By Andrew Kardon, from Mommy’s Busy… Go Ask Daddy
Yep, before I discovered Zamzee, my kids were videogame-oholics. My wife and I would occasionally drag the kids outside to play, take a walk or go for a bike ride. And every time, it was as painful as taking them to the dentist. All that whining, kicking and screaming. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to encourage them to stop hating anything that involved physical activity.
And then I introduced them to Zamzee.
This thing was apparently created for kids just like mine. They already were big fans of websites like Club Penguin, where you get to customize characters, earn points and “buy” all sorts of virtual items for your character. So when I showed my boys what Zamzee can do, they didn’t miss a beat.
“Look, daddy. I can get a dog for my guy!” Ryan said enthusiastically.
The avatars, badges and points you earn (and can spend) got both my boys hooked immediately. I swear, the first time we said we’d try it out, I never saw my kids get their shoes on so fast.
Over the past year, or as I call it, AZ (After Zamzee), we’ve probably done 10 times the outdoor activity as the past two years. Hiking, biking, taking walks or jogs around the neighborhood, or even just running around the backyard. But it’s not just the amount of exercise that’s increased since they got their first Zamzee meter. No. It’s also their attitude.
Zamzee has opened their minds and bodies to accepting physical activity as a good, healthy thing. They enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood, often pretending they’re in a videogame themselves. They even think a little bit about eating healthy foods at times.
“I already had an Oreo today so I shouldn’t have any more chocolate today, right? It’s not healthy,” says Ryan, policing himself.
Now I’m not saying that all they want to do is exercise 24/7 and be the healthiest kids on the planet. Sorry, Zamzee, but even you’re not that powerful. Nothing is. But they are much happier than before. They’ve even taken to walking on the treadmill while watching cartoons in the basement. Three times a week, for a good 15 or 20 minutes. And you know what? They actually like doing it.
I really can’t wait for this summer so we can all spend a lot more time outdoors. Running, boating, hiking. In the past, both my kids would start whining if I even mentioned any of those activities. Nowadays, they’re the ones suggesting them.
“I can’t wait until the snow melts,” says Jason, “because then I can go outside and ride my bike!”