December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48

IPEMA
Playworks, a nonprofit that works
nationally with school systems on
developing play, says, " We definitely
saw how the pandemic affected
children's play. For many months,
kids' access to play was very limited.
Children were cut off from play with
others and the amount of time they
could play daily was limited. Not
only were they deprived of the physical
activity, but they could not get the
social benefits of play either. "
Norquist agrees that kids lost out,
but he believes that the closure of
playgrounds in the early stages of
the pandemic made children and
parents appreciate being outdoors
so much more than they did before.
" People want to be outside, " he
says. " The pandemic enabled families
to be outdoors together. In doing
so, it rekindled how much fun it
was to play together. And, families
realized once again how great their
local parks are. "
Suk agrees that the pandemic
has led to a greater appreciation
of outdoor play. The pandemic
significantly increased social isolation
and inactivity for kids, he says.
" Access to playgrounds and nature
playspaces has a deeply positive
effect on children's physical and
mental health, " Suk notes.
The Role of Playgrounds in
Promoting Diversity, Equity
and Inclusion
Playgrounds in parks, schoolyards
and other public places are trusted
public spaces. They are some of the
few places that children can meet
others unlike them, including children
of different races, ethnicities and
religious backgrounds, to allow children
to engage in unstructured spontaneous
play. For kids, playgrounds
are equivalent to the " public square "
for adults - that is, places where all
may freely express themselves.
Many play experts and park and
recreation professionals
attest
to
the inclusive nature of play and the
need for playgrounds to be inclusive.
García says, " When children
are playing together, they don't see
race or ethnicity or disability. "
The Voice of Play survey by
IPEMA asked two important questions
of parents regarding how playgrounds
make their kids more tolerant
and inclusive. Parents were asked
if they agreed with this statement:
" Playing on the playground helps
children to be inclusive of others
who may have different abilities and
Voice of Play Survey question - To what extent do you agree or
disagree with the following statement: My child's spontaneous
play with other kids on the playground shapes their view of
equality for all, regardless of race and ability levels.
Response
Agree strongly
Agree somewhat
Disagree somewhat
Disagree strongly
QuickFacts
Agree (net)
Disagree (net)
48 Parks & Recreation | DECEMBER 2 0 2 1
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
%
52%
40%
6%
3%
92%
9%
backgrounds than their own. " More
than 90 percent of parents surveyed
agreed strongly or somewhat with
the statement see chart on p. 46).
Parents were also asked how
much they agreed with this statement:
" My child's spontaneous play
with other kids on the playground
shapes their view of equality for all,
regardless of race and ability levels. "
Again, greater than 90 percent
agreed strongly or somewhat with
the statement (see chart below).
" Play evokes empathy, " Norquist
says, quoting Dr. Stuart Brown,
founder of the National Institute
for Play. Brown believes play is instrumental
in discovering the full
potential in everyone. Norquist says
that play is the great equalizer and
that the inclusive design of playgrounds
will help foster a welcoming
environment for all kids, as well
as build tolerance and acceptance
of differences. García agrees: " Play
really does transcend differences in
race, ethnicity and gender. It creates
a means for youth to connect with
each other and themselves. It is
where children find commonality. "
Colman notes that an important
consideration is to identify the gaps
where children and communities
don't have access to quality parks
and playspaces. In Los Angeles
County, García says that her team
definitely saw the impacts of a lack
of public playgrounds, especially in
poorer communities and communities
of color where children had
few opportunities for play. In April
2021, they instituted a campaign,
called Everybody Play, to encourage
people to get outside and play
in parks. They partnered with the
county's youth employment department
to hire youth to work in
the program and had 31,000 participants
in two months.
For those in urban areas who live

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 32
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 44
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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