The Ultimate Block Party's Blog

Check out this great article about the power of play – published today as a cover story in the Christian Science Monitor!  It talks about play for kids of all ages and UBP.

Want to do something for your kids that helps promote healthy physical, cognitive, and social development?  What if I told you that this activity also helps prevent substance abuse later on?  With all these positive effects, you might think that I am talking about something difficult or expensive, but all you need to do is eat together as a family!

Today, we are joining teens, parents, teachers, and scientists across America to kick off National Drug Facts Week by offering up my own shoutout for educating teens about drug abuse.  Sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Drug Facts Week is an official health observance designed to shatter the myths and spread the facts about drug abuse and addiction.

You will see a great deal of fantastic information on how to keep your kids happy, healthy, and drug-free on this website and others over the next week.  But in the meantime, we wanted to share that one easy way that may help prevent drug use is simply eating dinner together!  According to this recent press release by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, teens in families that have infrequent family dinners have an increased likelihood of substance abuse.  Eating together is not only enjoyable, but also seems to help promote a healthy lifestyle for your teens.  What an easy way to help keep your family safe and healthy!

THANK YOU!

A gigantic thank you from UBP to our sponsors (especially our Champions of Play – Goddard School & Sprout), exhibitors (more than 30 of them, plus fabulous performers, musicians, drummers and storytellers!), the Baltimore City Public Schools, our Play Doctors, volunteers, and the countless other ‘big people’ that helped to make the first ever Ultimate Block Party in Baltimore, Md., a terrific success. But most of all, THANK YOU to the families that came to Rash Field despite the chilly weather to play and learn together. From the moment you walked into our ‘playground,’ you embraced play with your children—and your involvement contributes to our excitement. We hope you carried away happy memories and some new ideas about how play, in childhood, connects to learning. We saw so many smiles, laughter, and shouts of excitement that it made all of the hard-work done by so many people over the last 18 months completely worth it.

Special guests U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his family, and Baltimore City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Andres Alonso added to our excitement. Many thanks from the UBP family for the support of the wider educational community, and interest in playing and learning with the families of Baltimore.  Also, over 6,000 winter coats were distributed to Baltimore families thanks to Operation Warm.

If you missed today’s event, check out our PlayBook for more information about how you can incorporate play in the everyday lives of your families in new ways.

Here are some pictures in case you missed today’s celebrations of the arts and sciences of play:

Ultimate Block Party flickr

If you aren’t already following us on twitter, you can find us @UBPlay and we also suggest you follow our sister organization L_rn on facebook and on twitter @L_rn. L-rn is a new web portal for today’s families to have open dialogue with scientists and child development professionals to help improve the lives of ALL of our children. Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for more updates, blog postings, and announcements about future events.

Thank you to everyone, especially the children whose play makes the future brighter.

Written by Dr. Jennifer Zosh of Penn State University, Brandywine Campus  on behalf of Ultimate Block Party.

THANK YOU!

A gigantic thank you from UBP to our sponsors (especially our Champions of Play – Goddard School & Sprout), exhibitors (more than 30 of them, plus fabulous performers, musicians, drummers and storytellers!), the Baltimore City Public Schools, our Play Doctors, volunteers, and the countless other ‘big people’ that helped to make the first ever Ultimate Block Party in Baltimore, Md., a terrific success. But most of all, THANK YOU to the families that came to Rash Field despite the chilly weather to play and learn together. From the moment you walked into our ‘playground,’ you embraced play with your children—and your involvement contributes to our excitement. We hope you carried away happy memories and some new ideas about how play, in childhood, connects to learning. We saw so many smiles, laughter, and shouts of excitement that it made all of the hard-work done by so many people over the last 18 months completely worth it.

Special guests U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his family, and Baltimore City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Andres Alonso added to our excitement. Many thanks from the UBP family for the support of the wider educational community, and interest in playing and learning with the families of Baltimore.  Also, over 6,000 winter coats were distributed to Baltimore families thanks to Operation Warm.

If you missed today’s event, check out our PlayBook for more information about how you can incorporate play in the everyday lives of your families in new ways.

Here are some pictures in case you missed today’s celebrations of the arts and sciences of play:

IMG_0501IMG_0502IMG_0503IMG_0504IMG_0505IMG_0506
IMG_0510IMG_0520IMG_0521IMG_0522IMG_0523IMG_0524
IMG_0525IMG_0526IMG_0527IMG_0528IMG_0529IMG_0989
IMG_0990IMG_0532IMG_0991IMG_0992IMG_0993IMG_0994

If you aren’t already following us on twitter, you can find us @UBPlay and we also suggest you follow our sister organization L_rn on facebook and on twitter @L_rn. L-rn is a new web portal for today’s families to have open dialogue with scientists and child development professionals to help improve the lives of ALL of our children. Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for more updates, blog postings, and announcements about future events.

Thank you to everyone, especially the children whose play makes the future brighter.

Written by Dr. Jennifer Zosh of Penn State University, Brandywine Campus  on behalf of Ultimate Block Party.

Can you believe it? Only 9 days left until the Ultimate Block Party in Baltimore!

Are you coming? RSVP on facebook: http://on.fb.me/nuMKWt

As this article in the Mt. Washington Post discusses, Baltimore is gearing up for the ultimate day of play on Sunday, October 2.  From the kickoff Teach Learn Play 5K presented from Playworks to the official Baltimore Ultimate Block Party, October 2 will be a day of play and learning in Baltimore! Be there!

Check out our official press release – Baltimore, here we come!

For immediate release: September 8, 2011

Marylanders Serious about Play

Baltimore, Md. – Children learn essential skills by doing something they all know and enjoy: playing. And on Sunday, October 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rash Field in the Inner Harbor, the whole city is invited to come together and celebrate playing—and the rich learning and growth that come with it—at Baltimore’s own Ultimate Block Party. The event comes on the heels of two other Ultimate Block Party celebrations—in New York City and Toronto, Canada—and makes Baltimore the third in a series of play celebrations in major cities across North America. Children and their families can take part in classic childhood pastimes—dressing up like railroad conductors, playing Four Square, flying paper airplanes, jumping rope and making art from recycled materials. And they can do yoga, make hip-hop music and play rock-n-roll baseball—and any number of other fun, family-friendly games and activities.

The Ultimate Block Party in Baltimore is hosted by the Ultimate Block Party and Port Discovery Children’s Museum, and sponsored by several local and national organizations: Baltimore City Public Schools’ Family Institute,  Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, the Goddard Schools, the Walters Art Museum, T. Rowe Price, Sprout, Child First Authority, the Center for Jewish Education.

Family Institute, which works to provide Baltimore City Public Schools families with resources to support student learning in school and at home, embraced the Ultimate Block Party as a way to show that learning extends far beyond school. “The Ultimate Block Party is a great way to help families practice things that will support their students’ achievement –while having fun,” said Michael Sarbanes, executive director of City Schools’ Office of Engagement. “We believe our parents and communities play an incredibly important role in our students’ academic success, and this day puts that belief into action.”

“The Ultimate Block Party shares a common vision and understanding with Family Institute and the event’s many other sponsors that play equals learning—and does wonders to boost a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development,” said Susan Magsamen, president of the organization Ultimate Block Party (UBP) and director of interdisciplinary partnerships for Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute. “This event is as much about raising awareness of the learning that can happen through play as it is about letting loose and having fun.”

Founded in 2010, UBP is the result of leading scientists in education, psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science coming together with parents, teachers, school administrators and pediatricians who noticed a decrease in the amount of time kids spend playing. “Social, academic and economic pressures have led to an all-but disappearance of play in the lives of children,” Magsamen said. “But we know from our research that children learn best through discovery, imagination, play and collaborative learning.”

Organizers of the initial event were rewarded for their vision when more than 50,000 people from every borough in New York City, and even surrounding communities from New Jersey to Connecticut, came out in droves and spent the day at play. With the success of the New York event, cities across the country rushed to tailor UBP to fit their own communities. Baltimore is the first of these cities to actually hold an Ultimate Block Party event. So come out, Baltimore, come out and play on Sunday, October 2!

###

Contact: Robin Stevens Payes Ultimate Block Party

Cell: 240.351.5847

robin@wordsworkcom.com

 

Andria Washington

Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Phone: 410.864.2681

awashington@portdiscovery.org


  • Amanda Gambill: Playworks is so happy to have the Ultimate Block party here in Baltimore! The event is going to be amazing! We are also looked forward to being the mo
  • Shaping Youth » AHA & Nintendo: Tag-Teaming Innovation To Get Kids Moving (Pt2): [...] “fun and games” started taking on an electronic, screen-based focus and child’s play shifted from the ramp-n-rev of the recess bell to bra
  • Beth Kimberly: Absolutely! Recess is an invaluable part of the school day. I love that, as you point out, "there were NO negative impacts of recess." I find it awful
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