‘Playborhoods’ Can Improve Kids’ Health, Happiness, and Social Skills

soccer girlChildren need neighbourhoods, and neighbourhoods need children. When communities come together to make child-friendly places for play and gathering, everyone benefits.

Too many kids today are not going outside to play with their neighbourhood friends, and that results in losses for those kids, their parents, our communities, and our society as a whole. Health, fitness, happiness, and networks of social support are frazzled and diminished.

In this article, Mike Lanza talks about his concept of ‘playborhoods’—places where parents can take and send their kids to go outside and play with other kids who live close by. He talks about some of the reasons this idea is important, including the fact that a lot of kids are spending way too much time in front of screens every day (8 hours a day, according to one study!). He talks about what it meant to spend time outside in the neighbourhood when he was growing up, and how that was a force for community-building.

Lanza also talks about how people can come together and create neighbourhood hangouts, places where kids can play and socialize together with the adults in their lives. In his book, Playborhood, he  talks about communities that have done this, and outlines the various processes and results.


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