all work + no play = bad for kids!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The word “play” seems like such a trite common sense description of children and childhood, but unfortunately it’s a word that is lacking from a lot of children’s lives, which in turn has a detrimental effect on them physically, emotionally and intellectually!  “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is important to healthy brain development and allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive and emotional strength.  Today’s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generations in part because only 20% live within walking distance of a park or playground.”*   Organizations and schools are taking note!  Grass root efforts have started across the country and they are working hard to put “play” back in the day.  The national non-profit, KaBOOM!, has listed 151 cities and towns as a Playful City.  Here's how 5 cities (from their list of 151 Playful Cities in the USA) made ‘play’ a priority:

San Francisco, California
Population: 805,235
Public Play Spaces: 144

Every two years, the city grades playgrounds and rates the safety and quality of each location.  The report identifies playgrounds in need of maintenance and renovation.

Columbus, Ohio
Population: 787,933
Public Play Spaces: 140

In the past ten years, more than two million dollars in grants, capital investments, sponsorships and private donations have come in through the city’s Safe Playgrounds Initiative.

Hartford, Connecticut
Population:  124,512
Public Play Spaces: 30

Last spring, Hartwood held a six week celebration of parks that included improvements to the city’s recreational facilities.

Orlando, Florida
Population: 238,300
Public Play Spaces: 83

The city has 14 joint use agreements with Orange County Public Schools to open up the playgrounds for public use during after-school hours.

Auburn, Washington
Population: 70, 180
Public Play Spaces: 90

The community rallied and raised $310,000 to help build a 32,000-square-foot Discovery Playground.  It is designed especially to accommodate disabled as well as able-bodied children.

WE LOVE IT!  To see how your city fared and to find out more information on how to take action for PLAY, check out!

What do you do to implement play?  Either at home or for your community… we want to know! 

Have you seen what's in our "outdoor play" section of our store lately?  Stop over (shop here)!  Tell us what you would like to see!  Now, go play!

* Quote and picture provided by KaBOOM!

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