“Play All May” – Help Us Spread the Word about Play’s Vital Role in Child Development

Steve PasierbApril 23, 2019 | The science and research community has proven that play is crucial to healthy child development – and while many toy brands already work hard to create engaging and skill-based toys and games, parents, grandparents, and other caregivers need to be reminded and educated on the critical life skills kids learn through play.

Four years ago, The Toy Association unveiled The Genius of Play, a research-based consumer initiative designed to raise awareness, shift beliefs, and change behaviors around play’s role in childhood development. Since then our Genius of Play team and amazing Committee of volunteers from member companies has been working hard to spread the message and create a community in which play experts, psychologists, pediatricians, educators, and other credible sources can share research, tips, and play ideas to encourage families to make time for play.  

Our efforts have paid off. Earlier this year, after surveying more than 1,000 mothers, The Genius of Play revealed findings that showed  moms’ attitudes toward toys and play have been positively affected by the campaign. Specifically, moms who were familiar with The Genius of Play initiative showed a higher appreciation for – and a stronger intent to purchase – toys for their children. They also demonstrated a more positive view of play in general and their willingness to encourage more of it. You can read more about this powerful research and findings from the survey online.

To further the movement, next week The Genius of Play will kick off  “Play All May” – its first-ever month-long celebration of play and we need your help in making sure the month is a success.

In order to get the public and industry excited about “Play All May,” every day throughout the month, The Genius of Play will share fun play activities, notable research facts, and play-related information on its social media channels – and award daily giveaways of toy and game prizes featuring awesome products from our members (of which we had more than 100 submissions) to lucky winners. Online influencers will promote the initiative with posts on their own channels, and more than 75 Learning Express stores across the U.S. will feature “Play All May” signage and hold special events to bring the celebration to life in their communities. Once again benefitting from expert insight, The Genius of Play has launched new digital and broadcast PSAs titled “Prescription for Play,” that are geared toward reminding parents of the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that play is critical to raising healthy and happy children.

Everyone in the toy community should familiarize themselves with the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report asking pediatricians to write kids a ‘prescription for play,’ and support several states which are calling for legislation to increase the length of recess at schools.

Toymakers, designers, inventors, licensors, retailers, and anyone who loves kids, toys, and play are invited to share the PSA campaign, play-inspiration ideas, and other “Play All May” assets on their own social media channels. Visit The Genius of Play Assets page and use them in your social media content during May. Don’t forget to tag @GeniusofPlay on Facebook and Instagram and use #GeniusofPlay.

So please join in on the fun and show your support of play! The more we can teach parents and caregivers about the vital need for play, the more inclined they will be to search for toys and games that foster developmental skills – and that’s a win for everyone.

As always, wishing you all good things.

Steve Pasierb
President & CEO
Follow me on Twitter @StevePasierb