Play and physical activity resource guide for educators & families

Play and physical activity resource guide for educators & families

COVID-19 has upended life as we know it. As we begin a very different school year, the Recess Advocacy Team continues to elevate play and provide support to educators and families. We compiled a list of resources for educators and families to make sure play and physical activity are a part of childrens’ days and serve as a foundation for their learning, growth, and development.

While we recognize the many stresses and challenges that both educators and parents are facing in navigating the new way of schooling and learning (and staying safe), we cannot lose sight of the role of play in the healthy development and learning of children. The Atlantic article titled How the Coronavirus is Influencing Children’s Play reveals how children are using play to make sense of the current situation.

This list includes resources, activities, and considerations for ensuring play shows up in our daily lives—and ways that educators and families can incorporate play/physical activity into children’s learning.

Resources for Play & Physical Activity

15-Day Family Fitness Challenge: Let’s Move at Phipps provides activities that encourage you to move, get creative, spend time together and just take a moment. This resource offers a variety of playful activities.

Moving More at Home: Free tools, resources, and games from Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Kohl’s.

Wide Open School Get Moving: Powered by Common Sense Media this page compiled online videos that will guide you through physical activities.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Parks on the Go: Digital guides for exploring the outdoors from anywhere.

Nature-themed Yoga Series: Four weeks of nature themed yoga activities brought to you by Open Up Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy & Venture Outdoors.

Creative Connections: Short videos created by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust teaching artists that cover multiple art forms.

Creative Curriculums: PA Standards aligned arts- integrated extensions to classroom curriculums that can be led for a group of students or for families to engage in at home.

ATL Parent Like A Boss, Inc.: Their mission is to enhance generational literacies through play in underserved African American communities. Follow the Facebook page for activity ideas.

Keeping Children Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Physical activity guidelines for children ages 3-12 with options for indoor and outdoor activities. Spanish version available here.

For further reading [each article includes links to other articles and more:]

In July 2020 The New York Times published a series of articles on how play shapes the way children see the world. The State of Play and the following stories remind us that play is the work of childhood.

The Magic of Black Girls Play Article discussing how game-songs created and passed down by Black girls are full of sophistication, power and cultural meaning.

When Playtime and the Coronavirus Collide  Article presenting the importance of children incorporating COVID into play as a sign a child is working through the intensity of living through something difficult, like a global pandemic.

Play Can Help Kids Speak the Unspeakable. Article outlining the benefits of play therapy to help children express their thoughts and feelings through playing rather than by talking about what’s happening in their lives.

The Recess Advocacy Team is a group of organizations dedicated to health and wellness, education, and play with a focus on recess practices and policies.