Why Play Has Become Critical

Why Play Has Become Critical

Play is not just for fun. It’s downright critical for our kids’ development.

Imagine 2016_44Our children are getting lost in an adult-centered world of structure, measurement and competition. Their time is being taken and the youth-led activity of play is being left behind. Furthermore, there is a gap in access to safe play for children across neighborhoods. Play equipment and materials come with a price tag and outdoor play is harder to come by in certain communities.

There is a reason that young animals play. It develops the cognitive and physical skills necessary to survive in the wild. The same cause has been made for humans. When children play, they build prosocial skills, independence, and creativity, and even practice adult roles. Taking away our kids’ access to play time isn’t just robbing them of a childhood, it is hurting their development and thus their future.

3 Things to do to Support Children’s Play

Schedule youth-led play time.  If you are a parent, caregiver or teacher, you can ensure that unstructured play time is on the schedule. Play among children should be supported as well as independent play time for each child.

Advocate for playtime in preschool.  If you are a parent, teacher or youth advocate, get involved in discussions around education policy. Familiarize yourself with youth development and education research and the benefits of play to advocate to keep play time sacred in our early youth development space. Continue advocating for unstructured, youth-led play and activities beyond early child education.

Play with kids.  It is also important for adults to play with children. Whether you are a parent, caregiver or friend to a child, take the opportunity to join children in their world of play. It gives you an opportunity to support their play and observe and learn more about the child.  The byproduct is you will have fun reconnecting to this part of yourself.

Together we can support our youth’s development by advocating to keep play a part of their day!

Innovative Thinkers Forum III: Why Creativity is Critcal

ITF IIIEveryone knows our kids are our future.

Philanthropists, educators, child advocates and the government funnel a great deal of time, energy and dollar bills to our kids. Yet there remains some rising crises facing the kids in our country and one in particular really gets me: The “Creativity Crisis.” So dubbed in 2011 after Kyung Hee Kim’s disturbing empirical research detailing the rise and fall of our kids’ creative cognitive abilities took the world by storm. Kim writes: “children have become less emotionally expressive, less energetic, less talkative and verbally expressive, less humorous, less imaginative, less unconventional, less lively and passionate, less perceptive, less apt to connect seemingly irrelevant things, less synthesizing, and less likely to see things from a different angle.”

The Bad News

This reality is particularly worrisome in light of the fact that creativity in our children will be absolutely required to address the issues we will all be faced with in the coming years. We live in a rapidly evolving world and we will need a generation of cutting edge critical thinkers to think our way out of the myriad of messes we’ve created. Without the cognitive abilities Kim details above, how are we going to get at the complexities of our most pressing problems?

The Good News

This is all rather simple. We are not supporting the creativity that already exists within each and every child. In fact, the opposite is often true – their imaginative nature is being stifled by overly structured days, excessive performance pressure, and technological inundation. BUT all we as adults need to do is give children the space, time and opportunities for their innate creativity to flourish.

The Great News (And Where You Come In)

Thankfully, there are people out there doing just this. And there happens to be a one-of-a-kind event in Orange County, CA on the evening of October 22 that gives us all a chance to support it: Team Kids Innovative Thinkers Forum III, hosted at Oakely‘s iconic headquarters in Foothill Ranch, is bringing together Hollywood Avenger Jeremy Renner and leading global innovators from NASA, Oakley and Ekso Bionics to speak in an intimate panel about their respective paths to innovation and how to inspire ingenuity in our youngest leaders. An impressive group of these young leaders will be present, showcasing international prize winning science fair projects and asking Jeremy Renner questions about innovation. They will also be joined by leading entrepreneurial students from UC Irvine, who will demonstrate their brilliant products designed to improve our future.

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of The Baden Family, who has underwritten the entire cost of this incredible event, 100% of the ticket proceeds will support Team Kids’ award-winning programs which are themselves innovative and designed to empower our children to change the world. Everything about this experience will celebrate and support innovation. You won’t want to miss an opportunity to be a part of it, especially if the issue of creativity and our collective future is near and dear to your heart. We look forward to seeing you there!

Food and beverages by Haven Gastropub, The Bruery and Portola Coffee Lab!
ITF III Food Vendors-01

Purchase Tickets Here!

Join sponsors Oakley, United Exchange Corporation, UCI’s ANTrepreneur Center, Wells Fargo, California Republic Bank, Cox Cares, Edwards Lifesciences and GeoMedia Digital!

Click Here For Sponsorship Opportunities

ITF III Sponsors


Today in Orange County, most of the work being done in health and human services focuses, appropriately, on the immediate needs of the disadvantaged. Team Kids takes a different approach, directing their energies toward our youth, teaching them the value and power of working together to solve community issues. In so doing, they are developing the philanthropists of the future and creating systematic change in our community.”

OC United Way, CEO Max Gardner

Team Kids is addressing critical child and community needs today, while also building our next generation of problem solvers.”

Dan Lubeck, Team Kids Board Member

I became a Founding Team Kids Board Member in 2004, after witnessing the leadership and compassion being developed in the students participating in the Team Kids Challenge Program. Team Kids engenders a culture where it is everyone’s right, regardless of age, to be a powerful agent for change.”

Bethany LaFlam, Team Kids Board Member

Team Kids, to me, is an antidote to entitlement and one great way to create the responsible citizens we all want as future leaders.”

Mike Cupps, Team Kids Board Member; Private Investor

Call us at 949 861 4887

© 2020 Team Kids. All rights reserved. Orange County Web Design by iCreativeCanvas