play helps kids grow up happy and healthy.

Decades of research has proven that play prepares us for life.

Play benefits a child’s social development, academic skills, language development, and physical well-being. Play is so important to optimal child development that the United Nations recognized it as a right of every child back in 1959.

But you don’t have to be an expert to understand the importance of play. Parents see firsthand how play helps their children learn to build community, learn to work with other people, and they learn to engage their sense of creativity.

“Everyone has a lot to say about how kids play. At the end of the day, the best ideas come from the kids themselves.”

David Rockwell, Designer of Imagination Playground

In a time of increasing childhood obesity and children spending more of their time with electronic screens, play has never been more important. But for a variety of reasons, including more rigorous academic demands at school and the rise “structured” activities replacing free, “unstructured” play, kids don’t seem to get enough.

Kids need to be active on many levels, and they play need to exercise their minds as well as their muscles. Running, jumping, and climbing are important. But so are construction play, fantasy or dramatic play, socio-cooperative play, and cross-age play. Research shows that children at the age of eight who have experienced varied and challenging play are considerably better prepared to benefit from ongoing formal education.

Imagination Playground meets a broad spectrum of play needs for a wide age range of kids, in a portable format that educational institutions and parks departments can afford. It’s a simple and proven effective way to give children back their play.

watch: why play matters at the aspen ideas festival

Featuring Sir Ken Robinson, David Rockwell,Walter Isaacson, author Kevin Carroll, and others.

watch: "playwork, an introduction"