Stories to outrage you, ideas to inspire you, and photos of playgrounds to make you go 'ooooh'.

Play Today * The Buzz in Play

The Home Depot/NFL Neighborhood MVP Jason Witten gets grant for charity

The NFL has awarded $1 million in grants to 89 player charities during NFL Charities Week. Five organizations are being singled out this week to publicize the substantial philanthropy done throughout the league, including the chosen charity of Jason Witten, The Home Depot/NFL Neighborhood MVP.

You can read the full story here.

Related Posts

Comments

April 4 is "Take Your Parents to the Playground Day"!

Psst - hey kids! This Saturday is THE DAY to take your parents to the playground! While you're there, take some photos and post your local playspaces on the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder to help earn money for charity!

Tell your folks that Take Your Parents to the Playground Day coincides with Children & Nature Awareness Month, an event established by the Children & Nature Network (C&NN) to call attention to the importance of providing opportunities for all children to experience frequent, regular play in natural outdoor settings.

Related Posts

Comments

Congress to consider No Child Left Inside Act

ScrippsNews reports that the "No Child Left Inside Act," which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year, will be reintroduced in the House and Senate in the coming weeks. Last year, Congress ran out of time to finish work on the measure.

The bill, if passed by Congress and signed by the president, would introduce environmental education as a subject in grades K-12. The act would also require school systems to build environmental literacy, strengthen teacher training and provide federal grants to help schools pay for outdoor education, according U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., lead sponsor of the House bill. This year, the Senate sponsor of the bill is Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.

The article goes on to note that the amount of time kids spend outdoors has declined by 50 percent in the past 20 years - a startling statistic, to say the least. What do you think it'll take to get kids to spend more time outdoors, reconnecting with nature?

 

Related Posts

Comments

New book examines the importance of play in tough economy

"Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul," recently reviewed in USA Today, warns of the consequences of a life without play. These consequences include "[a] life of rigidity, lacking in creativity. A life without joy, minus sustained pleasure. The opposite of play isn't work, [the author says], but depression."

The author, Stuart Brown, emphasizes the importance of play, particularly in strained economic times. "If we're going to adapt to changing economic and personal circumstances the way that nature armed us to do, then we have to find ourselves having some play time virtually every day," Brown says.

I think this is very true but sometimes a challenge to pull off. The more stressed we are, the less time we have for leisure pursuits, yet the more important they are to prioritize. How do you balance work and play, particularly in these economic times?

Related Posts

Comments

KaBOOM! preferred vendor Big Toys shrinks carbon footprint

A recent article in the Miami Herald showcases how KaBOOM! preferred vendor Big Toys is going green.

Since buying the business from the Danish firm Kompan in 2004, president Tim Madeley has made significant strides in shrinking the business' carbon footprint by reducing waste, using recycled materials, and buying all green power for the 22,000-square-foot warehouse the company occupies on Port of Olympia property near Olympia Regional Airport.

This is a fantastic model for other companies - play equipment-related and otherwise - to follow! You can read the full article here.

Related Posts

Comments

New Israeli playspace is reinforced against rockets

It's sad to think such things are necessary anywhere in the world, but when we talk about kids having a safe place to play, sometimes that means the protection of reinforced steel walls.

That's what Stanley M. Chesley, president of the Jewish National Fund, realized when he visited Israel last year. It was too dangerous for kids to play outside amidst the violent conflict, so he set off to build an indoor park for them. According to the New York Times article:

That is how a 21,000-square-foot bunker of a recreation center was born and came to be inaugurated this week in the industrial sector of this city. It has a small indoor soccer field, video games, fun-house mirrors, a climbing wall, rooms for birthday celebrations and $1.5 million worth of reinforced steel.

..

Although not every part of the roof is protected against rockets, the building has many reinforced areas that double as functional spaces, including the soccer field and a computer room. When a rocket is launched, a siren sounds to give residents 15 seconds to take shelter, making it easy for those inside the center to move to the reinforced parts.

It's simultaneously heartbreaking to hear such precautions are necessary and heartening to hear that in the midst of a long, violent conflict, people still consider play an important part of children's lives.

Related Posts

Comments

New report shows kindergartners need more play in school

A new study by Edward Miller and Joan Almon, titled Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School, reveals that the way in which kindergarten is taught today includes dramatically less time for unstructured play than two decades ago. Here's a snippet from the executive summary:

Kindergarten has changed radically in the last two decades in ways that few Americans are aware of. Children now spend far more time being taught and tested on literacy and math skills than they do learning through play and exploration, exercising their bodies, and using their imaginations. Many kindergartens use highly prescriptive curricula geared to new state standards and linked to standardized tests. In an increasing number of kindergartens, teachers must follow scripts from which they may not deviate. These practices, which are not well grounded in research, violate long-established principles of child development and good teaching. It is increasingly clear that they are compromising both children’s health and their long-term prospects for success in school.

The traditional kindergarten classroom that most adults remember from childhood—with plenty of space and time for unstructured play and discovery, art and music, practicing social skills, and learning to enjoy learning—has largely disappeared. The latest research indicates that, on a typical day, children in all-day kindergartens spend four to six times as much time in literacy and math instruction and taking or preparing for tests (about two to three hours per day) as in free play or “choice time” (30 minutes or less).

This is shocking! I knew that recent federal laws had put more emphasis on testing for higher grades, but I had no idea they affected kindergartens, too! Have you had any experience with this issue? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Related Posts

Comments

Oakland group seeks more play in school day

"All Things Considered" on NPR Mar. 19 featured a story on an Oakland-based nonprofit trying to put more focus on fitness in school.

You can listen to it here.

I think this is an important mission. With schools facing budget cuts, physical fitness opportunities and playground upgrades are often the first things to go. It's absolutely essential to have someone out there advocating for more play and fitness opportunities.

Related Posts

Comments