We all need to play. Leisure time, exploration, creative endeavors, and just freely being ourselves are all key ingredients to a happy, wholesome life. For children, play is essential for development. It helps kids discover themselves and rejoice in the humanity of others. It also provides them a landscape to practice what they've learned. For adults, it eases stress, invites creative expansion, and keeps our souls youthful! All across the Web, there are many play advocates that are definitely worth following and engaging with! They provide resources, inspiration, and volunteer opportunities all in the name of play.
Here are nine of my favorite play advocates that I encourage you to connect with on the playground known as social media!
- @KaBOOM: It's only fitting that we kick off this list with one of the most influential, empowering play advocates out there. KaBOOM! is a nonprofit organization that is passionate about helping incorporate play into the lives of children on a national scale. They're so interactive and uplifting that I make it a priority to explore their profiles daily. I love following them because they showcase joy-sparking photos, share information from a variety of playful sources, and all around lead the way to a more spontaneous, play-powered world!
- @Playworks: Every child has a place on the playground, and Playworks really delivers that truth with flying colors. I 100% believe in their solid motto of "play works for every kid". You can relish in their playful influence nationwide; they actively serve 23 communities that have separate Twitter profiles for maximum fun! Playworks also offers training opportunities to shape individuals into positive, empowering playmakers on and off the playground. Need to revamp or implement a recess program? They can help with that too!
- @balmeras: Bethe Almeras is known as the "Grass Stain Guru" and is a fervent believer in the power of play and nature. She's a renowned speaker that voices the spirit of the Play Movement. This quote captures her gloriousness quite aptly: "I also believe that childhood was meant to be messy. Muddy. Slimy. Silly. And most of all, joyful. Steeped in awe and wonder, childhood should be spent outdoors as much as possible, and should rely on imagination and whimsy as much as it does on rules and regulations." Check out her website, read the lively interview we did with her, and reach out to her in the Twitter birdhouse!
- @LetsPlay: The name really says it all, doesn't it? Let's Play is wonderful because they represent the group effort of Dr. Pepper and Snapple to help spur more active lifestyles in families across America. One of the big benefits of following them on Twitter is that they share a lot of creative play ideas that really leap outside of the box!
- @VinceGowmon: Play advocate Vince Gowmon won't let you forget to play! His endeavors delight both kids and adults alike. I adore his Tweets because of the variety; he offers original quotes and resources about bullying, communication, empathy, healing, play, and family. Vince truly makes us feel like a vital part of his mission. Did I mention that he runs playshops around the country? I've yet to attend one, but it is on my to-play list!
- @JillVialet: As the founder of Playworks, Jill believes that play can and will bring out the best in every child. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she's so down-to-earth; she engages heartily with her followers and finds an abundance of play resources to share. Give her TED talks a listen; she champions for play in a refreshing, grounded way that is sure to resonate with you.
- @MovingSmartNow: "A moving child is a learning child". Such a wise, uplifting motto! They provide move-to-learn resources, quotes, play ideas, pictures, and plenty of smile-worthy moments. Gill Connell also has a glorious book and blog all in the name of mobile growing. this A moving child is a healthy child and happy child, too!
- @DarellHammond: Earlier, I celebrated about how awesome KaBOOM! is as a play advocate. Darell is the founder of KaBOOM! and the author of KaBOOM! A Movement to Save Play. It's an outstanding book that I highly recommend. He actively shares play, education, and movement insights from all corners of the social playground. He also guides followers towards volunteer opportunities that are worth wholehearted support.
- @PPS_Placemaking: Last but certainly not least is the Project for Public Spaces. They seek to design a world that is play-friendly, sustainable, and morale-boosting. The movement of placemaking is compelling and unique; I urge you to explore how we can help put our limited resources and land to more fulfilling uses. Human connection and imagination are cornerstones to this effort. There is SO much potential out there!
Are you connected with any of these influencers of play on social media? I'd love to hear your recommendations in the comments below! Together, we can build a world enriched by the power of play!
Find more about the author: Kim Hart