two girls playing on blacktop
two girls playing on blacktop

November 8, 2022

Play Contributes to Safe and Healthy Communities ›

Play is an essential part in building safe and healthy communities where children feel connected and invested in the world around them. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of…

kids running on playground
kids running on playground

October 24, 2022

Kids are Still Recovering from Pandemic Losses. Play Can Help. ›

As pandemic school closures recede into memory for many schools, the impacts linger. Kids, educators, and families are still working on creating a new normal.  One working paper from the Calder Center found that during the 2020-2021 school year, students whose schools went virtual for the longest stretch of time lost around half a school…

kids playing on blacktop
kids playing on blacktop

September 30, 2022

How Social and Emotional Support Rewires Brains—and Schools ›

“Better recess creates better learning. Happier children learn better.”  – Victoria Grau, Recess Supervisor, John Garvy Elementary School, Chicago, IL “Happy kids learn better” may seem like good common sense—but it is also good neuroscience. Kids who easily return to a baseline sense of calm throughout the day have better learning outcomes. But staying calm…

May 10, 2017

How Canyons School District Improved Outcomes District-Wide With Playworks ›

When Utah introduced new state PE standards in 2015, Canyons knew they needed to act quickly. At the same time, they didn’t want to lose sight of their highest-priority strategies for their 29 schools. “We were really addressing four things at once,” recalls Allan Whitmore, Canyons’ evidence based learning specialist. “In addition to common teacher…

December 20, 2016

Play Works for Rochester ›

Play is transforming children and adults in the City of Rochester. In a large school gymnasium in Rochester, NY, a group of adults are giggling and running around, playing a game called ‘Watch Your Back Tag’. It’s a game where everyone’s ‘it’ and you re-join the game when the person who originally tagged you is…

November 28, 2016

How One Tennessee School Turned Recess Around ›

When P.E. teacher Hannah Reinke found out that her students at Antioch Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee would get daily recess, she was thrilled. Then reality hit. Last year, Antioch Middle School borrowed time from other periods to give students recess for the first time. Seven teachers, including Reinke, were charged with leading a recess break…

September 15, 2016

Fun and Games Means Learning for Teachers, Too ›

At The Waldorf School of Baltimore, “all fun and games” means serious learning—for teachers! This year, the school brought in Playworks trainer Sean Keelan to lead two days of hands-on workshops for teachers before the first day of school. Curious about partnering with Playworks? Read the Waldorf School of Baltimore’s blog “Fun & Games” to see how…

September 21, 2015

Teaching Empathy on the Playground ›

Empathy is arguably the most important life skill our kids can learn. Recess is where students have the most freedom to practice empathy . . . or not. As a principal, I’ve seen students fight over space on the blacktop, space in line, and even over friends. At John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Daly City, CA, this was…