Media coverage of play/child-related issues: David Spencer Ramsey’s ongoing (and therefore partial) list

David has kindly given me permission to share his list of media coverage of what I have labelled ‘play/child-related issues’.

The list is a partial one, as he explains below. He says:

“Interesting research fact: There have been more than 50 articles, news reports, and radio pieces in mainstream media (New York Times,, Washington Post, NPR, KQED, ABC News, etc.) in the United States on children’s play since the beginning of 2014.”

“So right now I’ve collected data on the 50+ media references since start of 2014. I’m in the process of going back year-by-year over the past 5 years to see if 2014 does indeed stand out as having a significantly higher number of ‘mainstream media’ (broadcast, print, web) discussions of play. I can easily provide you the 50+ references for 2014 with date, publication, url, title, etc., it’s all in a Microsoft Word doc.”

“I am … interested in looking at things from a different perspective, ie., is there a potentially larger social-cultural shift occurring in America that is either allowing or actively encouraging this sort of mainstream media coverage to happen? In other words, why now? Why these particular stories? What does this say, if anything, about American society in 2014?”


My own cynical view is that this media kerfuffle does not, of itself, signal a change in US (or UK) society. I wish it did. Nevertheless, if nothing else the covering is cheering, and may inspire. Feel free to use the list anyway you wish.

Please contact David directly if you have any questions or requests. For my part I will update this item whenever I can (not guaranteeing!).


DAVID’S LIST ( as of MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 2014)


The Overprotected Kid

The Atlantic, March 19, 2014

Why Free Play is the Best Summer School

The Atlantic, June 20, 2014

Recess Without Rules

The Atlantic, January 28, 2014

Inside a European Adventure Playground

The Atlantic, March 19, 2014

How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play

The Atlantic, June 30, 2014

Kids These Days: Growing Up Too Fast or Never At All?

National Public Radio, March 20, 2014

Where the Wild Things Play

National Public Radio, August 4, 2014

Play Doesn’t End With Childhood: Why Adults Need Recess Too

National Public Radio, August 6, 2014

Scientists Say Child’s Play Helps Build a Better Brain

National Public Radio, August 6, 2014

When Kids Start Playing to Win

National Public Radio, August 5, 2014

What Kids Can Learn From a Water Balloon Fight

National Public Radio, June 25, 2014

For Kids With Special Needs, More Places to Play

National Public Radio, August 27, 2013

Kids Need More Structured Play Time, Not Less

New York Times, May 1, 2014

All Children Should be Delinquents

New York Times, July 12, 2014

Mom Faces Felony Charge for Letting Girl Play in Park

ABC News, July 28, 2014

Play for Children: Form and Freedom

Huffington Post, July 11, 2014

If Children are Learning, Then Let Them Play

Huffington Post, November 1, 2013

Dad Charged With Endangerment After Son Skips Church to Go Play

Huffington Post, June 30, 2014

Stressed Out in America: Five Reason to Let Your Kids Play

Huffington Post, February 28, 2014

Banish the Playdate

Huffington Post, July 24, 2014

Best Type of Play? Let Kids do What They Want

NBC News, 9News Colorado, August 6, 2014

How Play Wires Kids’ Brains for Social and Academic Success

KQED California, August 7, 2014

Let ‘Em Out!  The Many Benefits of Outdoor Play in Kindergarten

KQED California, July 23, 2014

A Land Where Kids Roam Free

KQED California, July 18, 2014

Can Free Play Prevent Depression and Anxiety in Kids?

KQED California, June 29, 2014

Cities Want Young Families to Play and Stay

Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2014

Playing Children, Out of Sight and Mind

New York Daily News, August 4, 2014

Visiting Lecturer Says Play is Effective Learning Tool

Iowa City Press-Citizen, August 1, 2014

In This Era of Helicopter Parenting, Letting Your Child Play is a Crime

Charleston City Paper, July 23, 2014

Play: The Work of a Child

Green Bay Press Gazette, July 12, 2014

The Best Toy for a Kid on a Plane is Not an iPad

ABC News, July 23, 2014

Send the Kids Outside to Play: Study

Chicago Tribune, July 17, 2014

Even Playing Dress-Up Teaches Children How to Handle Emotions

Springfield News Leader, July 11, 2014

Letting Imagination Win

Washington Post, August 8, 2014

Ten Ways to Fix the Mess That is Kindergarten

Washington Post, August 7, 2014

Why So Many Kids Can’t Sit Still in School Today

Washington Post, July 8, 2014

Are We Overprotecting Our Kids?

Katie Couric Show, July 9, 2014

Should Parents Let Their Kids Take More Risks?

PBS NewsHour, May 9, 2014

Does Overprotecting Children Put Them at Risk?

CBS News, March 20, 2014

Let Kids Run Wild in the Woods, May 2014

What Playfulness Can Do For You

Boston Globe, July 20, 2014

How the American Playground was Born in Boston

Boston Globe, March 28, 2014

A Parklet Rises in Boston

Boston Globe, July 14, 2014

Help Kids’ Imaginations Soar

Miami Herald, July 13, 2014

For July, Let Kids be Kids

Columbia Daily Tribune, July 13, 2014

The Cognitive Benefits of Play: Effects on the Learning Brain, 2014

7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders, January 16, 2014

Too Much Too Soon: Why Children Should Spend More Time Playing and Start School Later, January 30, 2014

Why Playful Learning is the Key to Prosperity, April 10, 2014

Mom Arrested After Letting 7-Year-Old Son Walk to Park by Himself

KTLA News, July 31, 2014

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