Health Team

Marbles exhibit pumps the power of playing

Posted November 10, 2011 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated November 10, 2011 7:48 p.m. EST

— Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh hopes to inspire more children to find fun through exercise while helping them avoid the health problems that an increasing number of overweight children are fighting.

The new Power2Play exhibit, which opens Friday, aims to get children active, playing sports and having fun, whether they're dancing, tumbling or playing sports.

"Inactive lifestyles are producing a generation of unhealthy and overweight children," said Sally Edwards, president of Marbles Museum. "We wanted more kids of different ages and sizes to discover new activities, like basketball, soccer, gymnastics."

A Carolina Hurricanes-themed hockey rink, for example, features a new Jumbotron and an announcer's booth where kids can take the mic. There's also room for children to dance, tumble and hit at baseballs.

"It's an opportunity to try out different things on a small scale," mother Carrie Wilkerson said. "Especially with younger kids, you can introduce them to a sport."

"It's really important for kids to know that exercise can be fun," mother Heather Brewer said.

The Power2Play exhibit also introduces children to eating well. The Healthy Kitchen display shows children how to put together a meal following federal nutritional guidelines.

"They've really represented how to eat a balanced meal, and I think it's good to show healthy foods," Brewer said.

The grand opening of the Power2Play exhibit takes place Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Marbles museum at 201 E. Hargett St. Carolina Railhawks and Hurricanes players will throw soccer and hockey exhibits for children. There will also be a special celebration in honor of Veterans Day.

Admission to the exhibit costs $5 but is free for museum members.