Play Organizations and Links


Adventure Playground, Berkeley
The Adventure Playground at the Berkeley Marina opened in 1979. It is a unique outdoor facility where staff encourage children to play and build creatively, including unusual child-designed and built forts, boats, and towers. Children can hammer, saw, and paint. By providing these low-risk activities, Adventure Playground creates opportunities for children to learn cooperation, meet physical challenges and gain self confidence.

Adventure Playgrounds
Adventure playgrounds provide a space for children to play freely and creatively without the limitations of fixed play equipment or organized activities and games. Children are given the safety of an enclosed supervised environment. Playworkers are always present to mediate disputes between children and to help them when necessary. Lia Sutton prepared this website as a senior project while studying at Hampshire College. It gives an overview of adventure playgrounds.

The Association for the Study of Play
Membership organization, formerly the Association for the Anthropological Study of Play. Sponsors conferences, research, and a newsletter. Also publishes Play and Cultural Studies, an annual peer-reviewed volume of current theory and research on play in a variety of disciplines.

Association of Children's Museums—Playing for Keeps 
A national non-profit coalition of parents, toy industry leaders, scholars, educators, cultural leaders, and others dedicated to the optimal development of children by supporting, promoting, and protecting the role of play in our culture.

Boundless Playgrounds
Boundless Playgrounds is the first national nonprofit dedicated to helping communities create playgrounds where all children, with and without disabilities, can develop essential skills for life as they learn together through play.

CCFC—Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
CCFC is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups, and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children.

The Children’s Environments Research Group, Roger Hart
CERG provides an important link between university scholarship and the development of policies, environments, and programs that fulfill children’s rights and improve the quality of their lives.

Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative Web Site
The new repository for ERIC/EECE materials

Frost Play Research Collection
Extensive list of links to play research materials and sites

Games Kids Play
Children’s games, rules for playground games, jump rope rhymes, circle games, etc.

The Good Toy Group
A site showcasing 58 independent toy retailers who produce an online catalog featuring toys chosen by them on the basis of creative play value, cultural sensitivity, and nonviolence that promote happy, healthy childhoods

Hamill Family Play Zoo
The idea behind the two-acre Play Zoo is that children need to touch, explore, build, and do.Touching live animals, planting a garden, examining animal X-rays, fingerpainting with mud, searching for bugs, exploring a stream, and building animal homes are all in a day’s play. The goal is to foster in children a connection with nature as they have fun.

International Association for the Child’s Right to Play – US Branch
An international, interdisciplinary, non-governmental organization whose purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote children’s play as a fundamental human right of all children around the world. Considers play to be the only means possible to ensure the maximum development of each individual and the societies in which they live. Presents and works for implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Their site gives information on organizing a Play Day in your community. Publishes the PlayRights newsletter

Developing partnerships among individuals, civic and community groups, and businesses and foundations, toward building safe, accessible, fun and much-needed community playgrounds.

Kid Source
Articles of interest: Learning Through Play, Parental Involvement in Play, Toy Selection and Buying Guide for different ages

Lemelson Center/Smithsonian Institution
The Invention at Play national traveling exhibit explores the connection between play and the creative impulse of inventors. Includes stories of inventors, discussions on play, great quotes on play, and little video clips such as one on “Play for Play’s Sake.”

National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families 
A good downloadable booklet: The Power of Play: Learning Through Play from Birth to Three

The National Institute for Play
Founded by retired psychiatrist Stuart Brown, who writes: “What the Institute for Play is offering is a mix of information and resources to give you a deeper understanding of the nature and importance of play, and connections to helpful people, organizations, and information. We will also address play's role in various arenas of human endeavor, such as education, violence prevention, community building, and our favorite—play for its own sake.” Offers a video series that has appeared on PBS, The Power of Play.

Natural Learning Initiative
Robin Moore at N.C. State University is director of the Natural Learning Initiative. The group promotes the importance of the natural environment in the daily experience of all children through environmental design, action research, education and dissemination of information; to help communities create stimulating places for play, learning, and environmental education

Play Wales
Play Wales/Chwarae Cymru is the national organization for children's play in Wales. It is an independent charity funded by the Welsh Assembly Government. Its aim is to act as a champion for children's play; and to increase awareness and understanding of the critical importance of play in children's development. “It is our belief that play which is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated is vital in a child's development.”

Street Play
Lists of events, activities, and information on street games.

Touch the Future
Comprehensive web site on child and human development, based on the work of Joseph Chilton Pearce and others. Information on how to get a 90-minute video, “Discovering the Intelligence of Play,” from an invitational symposium on play with Joseph Chilton Pearce, Fred Donaldson, James Prescott, Stuart Brown, and Michael Mendizza.

TRUCE: Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment
An organization of early childhood professionals that works to promote a positive play environment for children. TRUCE produces written materials such as the Toy Action Guide and Media Violence and Children: A Call to Action. As a small, grassroots organization, it believes that toys should enhance children’s natural ability to actively engage in imaginative and meaningful play.