The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA™) recently introduced an initiative, called Voice of Play, with the objective to increase the quality and quantity of children’s play. Designed by members of IPEMA, the program will work to increase awareness of the developmental benefits of play. In addition, the group will promote giving children more opportunities to play, as well as creating safer places for them to play.
The Voice of Play initiative is gaining momentum in the fight to position play as an important aspect in the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of children. A website was created to provide information to parents, community groups, schools, landscape architects, and park and recreation officials. In addition, a Board of Advisors has been formed, comprised of child development experts. IPEMA is also working toward an increased presence in the media.
Other organizations such as Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon have also created programs to encourage parents and community members to continue the efforts toward more and better play. Additionally, the first museum dedicated to children’s play, Strong National Museum, opened its doors in July of 2006 in Rochester, NY.
More play-focused initiatives are expected to be introduced throughout the year. If you would like to know more about the IPEMA Voice of Play program, go to www.voiceofplay.com.