September 04, 2009

Today in Play: Studies + news roundup

KidsHappy Friday, everyone!

There has been a whole heap o' play-related news this week, thanks to the start of the new school year, so I thought today might be a nice day to share it with you all.

Let's start things out with the New York Times, shall we? Stuart Brown, founder and president of the National Institute for Play, wrote a wonderful guest column emphasizing that kids perform better in school if they have time for unstructured play. Here's a snippet: 

Just an hour a day of vigorous play — running, chasing, games like tag or dodge ball, and even dealing with or avoiding being excluded from these activities — can provide intense skill learning. Physical activity is known to lessen the symptoms of mild attention deficit disorder, and is associated with much lower incidences of childhood obesity. Active kids are also more facile intellectually and perform better academically in the long term.

Echoing his statement, BBC News published a story about how schools are being urged to make more time for play in the school day based on new research conducted by Play England.

And speaking of studies, the Institute of Medicine released a report that included 58 Steps to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Among those recommendations? You guessed it...

Build and maintain parks and playgrounds that are safe and attractive for playing, and in close proximity to residential areas.

USA Today wrote about the report as well.

Have a great weekend, all! I'll be back next week with more play news and updates.

"Today in Play" is a regular feature on the KaBOOM! blog, featuring the latest news on play and KaBOOM! media mentions.

the buzz in play, research, studies