Play Resources


The Alliance is happy to hear of new books, articles, films, websites, events, and projects relating to play. Please keep us informed.

Click here to view a list of books and websites.

Additional resources can be found at Carol Torgan's blog, Kinetics.


Articles on Crisis in the Kindergarten


Early Lessons
Emily Hanford, American RadioWorks
September, 2010

Kindergarten: It's the New First Grade
Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune
September 4, 2010

Why Our Kids Don't Go to Kindergarten
Andrew O'Hehir, Salon Magazine
March 15, 2010

Why Kids Hate School
Nancy Kalish, Parenting Magazine
March, 2010

Testing Kindergarten: Young Children Produce Data-Lots of Data
Kelly McMahon, Rethinking Schools
Winter, 2009-2010

Increased Academic Rigor in Kindergarten Questioned
Amy Crawford,  Pittsburgh Tribune Reviewe
September 20, 2009

Pressure-Cooker Kindergarten
Patti Hartigan,  Boston Globe Magazine
August 30, 2009

Tutoring Tots? Some Kids Prep for Kindergarten
Jacqueline Stenson,
August 18, 2009

The Pleasure of Play
Nesita Kwan,  NBC News, Chicago
July 28, 2009

Kindergarten Rx: More Play, Fewer Tests
Linda Kulman,  Politics Daily
June 18, 2009

Kindergarten Cram
Peggy Orenstein,  The New York Times Magazine
May 3, 2009

Developmentally Appropriate Practice
in the Age of Testing

David McKay Wilson, Harvard Education Letter
May/June 2009


Webinars, Video, and Audio Links on Play


Prescription for Play, a 12 minute video produced by Alliance for Childhood and KaBoom

The Role of Play in the Overly-Academic Classroom, an 8 minute video produced by KaBoom and Gesell Institute
Fall 2010

Playwork: an Introduction, a 10 minute video featuring Penny Wilson and produced by the Alliance for Childhood and KaBoom
Fall 2009

Stuart Brown Says Play is More Then Fun, a 26 minute video produced by TED
Spring 2009

Wetlands & Wonder: Reconnecting Children with Nearby Nature, a 12 minute video produced by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency
September 2008

For Play: Krista Tippett & Stuart Brown in conversation with Paul Holdengräber, a 90 minute video produced by New York Public Library
January 29, 2008

Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity, a 20 minute video produced by  TED
June 2006



Congressional briefing on early education co-hosted by the Alliance with the Forum for Education and Democracy
May 28, 2009  

Play, Spirit, & Character, featuring Stuart Brown on Speaking of Faith from America Public Media
July 24, 2008



Crisis in the Kindergarten, featuring Joan Almon and Ed Miller, produced by KaBoom 
June 2, 2009 

How to Be a Play Advocate: Tools and Tips for Activists and Troublemakers, featuring Joan Almon and Ed Miller, produced by KaBoom  
October 2009


Articles on Education, Nature, Play, and Parenting


My View: Obama, Romney need to know one thing about early childhood education — start over
Nancy Carlsson-Paige
CNN online, August 29, 2012

Keep the Fun in Kindergarten, Expert Says
Molly Walsh
Burlington Free Press, May 11, 2012 

Ban Homework Before Third Grade; Support Children's Play
Bonnie Harris
Christian Science Monitor, April 24, 2012

Killing Kindergarten
Amanda Moreno
The Huffington Post, March 29, 2012

Encouraging the Hand-Mind Connection in the Classroom
Margaret Honey and Eric Siegel, Education Week
February 1, 2011 

Want to Get Your Kids into College? Let them Play
Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis, CNN
December 29, 2010 

Info 101: Kindergarteners Under Pressure
Carol Josel, Examiner
December 10, 2010 

Kindergarten Crisis Declared
Allan Appel , New Haven Independent
October 15, 2010

Play School
Taryn Plumb, The Boston Globe
October 14, 2010

Kids Haven’t Changed; Kindergarten Has
Laura Pappano, Harvard Education Letter
September/October 2010

Scientifically Tested Tests
Susan Engle, New York Times
September 19, 2010

Early Lessons
Emily Hanford, American RadioWorks
September, 2010

A Place for Play
Lisa Guernsey, The American Prospect
July 16, 2010

The Creativity Crisis
Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, Newsweek
July 10, 2010

The Standardized Testing Dilemma
Chris Fitzsimon, The Carrboro Citizen
June 10, 2010

Playing to Learn
Susan Engel, The New York Times
February 1, 2010

Play, Learning and Young Children
Casper Journal
January 16, 2010

The Answer Sheet, Parental Anxiety is Ruining Playtime
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post
November 9, 2009

Delay Formal Lessons 'to Age Six'
Hannah Richardson, BBC News
October 16, 2009

The Evaluation of Enhanced Academics in After-school Programs 
Institute of Education Sciences
September 2009 



Streets are for Kids, Too!
Mike Lanza, Playborhood 
June 18, 2010

Preschool in the Forest Takes Root in the U.S.
Associated Press, ParentDish
May 24, 2010

Helping Your Kids Avoid Stress
Stacy Hawkins Adams, Richmond Times-Dispatch 
March 7, 2010

Dirt Can be Good for Children, Says Scientists
BBC World News
November 23, 2009

Make Fitness Fun
Michael O'Shea, Parade
July 19, 2009

Outdoor Play for Children: Resource List
Alliance for Childhood
February 2012



Toddlers to Tweens: Relearning How to Play
Stephanie Hanes
The Christian Science Monitor, January 22, 2012

The American Academy of Pediatrics released its second report on play in December 2011 with a focus on children in poverty. Read it here.

Fun and Leisure: Restoring Play to All Children
Joan Almon
Published by NCPAD
The Alliance executive director writes about inclusive play.

How children's 'play' is being sneakily redefined
Alfie Kohn
The Washington Post, November 16, 2011

Preschool Tests Take Time Away from Play—and Learning
Paul Tullis
Scientific American, November 2, 2011
Paul Tullis raises the questions, "The trend in early education is to move from a play-based curriculum to a more school-like environment of directed learning. But is earlier better? And better at what?"

All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids are More Anxious, Depressed
Esther Entin, M.D.
The Atlantic, October 12, 2011

Two articles on the importance of play in the Boston Globe: 

Carlo Rotella's op-ed, A Serious Need for Free Play (September 30, 2011), argues that learning through play "is what kids are designed to do." 

In The Heartbreaking Point: My Family's Struggle to Resist the Winds of Educational Change (August 28, 2011), Laurie Swope describes her son's reaction to "all listening, no playing" in kindergarten. The Globe then published a group of letters responding to Swope's article.

Other articles on the importance of play:

School: It's Way More Boring Than When You Were There
Daniel Denvir, Salon
September 14, 2011

The Movement to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum
Hilary Stout, New York Times
January 6, 2011 

Want To Get Your Kids Into College? Let them Play
Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis, CNN
December 29, 2010 

Kids Haven’t Changed; Kindergarten Has
Laura PappanoHarvard Education Letter
September/October 2010

The Creativity Crisis
Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, Newsweek
July 10, 2010

Is Children's Play Innate?
William Crain, Encounter
Summer, 2010

Kids Need Play as Much as Sport
Betsy Flagler, Charlotte Observer
December 6, 2010

Sometimes, Students Have to Relearn How to Play
Preston Williams, The Washington Post
October 29, 2009

Kids Have Fun Thinking Inside the Box
Patty Fisher, The Mercury News
September 22, 2009

Let the Kids Play!
Derrick Z. Jackson, The Boston Globe
September 12, 2009

Let the Children Play (Some More)
Stuart Brown, The New York Times
September 2, 2009

Children can Learn Valuable Lessons from Time Spent at Play
Julia Steiny, The Providence Journal
August 9, 2009

No Camp This Summer? No Problem!
Julie Halpert, Newsweek
June 25, 2009

10 Reasons Play Can Make You Healthy, Happy, and More Productive
Nancy Shute, US News and World Report
March 9, 2009

Play Author Stuart Brown: Why Playtime Matters to Kid's Health and Brains
Nancy Shute, US News and World Report
March 9, 2009

The Serious Need for Play
Melinda Wenner, Scientific American Mind
January 28, 2009

The New Playground: Bye, Jungle Gym
Kathleen Kingsbury, TIME
January 28, 2009



There Are No Class Boundaries to Childhood Stress
Petula Dvorak, Washington Post
October 11, 2010

The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting
Nancy Gibbs, TIME
November 20, 2009



I Failed Recess...Because I Don't Play!
Peter DeWitt, Education Week
October 25, 2011 

Don't Let Recess Die! Six Ways to Save Recess at Your Child's School
Darell Hammond, The Huffington Post
September 1, 2010 

Another Reason for Recess
Suzanne Tingley, Practical Leadership
April 19, 2010 

The 3 R’s? A Fourth Is Crucial, Too: Recess
Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times
February 23, 2010

Recess Makes for Better Students
Amanda Gardner, Washington Post
January 26, 2009

For more articles on recess click here


Older Articles

Play Has Key Role in Success at School
Jean W. Gowen,  Athens Banner-Herald
September 16, 2009

Schools Should Make Time for Playtime
Jennifer Minnelli,  The Durham (N.C.) News
August 22, 2009

Schoolchildren Miss Out on Play
Education Reporter
April 2009

Remember 'Go Outside and Play?'
Rosa Brooks, Los Angeles Times
May 15, 2008

Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills
Alix Spiegel, NPR
February 21, 2008

Taking Play Seriously
Robin Marantz Henig, New York Times Magazine
February 17, 2008

Children Have to Grow Up Too Fast
M. Jones, Edutopia
April 2008

Rush, Little Baby
Neil Swidey, The Boston Globe
October 28, 2007

Old-School Blocks Prove Best for Brains
Paul Nyhan,
October 2, 2007

Turf Wars
William Crain, The New York Times
September 16, 2007

Getting Lost in the Great Indoors
Donna St. George, The Washington Post
June 19, 2007

You Kids, Get Outside!
Fran Henry,, Lifestyles
June 15, 2007

Bring Back Fun Playgrounds
Commentary, Christian Science Monitor
June 13, 2007

Families Explore Nature's Wonders in Rye
Rachel M. Collins, SeaCoast online
May 31, 2007

Work vs. Play in Kindergarten
Joan Almon, The Washington Post
May 29, 2007

Putting the Skinned Knees Back Into Playtime
Alex Williams, The New York Times
May 20, 2007

Einstein May Never Have Used Flashcards, but He Probably Built Forts
Lory Hough, Ed Magazine (Harvard)
Spring 2007

A Classroom of Monkey Bars and Slides
Jane Brody, The New York Times
April 3, 2007

Leave No Child Inside
Richard Louv, Orion Magazine
March 2007

Experts Concerned about Children's Creative Thinking
Karen MacPherson, Post-Gazette National Bureau
August 15, 2004