February 27 #WePlayChat with
Tracey Gilmour: Loose Parts Play

Join us Tuesday, February 27 at 11:00am EST as we welcome co-moderator Tracey Gilmour from Alberta, Canada to our #WePlayChat to discuss Loose Parts Play.
Tracey works for Ever Active Schools as a School Health Facilitator, focusing on developing play and learning in the outdoors. A qualified teacher since 2006, Tracey has taught grades K, 2, 3, 5, 6, and has worked with large UK primary schools as part of the administration team. She specializes in developing outdoor nature-based play and learning opportunities, connecting children with nature, cross-curricular learning, experiential teaching and learning. She is currently focused on implementing Loose Play Projects in schools to support creative child directed play. Tracey is currently completing her M.Ed in Educational Leadership.

Since earning her undergraduate degree in International Development Studies, post graduate qualifications in education and special needs education, Tracey has lived and worked in England, Nepal and South Korea.

Here are the questions Tracey will be covering during #WePlayChat dialogue:

1) How can Loose Parts Play support child development?

2) How does directed play differ from other forms of play and why is it important?

3) What are the perceived risks associated with Loose Parts Play and are they worth it?

4) In what contexts can Loose Parts Play be best utilized? 

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats 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 and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


NPR Correspondent and Author to give PLAYtalk on Screen Time and Play

Anya Kamenetz will be a PLAYtalk presenter at the  2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11, at Clemson University.

Anya Kamenetz is the lead digital education correspondent for National Public Radio. She is the author of several books about learning and the future. Her latest book is The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (PublicAffairs, 2018).

Kamenetz’s 2018 PLAYtalk presentation is titled “From FaceTime to PlayTime: How Screens Can Fit into a Playful World.”

Kamenetz covered technology, innovation, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship for five years as a staff writer for Fast Company magazine. She’s contributed to The New York TimesThe Washington PostNew York Magazine, Slate, and appeared in documentaries shown on PBS and CNN.

Kamenetz was named a 2010 Game Changer in Education by the Huffington Post, received 2009, 2010, and 2015 National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for innovation in 2017 along with the rest of the NPR Ed team.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.

 

Panel of Leaders in Parks & Recreation field to Keynote at the 2018 Play Conference

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce that a panel of leaders in the Parks and Recreation field will discuss “The Implications of Race on Play for Youth of Color” as a keynote panel for the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11, at Clemson University.

Play is vital to the development of youth. In the US, play provides a way for young people to learn about roles, boundaries, and expectations; community values; and personal opportunities. There’s a freedom that’s attached to play as youth explore the world around them. For youth of color however, these benefits are not always readily available. At an early age, they are taught that certain rules apply to them as a result of their Race. For some, the options for the type of play, where it can take place, and with whom are limited. These limitations are often placed on youth by their parents and other caring adults as a means of protecting them. In short, the benefits of play are only afforded to certain youth in our country.

Keynote Panelists include:

  • Myron Floyd, Ph.D. – Professor and Head – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, NC State University
  • Corliss Outley, Ph.D. – Associate Department Head and Associate Professor – Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University
  • Rasul Mowatt, Ph.D. – Associate Professor and Chair – Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Panel Moderator: Harrison Pinckney, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor – Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Clemson University

A historical perspective will be offered to establish a foundation for the relationship between Race and play for youth of color. Contemporary examples will be provided to highlight concerns that parents today have for their youth, how they prepare their youth to engage their local community, and how youth use these lessons to shape their own play experiences. Attention will also be given to understanding the support that communities and its members can provide to truly offer parents and youth of color the benefits of play.

This will be a thought-provoking session designed to equip attendees to serve our increasingly diverse communities.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.

  

The ABCs of the 2018 Play Conference Research Symposium and Educational Sessions

The full detailed schedule is coming soon with dozens more session titles…but until then, below is an alphabetical list of the Research Symposium and Educational Sessions that have been confirmed for the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play.  Check back often because we will update the list as our presenters continue to confirm their sessions.

 playing with boxes from Pat Rumbaugh     DSCF1349    IMG_2667

Be sure to REGISTER TODAY because the early bird deadline for this PLAYful conference is February 28.

  • A Critical Approach to Play and Recreation Evaluation: Telling More of the Story
  • Adaptive Sports Development: Building a 7-a-side Paralympic Soccer Club Program
  • An Analysis of School Playgrounds and Parks using Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • An Exploration of Infant and Toddler Outdoor Play
  • A Walk on the Wild Side: Connecting Play and Zoo Walkways
  • Activating an Urban Neighborhood for Outdoor Play:  Strategies for Replication
  • Applying Play Research and Theory to School, Community, and Family Settings in Trinidad & Tobago
  • Assessing Availability and Quality of Play Spaces for Cities within the East Africa Community
  • Beyond Cardboard and Sticks: The Role of Toys in Facilitating Play
  • Biophilic Approach to Children’s Nature-based Outdoor Designed Environments
  • Building a #All-In Classroom Culture: Real-World Challenges In a Game-Based Atmosphere
  • Celebrating a University Collaborative Community of Play
  • Children’s PlayDays – Play Provision in a Time of Extreme Crisis
  • Combining Modern Technology with Outdoor Play
  • Community-Based Strategies for Building and Activating Inclusive Playgrounds
  • Community Health Lessons From Volunteer Implementation of Natural Play Spaces
  • Creating a Playful Event for Children with Special Needs
  • Creating Specialized Outdoor Play Training To Empower Children’s Experiences
  • Diabetes Day Camp: Playing To Learn, Heal and Connect
  • Discover, Play, Share: Using Play To Build Early Literacy And STEM Skills In Preschoolers
  • Discover the Secret Language of Play
  • Exploring a Multi-Sector Approach To Play
  • Four Elements of Play As Described By Ugandan Women
  • Get Playful With Dance
  • How Better Play Makes Better Schools
  • How I Learned To Be an Adult; Lessons Learned On the Recess Playground
  • How to Open a Toy Library
  • How to Survive and Thrive As a Purely Play-Based Program: The Sunflower Creative Arts Story
  • Idea Factory: STEM through Play
  • Inclusive Design for the Aquatic Splash Pad
  • Improv Parenting: Using Improv to Parent Playfully and Mindfully
  • Is It Play?  Is It Learning? A Cross-Cultural Study of Children’s And Parents’ Views
  • “It’s Gonna Hurt”: Roughhousing and Risk in Play
  • Learning to Build
  • Leisure Activities among Urban Older Adults in China: How and Where do They Play?
  • Let’s Get Some GoNoodle On!
  • Making Classroom Magic with Mystery Skype
  • More Fences, More Freedom? Exploring How the Design of Public Play Areas Affects Supervision
  • Municipal Government and Play, It Can Be Done!
  • Natural Harmony: An Instrumental Guide to Blending Music & Community
  • Naturestart: Professional Development For Informal and Early Childhood Educators in Blended Classrooms
  • Night at the Brewseum: Adults at Play!
  • Opportunities and Barriers of Play at Pediatric Gardens: A Recent Case Study
  • Play and Prevention of Bullying Behaviors
  • Play Based Education through a Comprehensive School Health Framework
  • Playground Literacy: Supporting Active Learning through Play
  • PlayMatters – Therapeutic Value of Play for Children Impacted by Agent Orange from the Vietnam War
  • Play Politics: School and Municipal Decision-Making Challenges in Canada Limiting Access to Play
  • Play, Time, Behavior, and Flourishing
  • Prevention, Promotion and Play: Using Interactive Activities to Promote Child Health and Wellness
  • Recess Results: A Survey on Educators’ Perspectives on the Benefits of Recess
  • Remember Play? How Our Personal Play Histories Springboard Support for Child-Directed Play
  • Results of Grassroots Efforts to Increase Nature Play Infrastructure for Children
  • Scaling Up: Building Play Networks At the Regional Level
  • Sensory Play: An Integral Component of Inclusive Recreation
  • The Butterfly Effect: Building On the Big Idea
  • The Healing Power of Play – Restoring Childhood to Kids Impacted By Disasters
  • The Real Toy Story: How to Create a Toy Library by The #1 Library in the Country
  • The Role of Play in the Art Museum: A Case Study at the High Museum of Art
  • The Urgent Need for Play-Based Experiential Learning in Preschool and Kindergarten
  • Three Key Questions to Scaffold Playfulness
  • Tips, Tools, and Tales from the Field: Fostering All-Out, Joyful Play in Adults
  • Transitional Play: Exploring the Play Value of Classroom Indoor-Outdoor Relationship of Space
  • Water Play and Children’s Complex Scientific Explorations
  • What’s Going on with the Midwest Play Conference?: A Nature and Loose Parts Play Workshop
  • YMCA Of Western Ontario; Outdoor Play Project
  • Your Senses at Play! Explore Playground Designs And Programs That Support Children With Autism
  • Zoos as a Nature Play Destination: Nature Playgrounds at Bronx Zoo and Houston Zoo

…and MANY, MANY MORE!!  You don’t want to miss this exciting professional development opportunity!  Join us at the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play, April 8-11 at Clemson University.


2018 Pre-Conference Institute –
Utilizing Play: Creating the Balance between Teaching and Learning

Kimberly P. Johnson, Ed. D., Author, Curriculum Design Specialist

Sunday, April 8, 11:00am-2:30pm (including half-hour break)
The Conference Center and Inn at Clemson University
Pre-registration required. ($25/conference attendee, $50/non-conference attendee)

Sometimes, we feel that the only way to gauge success is through what statistics and benchmarks determine. However, the reality is that it takes a great deal of balance between research and the actual steps needed to teach and maintain success in the setting. True teaching requires an understanding of the intersections of play, teaching and learning. This institute will help participants utilize play to develop a balance between teaching and learning in such a way that it will inspire one to create positive interactions within schools, after-school programs and communities.

Implementing play into the daily activities and interactions of learning allows one to take the depth of education to a holistic level. This level of learning requires more than charts, graphs and assessments to engage our 21st Century learners. It requires facilitators who are not afraid to step out of the box and try new styles of teaching. Moreover, they are not afraid to challenge others to try new ways of learning. Through deeper understanding of learning styles and positive development, this engaging presentation will encourage educators to love to play and learn.

The presentation will focus on some of the following:
• Providing engaging activities that can be used immediately to promote play and learning
• Using both data and real-life experiences as catalysts to help build interaction through play
• How communication between facilitator and participant can help leverage the learning process
• The benefits of cultural awareness and culturally responsive teaching when integrating play into the setting

This and two other pre-conference institutes are available to conference attendees as an add-on option for $25/institute.  Cost to non-conference attendees is $50.  Pre-registration is required.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.

 

2018 Pre-Conference Institute –
A Playful Pedagogy: Introduction to Playwork

Linda Kinney, Manager of Playful Pedagogy at the North Carolina Zoological Park

Sunday, April 8, 11:00am-2:30pm (including half-hour break)
The Conference Center and Inn at Clemson University
Pre-registration required. ($25/conference attendee, $50/non-conference attendee)

This institute looks at the value of play and the importance of the adult in support of the playing child. Activities encourage deeper thinking into our role in children’s play as we explore open-ended ways to work with children using approaches employed in the playwork profession.

Opportunities for participants to discuss perceptions on play(ing), share ideas, and brainstorm ways to break down barriers to play will be included. We will also look at setting the stage for play; defining free play; assessing risk; and the effects of intervening in play.  The institute’s aim is to help participants strengthen knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence to inspire and support play, every day.

Activities will take place both indoors and out.

Topics covered:

What is Play?
We cover the broad definitions of play and interdisciplinary approaches to looking at play

The Intrinsic Value of Play
Value and benefits of play for all children (and adults)

Benefits of Outdoor Play
How outdoor environments benefits our well being

Definition of Playwork and the Playwork Principles
What is playwork? What does it mean to be a playworker? Some of the principles used in playwork practice and how those can be applied as a framework for working with children in the U.S.

Playwork Tools
Discovering – Affordances/Springboards/Loose Parts/The Play Continuum

The Play Cycle
Responding to cues between players and players and adults

Assessing Risk
The benefits of children and young people taking risks; weighing benefits vs. risk

Reflective Practice
The value of reflective practice

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the benefits of daily spontaneous and unstructured play, especially outdoors.
  • Recognize personal attitudes or feelings toward concepts such as unstructured play, risk in play, messy play, intervening in play, and the playwork principles and explore how those attitudes and feelings influence interactions with children.
  • Integrate the strategies presented to enhance their own support of playing children and young people.

This and two other pre-conference institutes are available to conference attendees as an add-on option for $25/institute.  Cost to non-conference attendees is $50.  Pre-registration is required.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.

 

2018 Pre-Conference Institute –
Effective Playground Protective Surfacing: The Key Element for Risk Assessment under the new ASTM F1487

Rolf Huber, Canadian Playground Advisory Inc.
Ken Kutska, International Playground Safety Institute, Inc.

Sunday, April 8, 11:00am-3:00pm (including half-hour break)
The Conference Center and Inn at Clemson University
Pre-registration required ($25/conference attendee, $50/non-conference attendee)
LACES CEU approved 
AIA HSW and LU approved 

Every type of surface has the potential to fail to perform as expected.  Manufacturers and distributors are obligated to market the advantageous aspects of their products but what questions should the owner/purchaser be asking of the supplier.  Playgrounds are a place of wonder for all to enjoy irrespective of ability or age. Without the knowledge necessary to purchase the appropriate surface system for your playground you are likely to experience problems with maintaining your playground in compliance with the current public playground standards and guidelines.

Part One

How the requirement in ASTM F1487-17 for a risk assessment by the designer of the playground is steered by surfacing choices

The history if impact attenuation and severity of injury.

  • Mechanism of injury prevention and severity reduction
  • What is an acceptable injury to a child?
  • How many playground injuries are there per year?  What are most frequent types of injuries? What are the main cause of these injuries? What is the cost?
  • How many traumatic brain injuries are sustained on playgrounds annually?

Review the current Standard of Care for Public Playground Impact Attenuating Surfacing

  • US CPSC Handbook for Public Playground Safety
  • Other ASTM Standards related to impact attenuation for surfacing.

Injury Reduction: Can playground injuries be reduced let alone prevented?

With the goal of injury reduction in mind; we will discuss the impact of the owner, designer, and/or manufacturers’ intended design use of the playground equipment versus the reality of how a child plays in unforeseeable and unintended ways.

Since the performance of surfacing greatly contributes to the potential for injury prevention and/or reduction in injury severity we will discuss what the owner/designer should consider when designing for more challenging play in the public playground.

Part Two

This section will outline the problems associated with different types of surfacing systems, their materials, installation and maintenance issues, and the problems related to cross contamination of loose-fill and unitary surface systems.

  • Review the different types playground surfaces available today.
  • Discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and performance issues of each.

What goes wrong with surfacing? We will discuss the common problems of maintaining compliant surfacing regardless of the type.  What is an accessible surface?

  • Every playground must meet the ADA as a minimum.  Current practices often do not meet the requirements for the removal of architectural barriers for all.  As play people we understand graduated challenges, with an empathy for all.  Understanding the role of surfacing in providing full challenging play to everyone is the goal of this portion of the session.
  • What is the law on accessibility?
  • How is accessibility compliance measured?

Good Product Selection and Purchasing Practices

  • There is not a perfect surface – We will have a discussion with the entire group to consider what is a good surface and how it enhances play, protects children and allows access to everyone wanting to play or participate in play.

Best Defense Against Claims of Surfacing Non-Compliance

This pre-conference institutes is available to conference attendees as an add-on option for $25/institute.  Cost to non-conference attendees is $50.  Pre-registration is required.

NOTE!  There are many other conference sessions approved for LACES and AIA CEUs.  Learn more.

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.

 

 


2018 Lineup of Pre-Conference Play Institutes Announced

We are thrilled to announce the 2018 lineup of Pre-Conference PLAY Institutes for the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play.

These PLAY Institutes are 3-hour topic-specific trainings that take place on Sunday, April 8 from 11:00am-2:30pm (includes a 30 minutes break).  Registration is required.  Cost is just $25 for conference attendees to attend the institute of your choice (or $50 for non-conference attendees).  Click on each of the titles below to learn more.

Utilizing Play: Creating the Balance between Teaching and Learning
Kimberly P. Johnson, Ed. D., Author, Curriculum Design Specialist
Sometimes, we feel that the only way to gauge success is through what statistics and benchmarks determine. However, the reality is that it takes a great deal of balance between research and the actual steps needed to teach and maintain success in the setting. True teaching requires an understanding of the intersections of play, teaching and learning. This institute will help participants utilize play to develop a balance between teaching and learning in such a way that it will inspire one to create positive interactions within schools, after-school programs and communities.  Learn more…

A Playful Pedagogy: Introduction to Playwork
Linda Kinney, Manager of Playful Pedagogy at the North Carolina Zoological Park
This institute looks at the value of play and the importance of the adult in support of the playing child. Activities encourage deeper thinking into our role in children’s play as we explore open-ended ways to work with children using approaches employed in the playwork profession.  The institute’s aim is to help participants strengthen knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence to inspire and support play, every day. Activities will take place both indoors and out.  Learn more…

Effective Playground Protective Surfacing: The Key Element for Risk Assessment under the new ASTM F1487
Rolf Huber, Canadian Playground Advisory Inc.
Ken Kutska, International Playground Safety Institute, Inc.
Every type of surface has the potential to fail to perform as expected.  Manufacturers and distributors are obligated to market the advantageous aspects of their products but what questions should the owner/purchaser be asking of the supplier.  Playgrounds are a place of wonder for all to enjoy irrespective of ability or age. Without the knowledge necessary to purchase the appropriate surface system for your playground you are likely to experience problems with maintaining your playground in compliance with the current public playground standards and guidelines. Learn more…

These Pre-conference Play Institutes are available to conference attendees as an add-on option for just $25 per person or as a stand alone option for $50 per person. Pre-registration is required.
 

January 29 #WePlayChat: Play To Heal Community Trauma

Join us Monday, January 29 at 9:00am EST as we welcome co-moderator Nathan LeJune from New Orleans to our #WePlayChat to discuss, “Play To Heal Community Trauma.”

After serving in various youth-development roles for over 10 years, Nathan ‘Nate’ LeJeune moved to New Orleans from South West Louisiana to be a part of the ever-changing community landscape. He has served as a Program Director for a local community-based youth development program (Excite All-Stars) and Program Manager for the Up2Us Sports AmeriCorps program. Nathan has now transitioned to training coaches and programs across the country in sports-based youth development strategies and practices. When Nathan isn’t studying the latest trauma-sensitive research, he enjoys spending time with his family, attending sporting events, and playing as many sports as his wife and body will allow. Join us in welcoming Nathan to our monthly #WePlayChat learning opportunities.

Here are the questions Nathan will be covering during #WePlayChat dialogue:

1. How can coaches and facilitators of play aid in healing a community affected by trauma?

2. We know that opportunities for free play develop strong social-emotional skills for kids. How can we incorporate safe opportunities for free play in sports settings?
 
3. When we play we create connections and build competency, the ability to learn new skills. How can these outcomes benefit our individual and communal sense of safety and contribute to healing?
 
4. What are other aspects of play and sport that can be therapeutic for kids, and help them feel safe and supported when playing?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats 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 and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


Playing from Scratch – Jianzi

Source: ©2015. Joyce Hemphill, Laura Scheinholtz, and Heather Von Bank and adapted from The Power of Playful Learning

Jianzi (pronounced schi-an-tshe) is a Chinese game that uses a shuttlecock. The game dates back to the 2nd century BC in China’s Han dynasty. It was developed by the Chinese military as a way to promote physical fitness and improve the stamina of the soldiers. A traditional jianzi is made by wrapping paper around a coin with a hole in the center and then decorating it with feathers.

Supplies:

  • Ring from plastic cap on milk jug
  • Plastic grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Large eraser

To make:

  • Lay the plastic grocery bag flat on the table. Using scissors, remove the handles and the bottom seam. Smooth out the bag so that it is flat on the surface. Cut the right side from bottom to top, and cut the left side from bottom to top creating two layers of rectangular plastic. It is OK if the edges are rough.
  • With layers together, turn the plastic so the longer side extends out in front.
  • Place the plastic ring at the top and center of the plastic sheets.
  • With the ring inside, fold the plastic over and over – like a burrito or an eggroll – until all the plastic is wrapped around the ring.
  • With fingers, locate the center of the plastic ring. Using the tips of the scissors carefully cut a small opening through all the layers of sheeting. If this doesn’t work, an adult can use the point of the scissors or pencil to poke a small opening through all the layers. Note: When poking through the layers using a pencil, place a large eraser on the table, lay the sheeting over the eraser, and poke down into the easer.
  • Take one end of the folded sheeting and push it through the opening. (A pencil may be helpful in completing this task.) Once through, pull tight.
  • Take the other end of the folded sheeting and push it through the opening – same way, same direction as the other one. Once through, pull tight.
    • It should look like rabbit ears.
  • Using scissors cut along the folded long edges to create a feathered look.

To play:

The objective is to keep the jianzi in the air as long as possible using only one’s feet and knees.

Suggestions:

  • Time how long the jianzi is played without touching the ground.
  • Count how many times the jianzi is kicked or tapped with the knee.
  • Count how many different body parts (e.g., left elbow, right elbow, left knee, right knee, head) are used to keep the jianzi in the air.
  • Count how many times the jianzi is batted between two players.

Variations:

  1. Tissue paper and balloons made from shiny foil-like plastic can replace plastic shopping bags.
  2. Use large plastic lids or shoe box lids as paddles to bat the jianzi back and forth between players.
  3. Form a circle of players and using feet or knees pass the jianzi from one to another. Try to get the jianzi around the entire circle without it touching the ground.