Jennifer Lopez wants to be in charge of your kid’s next “shake break.”
With the pandemic forcing many kids to attend school virtually and restricting typical outside activities, the superstar has rallied her 12-year-old twins, Emme and Max Muñiz, for a virtual dance party. She’s the face of the “Yoplaitime Challenge,” which encourages families to shut off their screens and get moving —together.
“I’m a mom that loves being with my kids — I think people know that,” Lopez, 51, tells Yahoo Entertainment. “I love to dance. We love to ride bikes. We like to move. And right now with everything the way it is and being home so much, I know other parents are concerned like I am that their kids aren’t moving as much. We’re spending all this time in front of screens... So the idea is to just grab your kids and get them moving.”
How it works is, “Basically I’ll show you me and my family’s moves and you show me yours,” with no real skills required — though the World of Dance host certainly has them. For every video people post to Instagram Reels showing their fam dancing, and using Lopez’s new song “Pa Ti” along with the hashtag #YoplaitimeDonation, Yoplait donates $1 at a time (up to $300,000) to the charity Feeding America.
Lopez admits she’s like most parents when it comes to the struggle with their kids over screen-time.
“I mean, I have to regulate my kids. I can’t leave them to their own devices,” she says, literally and figuratively. “They’ll be on those things all day and all night. They won’t even sleep. It’s crazy. This is why this was such a good idea. How do we get them moving? How do we get them up? How do we get them out of the house? It’s a challenge to really get your kids up off the couch, from in front of the screens, and get them outside doing things. I know I have to force my kids to do that.”
But at the end of the day, “active kids are strong kids,” she says of the kids she shares with ex Marc Anthony. “They’re happy kids. I know I’m happier when I’m more active.”
Lopez likes this challenge because it can be done anywhere — from tiny city apartments in her native Bronx, NY, to bigger spaces with private yards like her own.
“That’s why the dance challenges are fun,” she says. “You can do it in a small space — you just kind of put your phone there and start dancing in front of it. Obviously we’ve seen that,” she adds, referencing all the virtual challenges of TikTok. “You don’t need a whole bunch of room to get up and have a good time.”
And it can bring families together — even if the adults are the target of kiddo criticism.
“Let me tell you — the little dance things that we do around the house for [social media], that is some of the most fun that we have. When we get together and do it together, the kids love it. They really love it. They think it’s funny that we’re doing it, especially if Alex and I do it together with them,” she says, referring to fiancé Alex Rodriguez, who has has two children, Natasha, 15 and Ella, 12. “They love making fun of us — the whole thing.”
A family dance party with A-Rod:
Considering Emme has danced with her mother in the Super Bowl Halftime Show and Max has showed off his moves while also riding a hoverboard, she knew they’d have to “top that” for their challenge, which she posted on Tuesday. And Lopez knew she’d have to convince the kids to join her to do it.
“Even though they love my music and they love when we go on tour and stuff like that,” she still has to rally them, she says. “I have to force them to do it, but after they are laughing and having a good time.”
Even though the pandemic has slowed things down, Lopez’s household remains pretty busy. Emme has a new picture book, Lord Help Me: Inspiring Prayers for Every Day, about the power of prayer.
“She came up with the idea herself when she was like 9 years old,” Lopez says. “She wanted to help kids learn how to pray — and know that is an option they have.” The book incorporates her love of sloths, says mom. “She was obsessed with sloths. She’s an avid animal lover and she wanted to do something to save the sloths, so she sat down and wrote the story” and made little drawings to go along with them. Lopez took Emme’s actual book “to the publisher to say: ‘Would you like to do this and we can raise some money to save the sloths?’ And they were like: ‘Yeah, we’d love to.’”
Lopez’s “Pa Ti,” used for the challenge, is one of two songs that came out last week, both collabs with Maluma, and they will be part of the soundtrack of their upcoming rom-com Marry Me. In the flick, scheduled to be released in theaters in February, they play Latin pop stars and she finds out he has been cheating, so she marries a stranger (Owen Wilson) in the crowd at one of her shows.
So ... does she think people will actually go to theaters in February to see it? “I hope so!” she says. “We’ll see. Ya know — if not, the studios are kind of juggling everything around and figuring it out as we go along.”
But however people get to view the film, she can’t wait for them to see it. “The first songs from the characters in the movie are out, ‘Pa Ti’ and ‘Lonely,’ with Maluma, who is in the movie with me and plays my boyfriend. We are excited about that — and the videos that [premiered last week]. The movie is so much fun. Owen Wilson is amazing in it. We have amazing music in the movie. I’m really excited for the whole project. [The videos] kick off the Marry Me era so we’re super excited.”
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