News / USA

'Play Lady' Encourages Everyone to Play

'Play Lady' Encourages Everyone to Playi
X
April 29, 2013 8:40 PM
In the era of electronic games and DVDs, playing outside has become a lost art for many children, especially in urban areas. As VOA’s June Soh tells us, a former school teacher believes in the benefits of old-fashioned play, though, and encourages kids and adults to do it as a regular part of their lives. The 'Play Lady' organizes regular Play Days in the Washington suburbs.

'Play Lady' Encourages Everyone to Play

June Soh
In the era of electronic games and DVDs, playing outside has become a lost art for many children, especially in urban areas. A former school teacher believes in the benefits of old-fashioned play, though, and encourages kids and adults to do it as a regular part of their lives. The 'Play Lady' organizes regular Play Days in the Washington suburbs.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, a street in a neighborhood outside Washington has been closed to traffic and transformed into a playground. Children and adults of all ages came outside.   

"That is my exercise. It is a gorgeous day. So we come out to play. I like to play. We all love to play. That's why we are here,” said Ping Fahn, a Takoma park resident.

It is play day in Takoma Park, Maryland, hosted by longtime resident Pat Rumbaugh and her volunteer group. Rumbaugh founded Takoma Plays five years ago.

“We invite everyone, not only residents in Takoma Park, but people beyond. Because really what we care about is encouraging everyone to play,” she said.

Rumbaugh is known as 'The Play Lady' in the neighborhood. She recently retired, after teaching physical education at a Washington high school for 30 years. She said people deserve to play every day, especially if they work hard.

“Recent research does show that society, people in general, would feel so much better if they play. When people play they are less stressed, they are happier, they are more content with life," said Rumbaugh.

She said children benefit the most from unstructured, or free play.

“Children learn to get along with one another, they learn to negotiate, they learn to be kind. Children learn new experiences, they learn how to play new games,” said Rumbaugh.

And they get to make up new adventures, costumed in clothes donated by neighbors.  

Three kids play pirate in dress-up clothes.

“That is treasure, right?" asked one.

“Right,” confirmed another.

"Where did you find the treasure?" asked a reporter.

“When we sunk to the bottom of the ocean,” said one kid.

“So we’ve got a new ship, right?”  

“Yeah.”

“When they play with dress-up clothes, they become creative and imaginative, which they may not have tried before,” said Rumbaugh.

Takoma Park resident Tony Castleman brought his two young sons out to play.

“They are both enjoying it. I think it is nice for kids to [have] this type of good old-fashioned play. Often times these days activities are very structured a lot of times, based on electronics and something like that,” he said.

Castleman said it also helps neighbors get to know one another better.

“I think it is a great way for the neighborhood just to sort of bond and to spend time together,” he said.

Jamie Raskin, who represents Takoma Park in the Maryland state Senate, also thinks it's a great idea.

“I think it can be reproduced in cities and towns all over the state and across the country eventually. But it really does take people in the neighborhood to get out and invite kids to come play,” said Raskin.

This is Rumbaugh's next big goal.

"I decided that I would form a non-profit called Let’s Play America that helps facilitate play in communities, towns, cities all over America,” she said.

Rumbaugh hopes schools embrace the initiative and that everyone in the country makes time to play and enjoys the benefits.

You May Like

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid