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New Program 'The Genius of Play' Emphasizes the Importance of Childhood Play

New Program 'The Genius of Play' Emphasizes the Importance of Childhood Play

Hundreds of pediatric offices across the country to participate in a new program to educate parents about how critical play is to healthy childhood development.

Kids these days spend upwards of two hours each day on screens, according to the 2017 Common Sense Census. And they’re not getting dirty enough, either, say other experts. That’s why there’s a new national movement called The Genius of Play to raise awareness about how critical play is for children.

In partnership with Outcome Health, a technology company that provides educational materials in doctors offices and hospitals to improve overall patient health, The Genius of play will encourage more play, emphasizing the important role it plays in child development.

"Research shows that through play, children learn how to interact with others and reach critical developmental milestones," says Renee Tulenko, senior vice president at Outcome Health.

Through this partnership, The Genius of Play will provide content to air on waiting room TVs and digital wallboards in exam rooms in more than 200 pediatric offices across the U.S. These displays will feature facts about the importance of play and direct viewers to the organization’s website for games and activities to play while they wait to be seen by the doctor. Ideas are individually tailored to all ages.

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"The waiting room of a doctor's office is an ideal place to reach parents and educate them on the importance of play," says Anna Yudina, director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association, the organization that spearheads The Genius of Play. "Given the average wait time to see a doctor is 20 minutes, The Genius of Play's videos and infographics will help make the wait go faster by offering parents information about the role of play in healthy child development, as well as fun play ideas that have lifelong benefits for kids."

The program began June 15 and will run through September 15. For additional information and play ideas, visit TheGeniusofPlay.org.