Conference Speakers Focus On “Planning for Play”

The Landscape Architect and Aquatic Play design expert agree on one thing—the key to a successful project is determined before the first shovel gets near the site. It’s all in the planning.

Marie-Catherine Dubé, Aquatic Play Design expert at Vortex International, and Zak Pierce, a professional Landscape Architect with CLH Design, will explain their common view at the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play in Clemson, South Carolina.

“We need to understand the site, the community’s culture, and how we can enhance the play experience through natural elements,” says Marie-Catherine. “We’ve found that water can elevate the play experience and plays a critical role in appealing to users of all ability levels.”

“We also need to consider the health, safety, and welfare of all users,” adds Zak. “We want our projects to accommodate a multi-generational audience so that everyone benefits from a community play space. It’s a lot more than picking components out of a catalog.”

Learn more about how you can maximize the play value of a community space, from design to execution, by attending their talk.


The Play Lady to Give PLAYtalk “Is Your Community Designed For Play?”

The name says it all…Pat Ruaaaaambaugh IS The Play Lady!  The co-founder of Let’s Play America, is on a mission to encourage joy, improve communities and connect neighbors through play.

“When I play, I am happy, energized and enthusiastic, and I feel like I can take on the world,” says Pat, who is a passionate play advocate and encourages people of all ages to experience the benefits of playing.

Pat speaks all over the country about the importance of play.  She is frequent blogger on the topic as well, contributing to Psychology Today, Genius of Play, AARP and Play and Playground Magazine.  Pat is also author of a children’s book, Let’s Play at the Playground, published in 2013.

The Play Lady has organized more than 60 free events, and her small city sees three “Play Days” a year — including one just for adults — that attract several hundred people. Because of The Play Lady, her hometown has been named a Playful City USA eight times!

The Play Lady’s PLAYtalk is entitled, “Is Your Community Designed For Play?”


Powerful LiiNK Project is Another Beneficiary of Giving TuesPLAY Funds

Giving TuesPLAY is TODAY! When you donate to the US Play Coalition, you will be helping to fund our Action and Research Grants for playmakers and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement.

reserach grant winners 2016Debbie Rhea and Alexander Rivchun from Texas Christian University were the 2016 Research Grant winners for their work on the LiiNK Project.  The LiiNK team has been making headlines with their incredible work to get more and more frequent recess in the daily school schedukids-on-climbing-rings le. Their successes in Texas elementary schools have gone viral!

The LiiNK Project (Let’s inspire innovation ‘N Kids) is in its fourth year overall and its second year in public schools (14 elementary schools total). We were very fortunate to receive a research grant from the U.S. Play Coalition to continue our work in the public schools to improve learning through play and character building. LiiNK’s intervention encompasses three aspects: 1) teacher and administrator training on how and why the combination of unstructured, outdoor play and character development are important to the school day; 2) implementing four-15 minute unstructured, outdoor play sessions daily in the schools; 3) implementing four- 15 minute character development lessons weekly in the schools. The research grant funds were used this year to help implement this intervention in 10 more elementary schools at the grades K and 1 levels.kids-on-playground-structure

Schools have become so focused on learning outcomes and assessment tools that little regard has been given to the social, emotional, and physical health of our children. As a result, teachers and administrators do not know how to allow more flexibility in the school day for unstructured play and social emotional learning due to academic time constraints daily. We have been able to train LiiNK teachers and administrators to think differently about how to integrate play and character into the school day without losing learning time. The results that we have collected are amazing in all aspects for the child and the teacher. Different results that will be highlighted in the presentation are BMI trends over a two year period, behavior shifts in the classroom, attentional fatigue trends, and reading/writing score outcomes.

To supkids-on-swingsport great projects like this, make sure to donate to the US Play Coalition TODAY!  Time is ticking for #GivingTuesPLAY!

 

 


Giving TuesPLAY supports Child-Centered Play at University of Florida

Giving TuesPLAY is TODAY! When you donate to the US Play Coalition, you will be helping to fund our Action and Research Grants for playmakers and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement.

Sondra Smlearning-to-playith and her team at the University of Florida were 2016 Action Grant Recipients.ready-to-play

With their grant, the university has created child-centered play time at TWO elementary schools in their area! Both of these schools serve children who are high needs, and the program works with 18 children at this time. Play is fun for these kids with toys, puppets, and other activities, but it is also an important part in their counseling. Graduate students in the university’s counselor education program are learning about the value of play in counseling children as they work with the students at these schools.

To support great projects like this, make sure to donate to the US Play Coalition TODAY!

 


US Play Coalition Launches New Website

We are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new website usplaycoalition.org

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Our goal with this new website is to provide our visitors an easier way to learn about what the US Play Coalition does, why we do what we do, and how to get involved. The new website is interactive and gives better access to our content. It also features integrated social media buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn to foster improved communication with our members. We will be constantly updating our content with helpful information, articles, blogs, newsletters, announcements and member successes.

We hope you find the new website has a fresh look, is easy to use and is informative. For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please e-mail us.