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kids at the nfl experience at super bowl xlvi Kid Reporter Grace Ybarra interviews kids at the NFL Experience NFL Play 60 Kids Day in Indianapolis on February 2. (Photo courtesy Grace Ybarra)

Kids Get the NFL Experience

A unique Super Bowl event courtesy NFL Play 60

By Grace Ybarra | February 3 , 2012

The NFL Experience is produced by the National Football League (NFL) and is described as an interactive amusement park. Ranging from pro football participatory games and displays, to kids football clinics and free autograph signings by NFL players across the league, there is something for everyone.

Wednesday was Kids Day presented by NFL Play 60 at the NFL Experience. NFL Play 60 is a program that aims to combat childhood obesity by encouraging kids to be active for 60 minutes a day.

The Super Bowl XLVI (46) NFL Experience was held in the 50,000-square-foot convention center in Indianapolis. This NFL Experience has pre-sold more tickets than any previous Super Bowl host city.

Schools from all over Indiana brought students to Indianapolis to enjoy Kids Day, including a group of girls from Beach Grove, Indiana. They were very excited about meeting the stars at the NFL Experience.

"I love the fact that we got to see celebrities," exclaimed 11-year-old Lizzy S.

Several NFL players were on hand for the festivities including Ryan Kerrigan of the Washington Redskins, Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons, and Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzales, and Ernie Simms of the Indianapolis Colts. Colts owner, Jim Irsay, and NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, were also present to address the all-kid crowd.

They all expressed how important it was to them to make sure that kids got out and played for at least 60 minutes each day. They also talked about other exercise options.

"If you don't want to go outside, Xbox 360 Kinect is one way to of being active," Wayne said. "We need everybody to encourage each other to go outside and exercise for 60 minutes."

Fuel Up to Play 60 announced that they would be donating an Xbox 360 to every school that was present, along with some games.

But the best was yet to come! The kids roared when they found out that actor/musician Leon Thomas III, who plays the character "Andre Harris" on popular Nickelodeon show Victorious, would be performing a couple of songs.  

"Man it was amazing [performing]," Thomas said. "That energy on that stage was like nothing else. I'm just glad I got a chance not only to perform for them but also meet them beforehand. We got a chance to do some of the activities together. So, if I could do this again, I'd take that chance any day."

Leon expressed the significance of getting out to play for 60 minutes, too.

"Well, honestly when I was growing up I was always outside playing games, tag, basketball, and just running around and doing that whole thing," he said. "So I feel like every kid should have that experience, you know. There are so many life lessons that you learn being outside and just feeling the heat."

Super Bowl XLVI will be played on Sunday, February 5. Kick-off is at 6:30. You can watch all the action on NBC.

Check out the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog for more of Grace's experience covering Super Bowl XLVI — including asking Madonna a question!

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Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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