Next #WePlayChat is MORE than Play…it could be a $50 gift card to your favorite toy store!

twitterchat1The next #WePlayChat on Twitter will be on Wednesday, May 18 at 2:00pm EST.  Our partner Genius of Play will be our first guest moderator for the chat on “It’s MORE than Play!”  Plus one lucky #WePlayChat participant will win a $50 gift card to his or her favorite toy store!

According to Genius of Play’s Anna Yudina, they are “very excited to be the first ever #WePlayChat guest moderator! Our TIA_GOP_blue-orgmission is to raise awareness about the vital role of play in child development. Play is so much more than fun and games – it is essential for children to reach healthy physical, cognitive, social, and emotional developmental milestones. The partnership between the Genius of Play and the US Play Coalition is seamless because of the shared vision to promote the value of play. We look forward to having the conversation with parents, educators and play advocates about the benefits of play and how to encourage more of it.”

Here’s a glimpse at what we will be chatting about:

1.      What challenges do parents face today in letting their kids go play?
2.      What types of play activities help kids process emotion? (Hint: click here)
3.      In your opinion, what’s the biggest benefit of play?
4.      How do you encourage mixed age play?
5.      The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids spend how much time playing each day? (Hint: click here)

This next chat is part of our new monthly Twitter Chat series.  #WePlayChat-ers to date include teachers, playground organizations, play advocates and other play enthusiasts from coast to coast as well as from Canada, Australia, Denmark and the UK – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.

A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag (#). This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with similar interests.  To be a part of our chat, be sure to search for #WePlayChat and follow the live stream of tweets.  Then respond by including the following tags for our May chat #GeniusofPlay #ItsMoreThanPlay #WePlayChat

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through these #WePlayChats.  We are trying them at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in the conversation around the value of play. This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from the across the globe from the comfort of your own environs.

Remember that this month “It’s MORE than Play” with our partner Genius of Play!


Nine Men’s Morris

nine mens morris

According to Games of the World (1977) Nine Men’s Morris is one of the oldest board games in the world dating back to 1400 BC. Morris game boards have been found at the temple of Kurna in Egypt and at excavations of the first city of Troy.

 

 

 

Supplies:
– 10” x 10” (minimum) piece of paperboard packaging (e.g., cereal box, gift box) or poster board or mat board
– 18 bottle caps or milk caps: 9 of one color and 9 of a different color
– Pen/Marker
– Straight edge
NOTE: The game can also be played by using a stick to create the game board in the sand or dirt; pebbles/shells/pinecones can be used for game pieces.

To make:nine mens morris2
Draw the following game board design onto the paperboard.

Characteristics of Morris games:
– Morris games involve straight lines.
– There are two parts to game play: (1) taking turns placing the game pieces onto the board and then, once all the pieces are on the board, (2) sliding a piece to an adjacent vacant point on the line.
— The ‘jumping over’ of game pieces is not permitted.
— A player may only move one piece during his/her turn.

How to Play:
In both the placement and then movement of the game pieces, the object is get to three of your game pieces in a row (vertical or horizontal); this is called a ‘mill’. Every time a player forms a mill, s/he removes a game piece of the other player.  Note: Unless there are no other pieces to take, a game piece may NOT be removed from a mill. Once a piece is removed it may not be returned to the game.  A mill may be opened by moving a piece and closed by returning it to its former location, thus creating a new mill.

The game can be won in two ways:
– Reducing the number of the opponent’s game pieces to two
– Blocking the opponent from making further moves

Source:
Games of the World: How to make them, how to play them, how they came to be. (1977) Grunfeld, F. V. (editor). Ballatine Books: New York
http://www.historyisfun.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/AnnasAdventures_NineMensMorris.pdf

 


Latest Play Pulse Issue Now Online

play pulse logo

Is physical activity the “wonder drug”?  Is boredom good or not so good?  Could being in nature be a natural remedy for anger, fear and stress?  These are the topics addressed in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Play Pulse, a regular publication of the US Play Coalition that addresses play indicators and trends. The publication evaluates the upside and downside of each topic, along with practical tips for addressing these issues in everyday life.

Remember you can find all our publications on our webpage under the research and the communication menus.  Please spread these good works to your colleagues around the globe!


2016 Grant Winners Announced

Grant funding is a distinctive feature of our annual Play Conference, and we are proud to have awarded $41,000 in funding to date.   At The Play Conference 2016: Rebooting Play the new grant winners were announced.  The review process was challenging as we had a record number of outstanding submissions this year.

Each year a $3,000 research seed grant is awarded to researchers who present empirical research at The Play Conference to support new, innovative and thoughtful work on the valreserach grant winners 2016ue of play.  This is seed funding in support of longitudinal or future research in diverse topics related to play, and grant recipients’ work reflects great potential for expanding knowledge in the field.  This year, much of the funding for the research seed grant came from our first ever Giving TuesPLAY initiative.

The 2016 Research Seed Grant was awarded to Debbie Rhea and Alexander Rivchun from Texas Christian University for their project, “The effects of play and character development on classroom behaviors and attentional fatigue in public school grades K & 1.”

In addition to the research grant, $1000 action grants are awarded to support creative and innovative proposals to engage groups in play or to educate about the value of play. This year we had two partners supporting our action grants, Genius of Play and IPA-USA.  We also had funding from our Giving TuesPLAY initiative.

There were three projects that each received a 2016 Action Grant:
– The Playworker Project, Megan Dickerson from The New Children’s Museum
Seniz Yargici Lennes, IPA-USA Outgoing President Dorothy Sluss, 2016 Action Grant Winner Megan Dickerson, Genius of Play's Anna Yudina, and Fran Mainella– Using an Outdoor Classroom to Extend Learning through Play, Kristine Jenkins from First Steps South Carolinakristine-jenkins_124x140
– Playing for a Change in Elementary Schools, Sondra Smith-Adcock from University of FloridaSeniz Yargici Lennes, IPA-USA Outgoing President Dorothy Sluss, 2016 Action Grant Winner Sondra Smith-Adcock, Genius of Play's Anna Yudina, and Fran Mainella


Next #WePlayChat is April 15

The next #twitterchat1WePlayChat on Twitter will be on Friday, April 15 at 2:00pm EST.  We will be chatting about “Lessons Learned at The Play Conference 2016.”  Hope you will join us whether or not you were at the conference!

This next chat is the fourth in our new monthly Twitter Chat series.  #WePlayChat-ers to date include teachers, playground organizations, play advocates and other play enthusiasts from coast to coast as well as from Canada, Australia, Denmark and the UK – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.

A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag (#). This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with similar interests.

Over the next few months we will continue to share the voice of play on Twitter through these #WePlayChats.  We are trying them at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them!  Tune in and to join in the conversation around the value of play. This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from the across the globe from the comfort of your own environs.

Mark your calendar!  Our next #WePlayChat will be held on April 15th at 2:00pm EST.  And in May we will begin inviting guest moderators to  the chat – Genius of Play will be our first.

Find us on Twitter @USPlayCoalition


Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play Champion to be PLAYtalk Presenter at The Play Conference 2016

Jean Margaret Smith

Nickelodeon’s Jean Margaret Smith, will be one of the first ever PLAYtalk presenters at The Play Conference 2016: Rebooting Play.

Smith is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Administration for Nickelodeon.  For more than a decade under her direction, Nickelodeon championed Worldwide Day of Play, an unprecedented annual event in which all Nickelodeon channels suspend programming and the network and its partners host grassroots events with the message: “get up, get out and go play.” (In 2015, the US Play Coalition became a partner in the WWDoP initiative!)  Smith will speak on this groundbreaking initiative in her PLAYtalk entitled, “Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play: Its Impact and Its Future.”

Jean Margaret Smith is responsible for managing the network’s strategic relationships with social advocates, elected officials, and public opinion leaders, as well as spearheading the company’s overall public affairs agenda, including signature pro-social initiatives and overall corporate responsibility. She has helped craft several long-term, strategic initiatives to address social concerns impacting children and their families including HALO Awards, Beyond the Backpack and Get Dirty. She sets the company’s corporate social responsibility agenda.

Smith spearheads outreach to key public affairs external constituencies for all Nickelodeon television brands and businesses, including Nick Jr, TeenNick, and Nicktoons. In addition, she works closely with the Nickelodeon digital brands such as Nick.com and TeenNick.com on incorporating pro-social content, managing digital and online privacy and safety issues, and raising other public awareness issues. Smith also oversees the company’s relationships with key partners including the Afterschool Alliance, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the YMCA to amplify the network’s commitment to kids and families.

“To say that Jean Margaret is committed to family, community and PLAY is an understatement!” says Stephanie Garst, executive director of the US Play Coalition. “We are thrilled that she will be with us for The Play Conference 2016!”

Learn more about the conference by clicking here.


FREE CEUs Available to Registered Attendees at The Play Conference

US-PLay-Round-TablesWant a PLAYful way to earn CEUs?!  Come to The Play Conference 2016: Rebooting Play, April 3-6 at Clemson University.

Clemson University awards CEUs for your participation in sessions at The Play Conference 2016. All keynotes, featured and educational sessions are 45 minutes in length.  Participants can be awarded .05 CEUs for each of these sessions attended. There is no additional fee for CEUs at this conference.

Special registration options are available for schools, non-profits, and government agencies looking to send 4 or more delegates.  Contact Stephanie Garst for more information.

Register today for The Play Conference!


Twenty Times the Play Value

SmartPlayVenti_01BeltBridgeVenti

Two years ago, Landscape Structures, Inc. first introduced the Smart Play® design concept and it was a hit. The whimsical and modern designs of Smart Play: Motion 2-5 and Smart Play: Cube 2-5 have caught the attention of communities across the globe. Plus, playground planners have loved the smart design and efficient use of materials in the playstructures. And now we’ve expanded the line to include a design especially for 5- to 12-year-olds.

SquareLoopClimberVentiSmart Play: Venti™, which means “twenty” in Italian, packs 20 exciting activities into its compact size. Nets, slides, belts and climbers provide challenges that promote physical development and strategic thinking, while also creating hangouts where kids can take a break and connect with others. With multiple entry points and plenty of activities, this ADA-compliant playstructure can accommodate a whole class at once.

 

BeltHammockVenti

Learn more about Smart Play: Venti and see it in action by visiting playlsi.com/venti.

 

 


#WePlayChat A Rousing Success

twitterchat1Last month we held our first ever #WePlayChat on Twitter around the topic, “Why We Play”? Hosted by our executive director Stephanie Garst and our Play Ambassador Coordinator Ryan Fahey, the Twitter chat was a huge success and was the first of its kind on social media!  #WePlayChat-ers included teachers, playground organizations, play advocates and other play enthusiasts from coast to coast as well as from Canada and the UK – all tuning in to connect around why #WePlay through a series of open-ended questions.

A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag (#). This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with similar interests.

Here are some snapshots of conversations that happened during our groundbreaking #WePlayChat:

Jan chat Q3                             Jan chat Q1

 

Since then we had another thrilling Twitter Chat with THREE COUNTRIES represented – Australia and Canada joined our American Twitter-ers in a discussion on PLAY in the Community.

Over the next few months we will continue to share the voice of play on Twitter through these #WePlayChats.  We are trying them at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them!  Tune in and to join in the conversation around the value of play. This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from the across the globe from the comfort of your own environs.

Our next #WePlayChat will be held on March 15th at 9:30am EST. We will be discussing different types of PLAY.  In April our chat will highlight lessons learned from The Play Conference.  And in May we will begin inviting guest moderators to  the chat – Genius of Play will be our first.

Find us on Twitter @USPlayCoalition


Stackers

Fun Fact for February: The bottle cap was patented on February 2, 1892.

stackers

 

Supplies:

  • Lots of bottle caps and/or jug lids

To Play:

  • Decide ahead of time if there are rules for stacking. For example, “all the caps must have the flat side down”.
  • Start stacking.
  • Whoever has  the highest tower of caps without falling wins!

Variations:

  • Collaborate as a team
  • Use caps of a variety of sizes
  • Stack caps in a color sequence