We found this adorable book at Secret Garden Books in Seattle and simply could not resist. The entire sentiment of the adventure play movement is sweetly wrapped up in its pages. A perfect gift for that person organizing pop-up adventure playgrounds, advocating for play at your PTA, your favorite playful teacher or your extra favorite playful KID. Ask for it out at your own local book shop!
So impressed by our friends at play:ground - the incredible team of playworkers, alternative educators, performers, historians and parents who've established a true junk playground in New York City.
Check out the New York Times coverage here.
We wish the team a fruitful summer rich in play and can't wait to hear your reflections at the season's end. Bring on the kids!
On June 11, 2pm - be there for the film and a vibrant panel discussion about play and healthy risk taking with:
Anna Housley Juster, Ph.D., Senior Director, Child Development Boston Children's Museum
Erin Davis, Filmmaker
Carole Charnow, President and CEO, Boston Children's Museum
Michael W. Yogman, M.D., Chairman Boston Children's Museum
Janice O'Donnell, former executive director of Providence Children's Museum and founder of Playcorps.
The front page of the Business section in this Friday's New York Times hosted two articles tying work, play and family together closely. In Sweden... an experiment enforced a 6-hour work day for workers with no pay cut. The results showed increased productivity for the company due to well rested, happier workers. These workers frequently cited quality time with their families as the most rejuvenating outcome of the change. Not to mention the benefits for the children who had meaningful connection with well rested parents.
Meanwhile retirees in the US are finding it harder to let their work lives go... completely. These retirees attempt to balance paid work with volunteer contributions in their communities and build connections with grandchildren.
Often work and play are presented as opposites when in fact they are more like cousins, sisters. Playworker and scholar Brian Sutton-Smith said, "the opposite of play is depression." Self-directed time and space is valuable and healthful for the individual and the society and should be enabled, across the lifespan.
Play:ground is hiring playworkers and playwork interns for their inaugural year on New York's scenic Governor's Island. What is a playworker? "A playworker is patient and playful...." Check out their listing for more. Play on!
An American Adventure Play conference (gathering? meet up? mind meld?) is brewing. Set for February 2017 at the wonderfully evolving Santa Clarita Adventure Playground in Val Verde, California, this will be the first of its kind. We're gonna go, are you gonna go?
Register your interest here. No spam, no commitment. Just a few details to support the organizers. See you in California in February!
One of the most common responses to The Land from parents and teachers is, "ok, I GET It but how can I convince other people? Where is the EVIDENCE that freely chosen play BENEFITS kids??" It's true that hard facts and figures can tip the scales for folks on the fence, and are critical for decision-makers sticking their necks out to support an adventure play initiative. I bring you:
Balanced and Barefoot: How Unstructured outdoor play makes for strong, confident, and capable children WOHOOO!!*
In Balanced and Barefoot, Angela Hanscom gives adults permission to release the reins without fear. Her expertise as an occupational therapist affirms what so many of us know intuitively: children thrive when they have access to rich, self-directed play opportunities.
Available now! (Use it for good, not evil!)
*ok, the wohooo is ours... not part of the actual title...
Want to be a play worker when you grow up? One of the best adventure play spaces in the US is The Parish School Adventure Playground in Houston, Texas. And they're hiring! Read more about the place and the position at Morgan Leichter-Saxby's blog Play Everything.