Speaking of Play

[ 0 ] February 25, 2013 |

The Providence Athenaeum and Providence Children’s Museum proudly partner to present a spring series of panel discussions about the critical importance of self-directed play for children’s healthy growth and development. Kidoinfo is a proud media sponsor of this series. Although the importance and value of play seems obvious to us, we are reminded in an era of over-scheduled kids and lack of recess in many schools that we need to prioritize “play time” keeping in mind the difference between “free” play and structured activities. Join the conversation!

Conversations will be held the first Tuesday of March, April and May from 7:00 – 8:30 PM at the Athenaeum (251 Benefit Street in Providence).


Leave No Child Inside
Tuesday, March 5
Ÿ 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Today’s children play outside less than any previous generation.  Yet free outdoor play connects kids to the natural world and builds their imaginations, resiliency and confidence.  Join a discussion about what’s keeping them inside and what we can do to get them out!


  • Chris Hitchener, “Our Big Backyard” Program Manager, Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • Paul Pieri, Middle School Farm Program Director, The Wheeler School
  • Jeanine Silversmith, Founder and Director, RI Families in Nature

What Happened to Recess?
Tuesday, April 2
Ÿ 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Recess is crucial for kids, resulting in better attention span, improved classroom behavior, and important opportunities for free play, creativity and interaction with other children — yet it is increasingly limited or withheld.  Join the great recess debate!


  • Alicia Bell, Elementary art teacher and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School parent
  • Dr. Lauren Greve, Psychologist and Vartan Gregorian Elementary School parent
  • Phyllis Penhallow, URI Lecturer and Chariho Elementary School parent

Play & Risk: How Safe is Too Safe?
Tuesday, May 7
Ÿ 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Acceptable risk is beneficial to kids’ physical and emotional development, so when did it become a 4-letter word?  Taking risks helps children learn about their own capabilities and limits while increasing their comfort with making mistakes and taking on challenges.  Discuss ways to foster healthy risk-taking in kids’ play.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Wendy Nilsson, Director, Partnership for Providence Parks
  • Janice O’Donnell, Executive Director, Providence Children’s Museum

RSVPs welcome to Lindsay Shaw, lshaw@provath.org or (401) 421-6970 ext. 17.


Category: community news, kidoinfo event, local ri area, parenting + development

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of Kidoinfo.com. She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

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