Playing for the health of it

I found the following on a page of "core beliefs" from an organization calling itself "Playing for Keeps."

Parents and caregivers perform a critical role in play.

Parents and caregivers are children's first playmates, and they play a key role in creating fun, constructive playtime experiences for their children throughout childhood. The more parents and caregivers understand the links between play and healthy development, the more they will be equipped to make informed decisions about play.

I was delighted to discover that someone had actually made this statement, and to find it part of such an enlightened set of beliefs. But I found myself having to add my own emphasis on that part about understanding "the links between play and healthy development" I wanted to add an emphasis that somehow made parents and caregivers of children aware of the links between play and healthy development in their own personal, parenting and non-parenting, caregiving and not, lives. That it's important to their grown-up health that they spend quality grown-up time playing with their children and playing with other grown-ups and with those grown-upper, and all alone, with their own, personal, grown-up selves. Playing healthfully, with our without kids is healthy for everyone involved.

I like their purpose. I like their concept of "Constructive Play." They put on what appears to be a power conference for people who take children's play seriously. Here's the list of topics:

The knowledge base about play
The latest practice innovations
Tools for play and learning: toys, children's publications, and children's entertainment
How to communicate the benefits of play to parents and administrators
Making play accessible to all kids, including those with disability and those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged
Outdoor play and responding to movements to eliminate recess in schools
Research Round-up: Viewpoints on play with violent themes
Technology in toys: the pros and cons
Making play emotionally safe: the latest on anti-bullying efforts

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