Join Us for Playground Clean-Up Day: Saturday May 13, 2017

The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative is honored to be awarded a Love Your [Resilient] Block Grant through the City of Pittsburgh.

We are excited to use this funding to host a Playground Clean-Up Day On Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the KaBOOM! Playground at 5113 Lytle St, Pittsburgh PA 15207.

Volunteers will be working to get the playground ready for summer play season. We will be planting shrubs, doing maintenance on the rain garden, picking up trash and other activities to make the space beautiful and welcoming.

Lunch will be provided for volunteers!

If you are interested in more information, contact Teresa Pizzella at tpizzella@paeyc.org.

Join Us!

Date: Saturday, May 13, 201
Time: 10 AM- 2 PM
Where: KaBOOM! Playground Site- 5113 Lytle St, Pittsburgh, PA 15207
What: Playground Clean-up and Beautification Day

Capturing the Sounds of Play

This article is part of our Member Blog Series, which showcases Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative Members' efforts and commitment to ensure that play is a critical element in the lives of people of all ages. Each month, a different member organization will share their take on how play is a part of the work they do. The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative hopes that these stories of play from our diverse set of member organizations will encourage and inspire leaders in communities, businesses, schools and families to prioritize play every day.

How do we capture the sounds of play? How do we share our thoughts about play? Here at SLB Radio, we use audio to encourage, amplify, share and archive the ideas, stories, and feelings of children, youth and families. Listen below to hear the voices of youth from around the city discussing their thoughts on the importance of play!

Play in Pittsburgh’s Parks: Beyond the playground

This article is part of our Member Blog Series, which showcases Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative Members' efforts and commitment to ensure that play is a critical element in the lives of people of all ages. Each month, a different member organization will share their take on how play is a part of the work they do. The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative hopes that these stories of play from our diverse set of member organizations will encourage and inspire leaders in communities, businesses, schools and families to prioritize play every day.

Did you know in the city of Pittsburgh, you’re rarely far from a park or greenspace? Probably the first images to spring to mind are of our larger regional parks, with playgrounds such as Frick Park’s blue slide park or the Schenley Oval recreation complex. Pittsburgh’s playable green spaces range from those iconic large-acreage parks to pockets of green sprinkled throughout the city. Play opportunities abound, especially when we step beyond the playgrounds and engage with urban nature.

Nature play fosters creativity

Playing outdoors is fun. But did you know that natural play areas support more dramatic and constructive play than traditional playgrounds? Multitude of studies support the benefits of outdoor play on children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Loose-parts Play in Nature

Playing outside beyond the playground often involves “loose parts” play – creative play with sticks, stones, acorns, leaves, whatever materials come to hand. Loose parts is a term used to describe any kind of play material that can be moved, carried, combined, taken apart, or put together, with no specific directions.

Loose parts can be used for construction, dramatic play, art projects, and more. Their open-endedness encourages problem-solving and creativity, and allows each child to engage with them at their own level. Just remember to leave natural materials in the area where you found them – these loose parts are important to wildlife, too!

Individual items found in nature can also provide rich fodder for playful investigation. With a few simple tools, such as a magnifying glass or “binoculars” made of toilet-paper tubes, children can become explorers in their own backyard or neighborhood park. Nature exploration engages the senses – children can touch the texture of tree bark, observe the colors of fall leaves, and listen for bird calls or the sound of a babbling brook.

Need a little more support?

Pittsburgh Parks Rx program offers seasonal activities you can do outdoors and park-specific activity sheets for several Pittsburgh parks.

Need more convincing?

The National Environmental Education Foundation has put together a graphic highlighting all the benefits of being active in nature

More Parks Rx guides are available at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's website!

More Parks Rx guides are available at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's website!

Finding your Creative Playground

This article is part of our Member Blog Series, which showcases Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative Members' efforts and commitment to ensure that play is a critical element in the lives of people of all ages. Each month, a different member organization will share their take on how play is a part of the work they do. The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative hopes that these stories of play from our diverse set of member organizations will encourage and inspire leaders in communities, businesses, schools and families to prioritize play every day.

A play space isn’t necessarily composed of slides and swings, and it does not need to just be for children. Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District offers a creative playground for people of all ages and backgrounds. With festivals, workshops, performances, and gallery spaces that highlight world-class art and cultural activities, everyone is able to learn, connect with their community, and grow through play.

Exploring at a Gallery Crawl

Exploring at a Gallery Crawl

Let your mind wander to far off places in the past, present or future in a show-stopping Broadway musical. Challenge your beliefs and perceptions while you engage in thoughtful dialogue at an exhibit, tap your toes at a late night jam session, and sing along with your favorite characters in a Children’s Theater Series performance. Students and community members can even refine their skills and further their education by engaging with professional touring artists at an ArtsMasters Workshop. The opportunities for creative submersion are endless!

In-line with the mission of The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, which ‘is dedicated to advancing the importance of play in the lives of children, families and communities in the Pittsburgh region,’ the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust believes in the significance of play and stands as a voice for art-lovers everywhere.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has hosted a multitude of inventive playgrounds for hundreds of artists and millions of people. By cultivating Pittsburgh’s largest art neighborhood, the organization has fostered innovation, authenticity, and creativity for those who seek to explore and play in its spaces.

With dance, theater, visual arts, and more, young and old can experience the wonder and joy that our community can provide.

Take a walk through downtown Pittsburgh, and find your creative playground.

Two upcoming events that are free and open to the public include:

Benny Benack III: The Holiday Session on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 @ 5pm

Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District on Friday, January 20, 2017 starting at 5:30pm

 

 

5-2-1-0: The Formula for Healthy Families

This article is part of our Member Blog Series, which showcases Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative Members' efforts and commitment to ensure that play is a critical element in the lives of people of all ages. Each month, a different member organization will share their take on how play is a part of the work they do. The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative hopes that these stories of play from our diverse set of member organizations will encourage and inspire leaders in communities, businesses, schools and families to prioritize play every day.

Let’s Move Pittsburgh, a collaborative program of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens that aims to improve children’s health and wellness, is a proud member of the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative. Play is important for the growth and development of healthy children and even plays a role in helping us make nutritious food choices and maintaining an active lifestyle. We are keeping it playful with our new movement, 5-2-1-0, which reinforces healthy lifestyle choices that benefit local kids and their families.

So, 5 + 2 + 1 + 0 = ?  If you guessed “8,” you are mathematically correct, but this equation also equals a healthy family!  5-2-1-0 is a fun way to remember four healthy habits to strive to do every day:

5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day!

Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into meals and snacks goes a long way in improving nutrition and making healthier kids. Have children help you in the kitchen and offer them taste tests of seasonal produce. Remember to keep the experience positive when trying new foods!

2 hours or less of recreational screen time every day!

Children who limit screen time not only sleep more soundly, but also perform better in school and are less likely to face weight issues. Unplug and turn on the fun by reading your favorite book, playing make-believe, or dancing to music.

1 hour or more of physical activity every day!

Research shows that physical activity can greatly improve kids’ attention spans and attitudes, therefore making them more successful learners. Plus, physical activity is great for overall health. Take it outside and get dirty in your garden, take a hike in your city park, or play tag with your best friends. Reward kids when they try new activities.

0 sugary drinks and more water every day!

Overloaded with sugar, commercial juices, soda and energy drinks wreak havoc on developing bodies and should be replaced in the diet by water. Practice healthy hydration and keep bottled water on hand, add flavor to water with fresh fruit, and keep a pitcher of thirst-quenching water in the fridge. Remember that you can stay hydrated by eating foods with high water content.

By emphasizing these healthy habits, we can all help forge a brighter future for Pittsburgh’s kids! For more 5-2-1-0 tips, follow our #5210Friday posts on Facebook and Twitter and our 5-2-1-0 Every Day Pinterest board.

5-2-1-0 is adapted from Let’s Go! www.letsgo.org

Welcome to Your New Playspace, Hazelwood!

Play opportunities are improving and expanding in Hazelwood.

Almost 200 volunteers showed up on Saturday, Sept. 17 to build a playground in one day. Children in this area haven't had a usable playground to play on in more than five years. 

"You didn't just get a playground. You got a unique, one-of-a-kind playground. Designed by the community," said Jacob Stachler, Project Manager at KaBOOM!.

"It's not your typical sort of playspace. It takes into consideration all ages," said Cara Ciminillo, founder of the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and Executive Director of Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC).

The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, PAEYC, Hazelwood Initiative and KaBOOM! teamed up to plan the project. The Heinz Endowments funded the playspace. Dozens of volunteers from the neighborhood got sweaty and dirty to add the play showcase to their neighborhood. From cutting weeds to providing water for the volunteers, neighbors of all ages played an important part of getting the project completed. 

"Look at what we did! It's amazing!" said Sonya Tilghman, Executive Director of Hazelwood Initiative.

"I just want to come back here and play every day," said Lauren Schulusser, volunteer from the University of Pittsburgh.

Additional thank yous must go out to Councilman Corey O'Connor, Tiffini Gorman from the Mayor's Office and the Zone 4 Pittsburgh Police Station for their support.

The new KaBOOM! playspace is the main attraction along the Hazelwood Play Trail. Next up for construction will be the Elizabeth Street Parklet.