Rice Krispies® Cereal Launches Operation Spark - A Playful Initiative to Help Put More Quality Back in Quality Time for Moms and Kids
Research Reveals Moms Seek More Quality Connections with their Kids

BATTLE CREEK, Mich., April 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today's moms are pulled in myriad directions, yet they still are able to find time everyday to connect and spend quality time with their kids. While those same moms are playing with their kids more than previous generations, they'd like to increase the quality of that time together.

A recent survey commissioned by Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® cereal found that while 89 percent of moms with kids between ages 2 and 11 say playing with their kids is "very important," only 55 percent say they spend time playing with their children "frequently." Among the biggest barriers to moms connecting with their kids are time (46 percent), energy (31 percent) and lacking ideas for creative play (16 percent). The telephone survey of 300 mothers of children between ages 2 and 11 was fielded in March 2007 by Braun Research, and has a margin of error of +/- six percent.

While the Rice Krispies® Operation Spark survey found more than half of moms play with their kids "frequently," additional research indicates those same moms want to get more out of the time they spend with their kids. The University of Maryland also recently released the results of a study that found while today's moms spend more time with their kids than moms of 40 years ago, they still feel as though they aren't spending enough time with their kids because of the many different directions in which they're pulled -- a feeling that some experts have coined "mommy guilt."

Operation Spark, a joint initiative of Rice Krispies® cereal and Playing For Keeps, a national nonprofit organization devoted to fostering stronger relationships between moms and kids through creative play, aims to provide moms simple ideas that help them turn everyday moments into quality time to connect with their kids, and to help relieve moms of that feeling of "guilt."

"We've heard from moms that they want to form strong connections with their kids through spending quality time together, and maintain those connections as their children grow older. While recent research shows moms are spending more time with their kids than previous generations, many moms say they feel they should be doing more with that time," said Tamara Howe, brand manager for Rice Krispies®. "The demands on today's mom leave her less time, energy and resources, so Rice Krispies® Operation Spark is intended to provide mom with easy tips and ideas to help her meaningfully connect with her children more often."

Playing For Keeps

To bring Operation Spark to life, Rice Krispies® teamed with Playing For Keeps to develop a series of Web-based resources for moms to consult as they seek to incorporate more quality into the time they spend with their children.

Beginning April 19, moms can log onto http://www.childhoodiscalling.com/ and access information and helpful tips and tools for creative play that were developed to support the Rice Krispies® Operation Spark initiative.

The Rice Krispies® Operation Spark survey found that ideas for arts and crafts (65 percent), creative games (61 percent), ideas to stretch her and her children's imagination (59 percent) and ideas for recipes moms and kids can make together (54 percent) rank among the top activities moms say would help them better connect with their children. At http://www.childhoodiscalling.com/, moms will discover research on the importance of play, learn what researchers have to say about moms and kids connecting and, most importantly, take away simple ideas to make seemingly routine tasks a time to forge an even stronger connection with their kids. The content on the site will have been developed in partnership with Playing For Keeps.

"Rice Krispies® Operation Spark is an important resource in helping provide moms the types of tips and resources they need to continue building an important connection with their children through spending quality time together," said Susan J. Oliver, executive director, Playing For Keeps. "Playing For Keeps' mission has always been to help bring moms and kids closer together. We are thrilled to partner with Rice Krispies® cereal to launch Operation Spark and feel Rice Krispies® should be commended for undertaking this important initiative."

Rice Krispies® Operation Spark Kick-Off

Rice Krispies® Operation Spark will kick-off with panel discussion during which experts such as Susan J. Oliver, executive director of Playing For Keeps; Mimi Doe, a nationally recognized "parenting guru"; Bonnie Ulman, co-author of Trillion Dollar Mom$; and Ralph Covert of Ralph's World, kids rockstar and Disney recording artist, discuss fun and creative ways moms and kids can connect and the research backing the importance of creative play.

The panel discussion is open to media only, and will be held at the Children's Museum of Manhattan from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Thursday, April 19.

Following the panel discussion, the Operation Spark kick-off event will be open to moms and kids, who will have the opportunity to meet the experts and to try some of these activities first hand, like kid-friendly cooking and craft demonstrations and some acoustic songs performed by Ralph Covert of Ralph's World.

About Playing For Keeps

Playing for Keeps is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 that exists to help bridge the gap between what researchers have learned about play and what parents and professionals who impact kids' lives on a day- to-day, hour-by-hour basis need to know to help nurture our precious children to their full potential. We are driven by our mission of improving outcomes for children through increasing their access to healthy play.

About Kellogg Company

With 2006 sales of almost $11 billion, Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) is the world's leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit snacks, frozen waffles, and veggie foods. The company's brands include Kellogg's, Keebler, Pop-Tarts, Eggo, Cheez-It, Nutri-Grain, Special K, Rice Krispies, Murray, Austin, Morningstar Farms, Famous Amos, Carr's, Plantation, Ready Crust and Kashi. Kellogg products are manufactured in 17 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.kelloggcompany.com/

SOURCE: Kellogg Company

CONTACT: Allison Costello of Ketchum, +1-412-456-3741,
allison.costello@ketchum.com, for Kellogg Company

Web site: http://www.kelloggcompany.com/

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