Parents' Guide to

The Activators

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Fitness site weak on content but strong on motivation.

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Frustrated with the lack of online content promoting physical activity, screenwriter (and dad) Gregg Lichtenstein created THEACTIVATORS.NET with national fitness center chain My Gym Children's Fitness Center, which offers classes for kids who are 6 months to 13 years old, to encourage kids to get physically fit. Featuring four "Activators" -- perky, 20-something My Gym instructors -- the site's videos stress how fun "exer-sillies" can be. Kids can also download exercise how-to pages, coloring pages, and paper crafts like photo frame projects. To get the printable card or a personal video, parents have to give personal information, such as hometown and email address, which may be used by the site according to the its terms.

The site is off to a good start -- the Activators have a lot of energy, and the short videos include enough zany graphics and sounds to keep younger kids' interested. However, it's a little shy on content. Right now, there are only seven episodes to watch; other videos are commercial promotions for the in-person program and its related tour. Likewise, the site's photo section isn't all that interesting -- it's mostly just snapshots of the Activators posing -- and kids can easily download all the activities in the site's Printables section on their first visit. Let's hope the Activators stay active and upload some more site content soon.

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