Decline in children’s play time shown in new study

Do you think your kids get enough opportunity for play?

According to our recent poll, more than half of parents think that children today have fewer opportunities for play than children 20 years ago. And while nearly two-thirds of parents think the ideal amount of daily play time is between one and two hours, they reported that their children get one hour or less of unstructured play time each day.

Unstructured play time

Our survey, which took place in June 2017 and was conducted by ORC International, polled parents of children 12 years and under to understand their attitudes on the value of unstructured play. Topics ranged from important life skills gained on the playground to opportunities for free play.

Children's play opportunities

We recently commissioned a meta study in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, which confirmed our culture’s growing infringement on children’s play opportunities. According to the study, a long list of daily distractions competes for children’s free time: hectic family lifestyles, organized activities, T.V. and electronic devices, and academically packed school schedules.

Learn more about our research and request a download of the full whitepaper at shapedbyplay.com.

Play shapes children into successful adults

Friendship

Children’s early experiences and the settings they inhabit play a powerful role in shaping the adults they will become. That’s according to a meta-study we recently commissioned in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development.

Our goal with the meta-study was to understand how children’s play behavior on school and community playgrounds contributes to whole-child health and development. The study aggregates and analyzes key findings from some of the most influential studies on children and play. Request a copy of the full research whitepaper at shapedbyplay.com.

We believe that play and playgrounds help children learn leadership, persistence, competition, bravery, support and empathy. And it’s play experiences that help shape kids into thinkers, dreamers and leaders. Watch our video below that brings the WHY
of what we do to life.

New playground welcomes all, supports recovery

Sullivan Playgroud at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital features an inclusive design.

Last week, we celebrated the grand opening of Sullivan Playground at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. The playground is named for Minnesota Vikings Center John Sullivan, who pledged $150,000 to create the play space. Vikings teammate Chad Greenway, through his Lead the Way Foundation, and the Minnesota Vikings football organization also committed $25,000 each to bring the project to fruition.

Vikings Center John Sullivan welcomes patients and their siblings to the inclusive playground at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital.

Sullivan Playground is a safe and accessible playground for patients and their siblings to play while they’re visiting the hospital. The playground features a large concrete elephant, a concrete manta ray bench, a Permalene® giraffe panel, nature-inspired roofs and PebbleFlex® safety surfacing with custom graphics including John’s signature. Even more than the unique visual aspects, the playground’s design features take into account the patients who will use the equipment.

Children with IVs can use the Rollerslide without worrying about getting tangled in the posts.

The Rollerslide was customized to accommodate children with IVs.

Following are just a few of the inclusive components incorporated into Sullivan Playground:

  • Because some children at Amplatz must be hooked up to IVs constantly, the playground features a custom Rollerslide that allows kids to climb up and slide down without getting tangled in the equipment. This is the first commercial outdoor slide ever made to accommodate children with IVs.
  • Swaying benches provide a place for parents and children to relax and take in the fresh air.
  • A climbing net gives patients’ siblings a place to blow off steam while they develop their large motor skills.
  • A Talk Tube located in the elephant’s trunk allows kids on the ground to communicate with friends on the structure’s upper deck.
  • A shade structure provides protection for kids whose treatments make them sensitive to the sun.
  • Children using walkers or wheelchairs can navigate the playground with ease on this cushioned, porous surface.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for Sullivan Playground at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital.

The grand opening celebration included a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring a special patient and his family. Immediately following the ceremony patients and families were able to test out the new playground.