the art and science of play
with Baltimore City Public Schools
at the Ultimate Block Party!
The statistics are staggering. We know that engaging children in learning through play is an integral part to how children learn, helping to develop key knowledge and skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, content acquisition, and creative innovation. Yet children have increasingly less time to play. Consider the facts.
In 1981, 40% of children’s time was spent in play. By 1997 that number had shrunk to 25% (Chaua-Eoan, 1999).
Thousands of schools in the United States no longer have recess (Elkind, 2008). Researcher Anthony Pellegrini has documented how having recess helps kids learn. Turns out that the kids who miss recess the most are the poor kids who ironically need to learn the most to catch up to their more advantaged peers (NY Times, 2009).
In last two decades children have lost an average of 8 hours of free play a week. The American Academy of Pediatricians call the decline of playtime a national crisis (Elkind, 2008).