Hi New Yorkers! Today — Sun., Oct. 3 — is the “Ultimate Block Party” at the bandshell area in Central Park, from 11 till 5 (enter at 72nd and 5th). I know it sounds a little strange to say there will be booths and volunteers teaching kids about things as simple as playing “store,” or making music with pots and pans. But let’s give credit to the organizers, a group called Play for Tomorrow. Their goal is a noble one: to bring old-fashioned play back into the lives of kids. In their own words:
In 2009, a small group of educators, business leaders, authors and researchers formed Play for Tomorrow to champion the importance of play in the lives of children. Conceived as a multi-tiered social movement, the groundbreaking initiative aims to ensure that all children are provided with the competitive skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century global economy as well as build a public dialog to underscore the value of play in fostering lifelong achievement and social, emotional and physical well being. Play for Tomorrow is committed to working towards affecting policy and education delivery and overcoming the disconnect between what we know about learning and how we are teaching. The organization’s mission is to change attitudes, beliefs and practices about playful learning among families, educators, child-care providers, pediatricians and policymakers.
In other words: the organizers believe that play is crucial to nurturing healthy, happy, curious, competent and creative kids, who become creative, curious, etc., etc., adults . Their motto? How you play is who you become.
There’s a lot to that statement. To learn more about the Ultimate Block Party or Play for Tomorrow, click here!