• Run. Spin. Be free.

  • Breathe. Stretch. Grow.

  • Climb. Swing. Slide.

Here we explore play:

why children need it and how to keep it from fading away.

Play is good for children – especially play in nature, unstructured free play, and play that offers regular breaks from class time. However, many kids aren’t getting enough playtime due to a variety of reasons, from parents worried about injuries to school districts concerned about standardized tests. Ironically, cutting out play is a real risk itself. Children need play to develop creativity and problem solving skills, to build social relationships, to promote gross and fine motor development, and for overall good health. Tree Play Free Play studies the benefits of play, the reasons for the decrease in childhood playtime, and what we can do to reverse the trend of decreased time devoted to play.

Nature-Based Play

Playing outside surrounded by nature offers children physical and mental health benefits, plus it's just quite fun!

Learning Through Play

Children need time to play in their own way and to create their own games, free from the structure of planned, adult-led activities.

Movement and Recess

Kids need regular breaks from classroom instruction to release energy, move their bodies, and engage their senses.

  % of Principals Who Think Recess Has a Positive Impact on Social Development
  % of Principals Who Report Taking Recess Away as Punishment
  % of children from industrialized countries who rely on television and schooling to provide them with their ecological knowledge
  % of children who meet doctors' recommendations for physical activity

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

- John Muir

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

- George Bernard Shaw

What we think, we become.

- Buddha

It is a happy talent to know how to play.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You are troubled at seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Is it nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy as now.

- Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.

- E. E. Cummings