discovery that’s designed to put a kick in their step.

Mary Bubala has more.

The new exhibit at Port Discovery is called ‘Kick It Up’. It’s designed to fight childhood obesity by promoting physical activity, wellness and prevention.

“We are trying to do our part in the grand scheme of things to help kids start to stem the tide of childhood obesity, and there is no better way to do it than engaging in fun activities in a childhood museum to do that,” Derek Nicoll of United Healthcare said.

The exhibit is an indoor soccer arena but quickly transforms into an electronic games arena. Kids can bike ride, compete in an i-dance off, and play challenging games against the electronic t-wall.

Traditional favorites like hopscotch, jump rope and hula hoop also make fitness look fun.

“It makes people healthier and people won’t gain any weight and get any cancers or anything,” Tania Young, a fifth grader, said.

Mom Larinda Fields says on a hot day, it’s nice the kids can exercise safely.

Bubala: “You said your kids are working up a sweat?”
Fields: “Yes, they have been on the exercise bikes, and they are really enjoying it. My daughter has broken a sweat on her brow.”

“If you start early with children and families start developing healthy habits, so as a children’s museum, we think engaging with them early on, we can really make a difference,” Bryn Parchman, the chief executive officer of Port Discovery, said.

In Maryland, nearly 30 percent of kids aged 10 to 17 are overweight or obese.

Port Discovery’s kick it up exhibit will soon to traveling to communities and schools as part of its outreach programming.

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