Providence Children's Museum - About Play

Unstructured, self-directed play is essential for children’s healthy development. But due to a number of factors, children today have fewer opportunities to engage in open-ended play. Here are some resources for more information and to encourage all of us to make time and space for kids’ play.

From Providence Children’s Museum

Other Organizations that Support Play

Alliance for Childhood

Promotes policies and practices that support children’s healthy development, love of learning and joy of living; links to articles, resources and reports, including the Time for Play information sheet. (PDF) .

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

This organization of pediatricians issued an important report in 2007, “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds,” and a 2011 follow-up study, "Focus on Children in Poverty."

Free Range Kids

A tips-information-outrage exchange forum hosted by Lenore Skenazy, author of the book of the same name, that shares "how to raise safe, self-reliant children (without going nuts with worry)."


Creates playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities with resources to build spaces for play and “help save play” online trainings, research and links.

A local website and blog packed with information, fun-filled ideas, things to do, places to go and links to family resources in Providence and beyond.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children from birth through age eight; “For Families” link includes a search for “Early Years are Learning Years™” articles by topic, including “Play and Learning.”

Rhode Island Families in Nature

A group for families who want to spend time outdoors together that organizes monthly hikes and shares local nature resources and places to explore via their email list.