Combating toxic stress

For kids that have experienced trauma at an early age or are growing up in environments replete with toxic stress and in neighborhoods where green space and safe, outdoor play opportunities are lacking, play that supports physical, emotional and cognitive development is vital. That's why KIPP DC Connect Academy quickly made the Imagination Playground™ a standard part of the in-classroom experience.

After a few short months, the long-term benefits of the Imagination Playground™ became evident. Among the benefits, students are developing inter- and intrapersonal skills, learning to empathize with others and supporting one another through play. Behavioral challenges are also being addressed through play.

When they can create or move their play from a scenario where they're creating a living room and then turning it into a grocery store, their play gets deeper. It allows them to sustain play longer, and to really engage in new learnings like problem-solving. That wouldn't happen if they were just simply running and playing tag.