Play Matters…
In that spirit, every copy of the New York Street Games DVD comes with a Street Games Rulebook to help get children and adults moving and playing together. Additionally, New York Street Games and Kaboom! have teamed up to raise awareness of the benefits and importance of children’s play. A portion of all proceeds from the sales of New York Street Games will go to Kaboom! Keep reading to find out why…
The Play Deficit
- Youth between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 6.5 hours a day with electronic media, more than 45 hours a week. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005 and 2006)

- The area outside of the home that parents feel comfortable letting their children play unsupervised has shrunk by 90% since the 1970s. (Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv, April, 2005)

- Children in low-income households are estimated to spend 50% more time watching television than their more affluent peers. (B. M. Miller, S. O’Connor, S. W. Sirignano, and P. Joshi, 1996)

- Kids, especially those in low-income communities are spending 40 hours a week with electronic media. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005)

- 30 percent of third-graders had fewer than 15 minutes of recess a day. (Pediatrics, January 2009)
Kids Who Play Are Healthier
- More than 24% of U.S. children ages 2 to 5 are overweight or obese. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, December 2009)

- More than 31% of all children in the U.S. are obese or overweight. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, January 2010)

- Obesity related issues tallied $147 billion in medical costs in 2008. (CDC, July 2009)

- 89% of pediatricians believe play helps kids from becoming overweight. (Harris Interactive, 2005)

- Children with a park playground within 1 km were almost five times more likely to be classified as being of a healthy weight compared to those children without playgrounds in nearby parks. (Journal of Public Health, October, 2008)

- A study of 1,800 middle school students found that the more physical fitness tests children were able to pass, the better they performed on academic tests. (Pediatrics, January 2009)

- Play builds active, healthy bodies… encouraging unstructured play may be an exceptional way to increase physical activity levels in children, which is one important strategy in the resolution of the obesity epidemic. (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2005)
Kids Who Play Are Smarter
- 90% of teachers and 86% of parents believed that physically active children are better able to learn and are better behaved in the classroom. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2003)

- A study that followed 11,000 children and found that kids who received at least 15 minutes of recess every day were better behaved in school. (Pediatrics, January 2009)

- Studies indicate that children with ADD and ADHA showed fewer symptoms after playing outside in “green” environments. (Taylor, Kuo, & Sullivan, 2001 and Kuo & Taylor, 2004)

- Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others and healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play outdoors. (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005)
Kids Who Play Are Happier and More Social
- British and American youth are the unhappiest children in the developed world, most likely due to the decline over the last 15 years in outdoor, unstructured play. (The U.N. Children’s Fund, 2007)

- As adults focus more on ensuring children master more academic skills, children’s lives become more hectic and overscheduled. For some children, this hurried lifestyle is a source of stress and anxiety, and may even contribute to depression. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2007)

- Unstructured play leads to healthy brain development, by allowing children the opportunity to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts and to learn self-advocacy skills. In addition to gaining cognitive problem solving skills, children who play learn how to interact socially and gain social problem-solving skills. Kids who play regularly are better able to develop and sustain friendships, to cooperate, to lead, and to follow. (Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Med., 2005)

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit organization that makes children and communities healthier by creating great places to play.

Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative, community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,700 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America.

KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, free online trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national grassroots network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit

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