October 29, 2009

Today in Play: Recess for everyone!

I've got exactly three awesome things to share with you today. Are you ready?

Item 1. I don't think I've ever read a better op-ed about the importance of recess than this one. Just try to read the closing paragraph without misting up:

Advocating for recess may seem trivial, considering the varied challenges our schools face. I am hesitant to sign my name to this column, worrying that I should pick a more pressing battle. Worse yet, I worry that this will come across as a criticism of our incredible school or our amazing teachers. But as I look outside and feel the breeze coming though the window, I remember playing hopscotch and freeze tag and I know it’s necessary. If we are committed to meeting children’s needs — of mind, body and spirit — then recess is a requirement. The right to play is worth fighting for.

Read the full letter here: Children's right to play is worth fighting for (Buffalo News)

Item 2. Playgrounds in Japan are being rebuilt as exercise parks for the elderly. Local governments are reconstructing underused playgrounds and funding exercise classes for the aging population. And lest you think this is a small fad being blown out of proportion, check out this statistic: 

In 2007, there were over 15,000 pieces of elderly workout equipment installed in parks across Japan and the number has nearly tripled since 1998, according to a report by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism in Japan.

You can read the full article here: Japan's elderly playgrounds show fun is for everyone (Reuters)

Item 3. I love this video from a playground build earlier this month with the JCGC Foundation in Jefferson County, Colo., and I think you will, too:

JCGC Foundation sponsors playground build for local children from Paul Penley on Vimeo.

the buzz in play, advocacy, colorado, recess, japan, action, inspiration, buffalo, new york