GLENCOE – Who said it’s time to stay inside when it gets cold? On the morning of Saturday, January 27, children of all ages and their families are invited to get outside and participate in a variety of hands-on, exploratory play activities at Watts Park in Glencoe. Bundle up because this free event will be held in snow, rain, or shine!
From 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., The Alliance for Early Childhood will host a winter play experience as part of a yearlong “Let’s Play” initiative, the goal of which is to support child-initiated, free-play. The Alliance for Early Childhood has brought together an impressive list of partners for the first “Let’s Play” event of 2018 including:
- The BackYard Nature Center
- Chicago Botanic Garden
- Glencoe Park District
- Glencoe Public Library
- Lincoln Park Zoo
The importance of maintaining and encouraging child-initiated, free-play is becoming increasingly apparent as parents, teachers, and caregivers strive to find balance in the needs of their digital-native children, who on-average spend upwards of 4 hours a day engaged with a screen.
“The practice of unstructured, child-initiated, free play is universally accepted as critical to a child’s social, cognitive, physical, and emotional growth, and therefore, is essential to childhood,” said The Alliance for Early Childhood Executive Director Liza Sullivan. “Yet children today are playing less than any previous generation. Children’s lives are over-scheduled, schools are increasing homework, and passive screentime is eroding what little free time children would otherwise have for play. The Alliance’s seasonal community play days provide a variety of fun opportunities for families to connect with each other and with other families through play. These programs also model for parents clear, easy ways to restore free play as an activity central in their children’s lives.”
To be a part of this important initiative to promote the importance of children’s unstructured play, families are encouraged to participate in all 2018 Community Play Days. The remaining events are: 1) Saturday, April 28, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and Monday, June 4, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. For more details and information, visit www.TheAllianceForEC.org or Facebook.com/TheAllianceForEC.
- Date & Time: Saturday, January 27, 9:30-11:30am
- Location: Watts Park, Glencoe (Watts Park & Rec Room at Watts Center), 305 Randolph St, Glencoe
- Time: 9:30-11 a.m.; Pop-Up Play Area – Loose Parts Play
- Time: 11-11:30 a.m.; Storytime facilitated by Glencoe Public Library
About the Alliance for Early Childhood:
The Alliance for Early Childhood is a unique, not-for-profit community collaboration dedicated to promoting healthy growth and development in a child’s early years, ages birth through eight. Based in Chicago’s North Shore, The Alliance is a trusted resource, with two cultivated streams of initiatives: one serving the needs of the parents and caregivers of young children, and the other focusing on educators of children up through grade 3. The year-round, rich programming schedule reaches more than 10,000 youth, and their families, and educators annually and includes an expert speaker series, biannual newsletters, educator networking events, collaborative roundtable groups, and community activities, including ScreenBreak Week and Let’s Play. For more than 28 years, the non-profit organization has worked to create a community that values and respects its children, views them as a collective responsibility, and sees childhood as an important stage of development. For more information visit us online at: www.TheAllianceForEC.org.