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Homeschooling: All Things

Project Play

Did you know?
  • Since 1980, the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for children ages 2 – 5 and more than tripled for children ages 6 – 11.
  • Between 1981 and 1997, free playtime among 6 to 8 year olds dropped 25% and homework more than doubled.
  • Since 2005, the amount of time children and teens ages 8 -18 spend watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the internet increased from 1 hour, 15 minutes per day to more than 7 and a half hours per day. (That’s more than 53 hours a week and more than most adults spend on their full-time job!)
  • An increased focus on standardized testing has resulted in the reduction or elimination of recess in about 40% of American elementary schools, and in some districts, schools are being built without playgrounds.
What’s a parent, health professional, or child to do?
  • Marlene Byrne, an award-winning children’s author and advocate of unstructured playtime, has come to the rescue with PROJECT PLAY—a movement to get kids away from their televisions and into the backyard for exercise, creativity and old-fashioned fun.
  • With more than 20 years of experience as an advertising agency owner, spokesperson, and writer, Byrne is using her creative talent to inspire today’s overscheduled, electronic-focused, and dangerously overweight generation of children to get active. Through children’s books, community activities, and school curriculum, Byrne is bringing back the nostalgic memories of her youth and teaching children backyard games like pick up baseball, kick the can, and ghost in the graveyard.
As the founder and author of Project Play, Byrne is not the first to call for more unstructured playtime among children. But while there are countless initiatives to increase children’s activity levels, few of them aim directly at the children.

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