April 28, 2011 Kerala Taylor

Liza Sullivan: Six life skills my children learned through play

As we prepare to launch this year's Park-A-Day Summer Challenge, 2010 challenger Liza Sullivan reflects on her eye-opening experiences visiting 50 different parks, playgrounds, and public playspaces in the Chicago area with her 3-year-old twins (pictured left).

Writing in the Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood Newsletter, Liza says, "I wanted to provide my children with a meaningful summer filled with plenty of time to play." Until she participated in the Challenge, she goes on to say,

"I was unaware of the surprising number of parks, playgrounds, and nature preserves in or near our community... Most are underused. With the exception of some traditional playgrounds, we were either alone or with one or two families. The benefits of these facilities to a child’s development speak greatly to the power of the play movement which I advocate, and which is growing in the U.S."

Liza personally witnessed a transformation in her children last summer. She saw how play supported her twins in becoming:

  1. Strong, fit, and healthy
  2. More able to appropriately assess risks
  3. Friendly and confident meeting other children
  4. Creative and imaginative
  5. Curious learners
  6. Bonded to nature

Read the full story in Winnetka Alliance Newsletter for more reflections, observations, and anecdotes. See Liza's photos and stories from the 2010 Challenge on her kaboom.org profile.

Stay tuned for our 2011 Park-A-Day Challenge!

family, liza sullivan, park a day, summer challenge, parenting, chicago