The Genius of Play, a nonprofit initiative dedicated to raising awareness of play’s vital role in child development, has announced the kickoff to “Play All May,” the first-ever month-long celebration of play! The celebration will further The Genius of Play’s mission by educating families about the benefits of play, helping parents understand how a “prescription for play” supports children, and encouraging a healthy dose of play alongside other activities.
“The benefits of play are proven by decades of research and supported by leading child development experts,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association, the group that spearheads The Genius of Play. “Despite that, today’s children are under more pressure and stress than ever, juggling full schedules with school and extracurricular activities, leaving no unstructured downtime for them to just be kids. This play deficit is a real issue, which is why The Genius of Play is dedicating an entire month to encouraging families to make time for play.”
According to a recent clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), play is fundamentally important for developing 21st century skills, including social, emotional, language, and cognitive skills. The AAP recommends play for children to buffer toxic stress, build parental relationships, and improve executive functioning.
Throughout May, The Genius of Play will share on its website and social media channels fun and engaging play activities for every day of the month, notable research facts, and other impactful play-related information. Daily giveaways of toy and game prizes will also be awarded to lucky winners on @GeniusofPlay Facebook and Instagram pages. Learning Express will be joining in on the “Play All May” fun with more than 75 of its U.S. stores holding events to bring the celebration to their local communities.
“Play All May” is further supported by the launch of a PSA campaign on national TV to generate widespread awareness of the vital importance of play to children. The three spots feature a unifying theme of playless days for an overscheduled young boy who is being driven from one activity to the next while wishing for a break from the routine to play and have fun. He ultimately gets the opportunity to play when his pediatrician writes him a “prescription for play”.
For more information about The Genius of Play and healthy play habits for kids, visit TheGeniusofPlay.org.