Getting kids off the couch and out playing in their community was the idea behind a new initiative in Omaha called "Play Streets." The first event took place Sunday at Aksarben Village.
Usually 67th and Center is packed with vehicles, but it was closed down and instead packed with children and their parents. "We are enjoying the good weather and get the kids out of the house and have some fun,” said Kristen Barnes of Omaha. Her daughter Maddie decided to take on rock climbing. "It was kind of like a fun time.”
From hula hoops to four square and hopscotch, there was something for everyone. The activities were part of the YMCA Healthy Kids Day and Play Streets. “It is so important to get people out and active,” said the YMCA’s Angie Frderick. “Physical activity helps in so many ways both cognitively and physically.”
This was the first of four Play Streets planned in Omaha through the summer and it's all thanks to a federal grant. Omaha was one of only a few cities to receive that grant. All the kids seemed to love the idea.
“You guys want to go do something else?”
Parents loved it, too. “I think it's a great idea, I think our kids are indoors a lot and this shows them that there are other things to do,” said Angie Lux. Many are looking forward to the next one. The other Play Streets will take place in south Omaha, downtown and north Omaha.