Contact: Jennifer Lynch
The Toy Association

The Genius of Play Launches "Once Upon a Playtime" Podcast

A Star-Studded Guest Lineup Includes Alicia Silverstone & Other Well-Known Personalities

NEW YORK, NY | December 8, 2021The Genius of Play, The Toy Association’ nonprofit initiative dedicated to helping parents raise healthy and happy kids through play, today announced the launch of "Once Upon a Playtime”, a first-of-its-kind storytelling podcast that invites listeners to rediscover the value of play through real-life, personal stories of actors, artists, entrepreneurs, and more.

Each episode of “Once Upon a Playtime” features a fascinating guest who found their path to success and personal fulfillment by keeping their favorite way of playing alive. The first season’s guests include actress and activist Alicia Silverstone, Baked by Melissa Co-Founder & CEO Melissa Ben-Ishay, and world-famous LEGO sculptor Nathan Sawaya. Designed for parents and their kids to listen to together, interviews delve into the guests’ childhood play memories and explore the role of play in shaping their future personality and path. They have been turned into engaging 15-minute long storytime experiences suitable for all ages.

"Whether it was playing with dolls or sailing on imaginary backyard pirate ships, chances are each of us had a favorite way to play as a child and in many ways, that playtime inspired what each of us does today, our interests, our hobbies, and an array of critical lifelong skills," said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association, the group that spearheads The Genius of Play. "From thinking creatively to building confidence to learning how to deal with failure, play helps children discover their passions and gives them the essential tools they need to build a solid foundation for success as an adult. We are excited to explore this fascinating topic through the personal stories of our guests in this unique new podcast series!"

Once Upon a Playtime is a production of The Genius of Play made in partnership with FRQNCY Media. The podcast was made possible by a generous grant from The Toy Foundation. It is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever podcasts are found, as well as on

About The Genius of Play

The Genius of Play is a national movement to raise awareness of play’s vital role in child development, spearheaded by The Toy Association. Deeply rooted in research and facts, The Genius of Play is a leading resource on the physical, cognitive, social and emotional benefits of play that serve children throughout their lives. The Genius of Play enables today’s busy parents and caretakers to use the power of play to help raise a happier, healthier, and more productive next generation. Visit for easily accessible play ideas and tips, expert advice and other play resources. It’s More Than Play!

About The Toy Association

Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $98.2 billion, and its 900+ members drive the annual $32 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.