The 2011 Play for Life Symposium, held Sept. 22-23, in Minneapolis, attracted park and recreation professionals, landscape architects, individuals working for nonprofit organizations and many more.
Prior to the two-day Symposium, we hosted a small group of attendees at Landscape Structures’ headquarters. They learned about the history of Landscape Structures before taking a tour through our manufacturing facility, and then were able to go on playground visits around Delano. That evening, we hosted a social and gave them an opportunity to network and meet Symposium speakers.
The Symposium kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 22. Day one of the event focused on the many dimensions of inclusive play including traveling with a disability, music, inclusive playground design and playground programming.
Day two of the Symposium concentrated on inclusive play and the natural outdoors. Attendees heard from Bethe Almeras, Head Start Body Start; Carol A. Krawczyk, ASLA; and Hedda Sharapan, The Fred Rogers Company. Each of the day’s speakers discussed play in the outdoors, engagement in any environment and how it affects our lives as grownups. With more interaction among attendees, this was a great way to close the third annual Symposium.
Play is beneficial for all of us; it brings families, friends and communities together. Play encourages learning, fitness and true happiness. Research shows that play is a key element of development and health for individuals of all ages and abilities. Getting out and playing are not just “children-only” activities. In a world with so many harsh realities and over-scheduled lives, it is important that we all get out to explore and play.