Why Planet Play?

Why? Because kids need play. Seriously. Families and communities need play, tooBut these days, play is in decline.

Since the 1970s, kids have lost 12 hours of free time per week and experienced a 50% decrease in time for unstructured play. Why? Screen time – television, computer games, tablets, electronic media generally – has replaced free play time.  Structured activities, like sports and lessons, gobble up more free play time.  Parents prioritize academics, even for little ones, with the best of intentions but not the best outcomes for children. Growing safety concerns and limited access to safe play spaces have made parents fearful of letting the kids go out to play, especially in low-income neighborhoods.

And grown-ups don’t get it. Parents and other adults aren’t aware of the importance of play, so don’t value, support or make time for it in their children’s lives. Or sometimes, even know how.

Planet Play is here to help! 

Our model is grounded in research and learning best-practices. It’s flexible, sustainable and responsive to the expressed needs of families in our community. It is developed by experts with 50+ combined years in both formal (school) and informal (museum, exhibits, activities) education who are leading the play and learning movement in Kansas City. It’s mobile, taking play to the people. And we “play it forward” by educating parents and caregivers about the “whys” and “hows” of play so they can incorporate play and its benefits into the family’s everyday life.


Unstructured, child-directed play is how young children learn about their world and build the social and cognitive skills they need to become productive, happy adults. Play helps them develop critical thinking, communication, problem-solving and collaboration skills that form the foundation for a lifetime of success. Children become active, engaged and confident when they can laugh, explore, discover and imagine in unstructured play. Play makes learning happen naturally, joyfully and inexpensively – no batteries required.  
Play builds close, involved families. Families grow stronger as they explore, imagine and create together.
Please connect with us if you would like to be a community partner. 

Shared play experiences foster inviting, safe, vibrant communities that come together to nurture children, support families and provide gathering places for all ages to experience the joy of play.