July 08, 2009

The Grass Stain Guru Joins the KaBOOM! Team

I knew when I showed up for work and there was a kazoo and a sand pail on my desk that I was in the right place. Surrounded by whimsy and an undeniable energy of a staff on a mission, my new home already feels like a comfortable pair of jeans. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my favorite color is orange.

As a blogger, educator, and play advocate, working on the issue of saving play is natural to me. Joining an organization that focuses its entire mission on play is so exciting. People that get it. Value it. Shout it to the roof tops. When you work on an issue like play, it often is met by pleasant smiles or "isn't that nice" nods. People think play is fun, and that's about it.

Of course, all of those things are true – play is fun. But play is SO much more than that – it is important across the lifespan, and vital for the healthy development of children. Play, as it turns out, is serious business. The emotional, physical, mental and educational benefits cannot be denied, yet play continues to lose footing in today’s fast-paced society. It’s time for that to stop. It's time to put the brakes on the over-structuring, over-scheduling, and bubble-wrapping of childhood and let kids get down to the business of play.

I am thrilled to join the KaBOOM! Team and work on doing just that.

Bio: Bethe Almeras is an educator, writer, and speaker who works on issues related to play and children and nature. She is also a BIG KID at heart with a love for squirrels, girlie movies, and ice cream. You can find her on her blog, The Grass Stain Guru, become friends with her on Connect, and follow her on Twitter.

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