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

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora