Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Leave No Child Inside

The first conversation in our Speaking of Play series – Leave No Child Inside – featured an enthusiastic exchange of ideas and resources for increasing kids’ outdoor playtime.

Some of the issues
Credit: Susan Sancomb
  • Kids today play outside considerably less than their parents did, potentially less than any generation in history.
  • The quantity of kids’ homework is increasing and impacts time for play.
  • Kids have too much structured time, both in and out of school.
  • Some schools and communities lack appropriate spaces for play – or other kids who play outside.
  • Low-income kids’ opportunities for free play and outdoor play are especially limited and they are at a higher risk for play deprivation.
Some of the ideas
  • What if schools devoted time to outdoor education, to learning in outdoor environments?  If, starting in 1st grade, every child at every school could spend at least one week outside?
    (Inspired by The Wheeler School, where each 6th grader spends 8 weeks in an outdoor classroom and demonstrates better focus than in a traditional classroom.)
  • What if schools gave less homework, and found ways to make it more creative and interesting or involve the outdoors?
  • What if parents joined forces and reclaimed kids’ out-of-school time (which makes up 80% of their waking hours), and allowed kids to play outside in their neighborhoods together?
  • What are YOUR ideas of ways to ensure kids get more outdoor playtime?
Outdoor play resources shared
The lively discussion often hit upon the hot-button issue of recess, conveniently the topic of the next conversation in the Speaking of Play series. Join the great recess debate on Tuesday, April 2 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM at the Providence Athenaeum!

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