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"Play. That's the best way kids learn -- doing something they enjoy." Trish Thomas, America's Most Playful Family Contest winner
Too many kids are missing one of the most important childhood experiences—play. Play is on the decline throughout America. Not enough playspaces are being built and those that do exist are often in disrepair or made unavailable to children.
The issues surrounding this decline are numerous. Many playgrounds fail to challenge both a child’s imagination and body, recess is being removed from our nation’s schools as a result of academic testing, parents concerns over safety have limited children’s opportunities to play outdoors unsupervised, and more and more children are electing to stay indoors and make use of electronic media.
The belief that play is a luxury is an untruth that far too many have accepted. In fact, play helps kids grow to be healthy, happy, and successful through an experience full of creativity, exploration, physical activity, friendship, and adventure.
Play is defined as an activity that is freely chosen, child directed, and self-motivated. Play is a crucial factor in children’s overall well-being. Play affects the quality of life they will enjoy and impacts them physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively.
So why aren’t kids playing as frequently? Why have today’s kids been pronounced the most inactive generation in history? There are at least four big reasons why:
If we want a world full of healthy, happy, and successful adults, we need to be sure we create a world where kids can play. Today is the day to make a commitment to play.
Get started with these “cheat sheets” on play. They provide quick facts to make your case for the necessity of play, ideas for action in your neighborhood, and links to some of our best resources.