Friday, March 1, 2013

Speaking of Play

Providence Children’s Museum and the Providence Athenaeum present a series of panel discussions, moderated by Museum director Janice O'Donnell, about the critical importance of self-directed play for children’s healthy growth and development. Conversations will be held the first Tuesday of March, April and May at the Athenaeum (251 Benefit Street in Providence) and are free and open to the public.

Leave No Child Inside
Tuesday, March 5 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Today’s children play outside less than any previous generation, yet free outdoor play connects kids to the natural world and builds imagination, resiliency and confidence.  Join a discussion about what’s keeping them inside and what we can do to get them out!

Panelists: Chris Hitchener, “Our Big Backyard” Program Manager, Roger Williams Park Zoo; Paul Pieri, Middle School Farm Program Director, The Wheeler School; and Jeanine Silversmith, Founder and Director, RI Families in Nature.

What Happened to Recess? 
Tuesday, April 2 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Recess is crucial for kids, resulting in better attention span, improved classroom behavior, and important opportunities for free play, creativity and interaction with other children – yet it is increasingly limited or withheld.  Join the great recess debate!

Panelists: Alicia Bell, Elementary art teacher and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School parent; Dr. Lauren Greve, Psychologist and Vartan Gregorian Elementary School parent; and Phyllis Penhallow, URI Lecturer and Chariho Elementary School parent.

Play & Risk: How Safe is Too Safe?
Tuesday, May 7 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Acceptable risk is beneficial to kids’ physical and emotional development, so when did it become a 4-letter word?  Taking risks helps children learn about their own capabilities and limits while increasing their comfort with making mistakes and taking on challenges.  Discuss ways to foster healthy risk-taking in kids’ play.

Panelists include: Wendy Nilsson, Director, Partnership for Providence Parks, and Janice O’Donnell, Executive Director, Providence Children’s Museum.

Series is sponsored by online parent resource Kidoinfo. RSVPs are welcome to Lindsay Shaw, or (401) 421-6970 ext. 17. Click here to download a flyer for the series.

Also join the Museum and researchers from Brown University on Tuesday, March 12 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM to hear about a new collaborative project investigating children's scientific thinking and recent research on children's play and learning. Learn more.

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