Featuring Active Kids 2.0 + Founder & CEO Larissa Maloney
Happy Wellness Wednesday! Today we’re excited to give the spotlight to Active Kids 2.0, the fastest growing on-demand service providing parents and kids with fitness & wellness classes from the comfort of their own home. And Founder & CEO Larissa Maloney is a powerhouse mama passionate about getting kids active and introduced to health and wellness early!
Larissa is a former professional beach volleyball athlete, personal fitness trainer and coach and she has been mentoring and coaching kids for over 15 years. She just has this beautiful passion for helping our youth become happier and healthier people. And that is something and someone to celebrate and learn from!
Starting a business in the midst of a pandemic is not for the faint of heart, but Larissa took this challenge head on and it propelled her forward with a new fire. She saw a need and she had a goal to fulfill it.
At the start of the Pandemic, it was no surprise to Larissa that teachers all across the world were struggling with coming up with their curriculum for teaching virtually, making sure their students stayed healthy mentally and physically. Larissa remembered having a faculty meeting on a Friday expressing the concern of the entire school going fully virtual and later that night her school received an email stating that they would be going fully virtual starting that coming Monday.
She sat at her kitchen table and wrote up a plan. On Mondays- the kids will run a mile, on Tuesday they will do arms and abs, on Wednesday they will do core work etc. She wrote it all out and then looked at it and immediately crumbled it up and threw it away. She knew if it sounded boring to her, it would be boring to her students! So she came up with a new idea: she decided to stream the workout videos online for her students through YouTube M-F at 9am!
She started organically sharing what I was doing with other teachers in the community and got a ton of requests to see if their kids could join as well! Monday morning came and I pressed play– she started her warm up and only 15 kids were on while warming up. She finished the warm up and looked at the screen again and the numbers just started climbing 30 kids, 50 kids, 100, 500, 1,000, 3,000, 7,000 more kids showed up to work out with her too!
That was just the first day! From that day moving forward Larissa conducted these workouts everyday. She received so many emails from kids and teachers throughout those first 3-4months asking to give shoutouts to them and their school! She got to shout out kids all the way in Poland, South Africa, Australia, Thailand and more! Larissa and her platform also got a spotlight in Inc. Magazine!
Larissa impacted over 50,000 families within the first few months! By the summer of 2020 she received so many testimonials from the kids and their families saying that these videos have been the glue to keeping their families together since the pandemic started. Active Kids 2.0 was the answer to the overwhelming need for families and that made me want to continue and to make the company even bigger and impact even more kids!
We got to interview Larissa to learn more about what makes this platform different, what inspires her, and future dreams for Active Kids 2.0. We are so excited to highlight and feature this amazing, inspiring woman and know you’ll love our full interview below.
Tell us about your background in health, wellness and fitness!
I am a former professional beach volleyball athlete and personal trainer turned educator and volleyball coach! I have been coaching and mentoring kids for over 15 years now. Helping kids become the best that they can be physically, mentally and emotionally is my priority! There’s no greater reward than having a kid who I’ve worked with come to me years later to tell me how much of an impact I have had on their lives. Nothing compares to that!
OK let’s talk about Active Kids 2.0- what is it and what was the inspiration behind it?
As a former professional beach volleyball player turned Personal fitness teacher at a local high school… At the start of the Pandemic teachers all across the world were struggling with coming up with their curriculum for teaching virtually, making sure their students stayed healthy mentally and physically…. Still are. I remember having a faculty meeting on a Friday expressing the concern of the entire school going fully virtual. Later that night we received an email stating that we would be going fully virtual starting that coming Monday so we would need to figure it out! I sat at my kitchen table and wrote up a plan. On Mondays- the kids will run a mile, on Tuesday they will do arms and abs, on Wednesday they will do core work etc I wrote it all out and then looked at it and immediately crumbled it up and threw it away. I knew if it sounded boring to me, it would be boring to my students! So I came up with a new idea: I decided that I will stream the workout videos online for my students through YouTube M-F at 9am!
I started to share what I was doing with other teachers in the community and I was getting requests to see if their kids could join as well! Monday morning came and I pressed play– I started my warm up and literally only 15 kids were on while warming up. I finished the warm up and looked at the screen again and the numbers just started climbing 30 kids, 50 kids, 100, 500, 1,000, 3,000, 7,000 more kids showed up to work out with me too! That was on my first day!!! From that day moving forward I have conducted these workouts everyday. Even my kiddos at home would join me live once a week to do a fun active sweat class with tons of dance parties at the end! I’ve received so many emails from kids and teachers throughout those first 3-4months asking to give shoutouts to them and their school! I shouted out kids all the way in Poland, South Africa, Australia, Thailand and more! I impacted over 50,000 families within my first few months! By the summer of 2020 I received so many testimonials from the kids and their families saying that these videos have been the glue to keeping their families together since the pandemic started. Active Kids 2.0 was the answer to the overwhelming need for families and that made me want to continue and to make the company even bigger and impact even more kids!!
Active Kids is now the fastest growing on-demand service providing an array of fitness and wellness classes for kids to enjoy from the comfort of their own home! My program is about getting the kiddos off the couch, putting down the playstation controller, and exercising their heart, mind, body, by getting their muscles moving. Our on-demand subscription service has become vital to providing families with kids of all ages, schools, corporations with the best quality and selection of classes and coaches!
What was your biggest wish for Kids 2.0 when you started?
My biggest wish was to empower and impact as many kids’ lives as I possibly could! Now my biggest goal is to impact 3 million kids by 2023!
What makes this business unique?
As you can see- Our program isn’t just for kids at home- we work with schools, corporations and preschools! In our program, we customize your experience to fit your little ones needs at home or at school. My company is extremely unique from any company out there because no other company offers the variety of classes that we offer as well as the quality of coaches that we offer is unmatched. Also all while being run by a powerful African American female, former professional beach volleyball player, educator, mom of 3 etc! The level of experience between all of us is unmatched!
You also have educational resources – tell us about what you do with schools.
We work with preschools, public/private schools and homeschool families all around the world! Our Active Schools use our specialty classes for their enrichment or PE curriculum year round. Our curriculum for schools is customizable and we are helping kids thrive in schools all over the world! Also, as a motivational speaker I get to travel to schools and conferences all around the world to tell my story and to inspire our youth to be the best possible versions of themself as they can.
For all the parents out there, why is it so important to instill activity in kids at a young age?
As a parent you have to model the behavior that you want to see in your children. This includes setting a good example when it comes to mental and physical health. Being active not only helps with the physical side of things, but also is known to improve mood, self-esteem and body image.
Do you think the advances in technology have led to a generation that might require some extra help getting out there and active?
Nowadays, kids are obsessed with technology and screens. I know because I have two little ones and one loves playing Playstation! I always say why not merge the two worlds? They love being on technology, so why not have them do something that will help them stay healthy while on it. My little ones do the classes and learn so much within the class that they don’t realize they are actually getting their 60 minutes of physical activity because they are having a blast doing it! I also recommend doing some of the classes with your child. This will grow that special bond between you and child that they will give lasting memories.
What are some ways parents can instill wellness into their kids lives without it feeling like a complete lifestyle change?
I always say start SMALL! Being active doesn’t have to be a chore. Find something that you and your children like doing together and it will feel like just a fun activity that has turned into tradition instead of a chore.
What are some other benefits to your business?
Our active families have said their children focus better in school, have better self-esteem, and are overall healthier, happier kids! They also have a team of great coaches to look up to in the process!
Future plans for Active Kids 2.0?
Our summer program and new family experience will be released very soon which includes new content(sports, nutrition classes, active story time classes and more!) fun supplemental activities and a whole new look to the site!
Any discounts or specials our moms can look out for?
Yes! 10% OFF using the promo code: KATYMOMS10
Here are all the places you can learn more and following along with Larissa & Active Kids 2.0!
Website & Social Media: www.Activekids2.com