Since 2016, Hasbro Inc. and the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) have been working together on a multi-phase research initiative, #MorePlayToday. Data collection ended last year, and the initial findings of the study show the importance of play as reflected in a sampling of 327 children ages 2½ to 8 in the U.S. and Mexico. According to the CMCH, “no other academic play research has followed a sample for this long with such intensive measurements with multi-country longitudinal participants.”
Among the findings, active play was associated with less sadness; letter and number play, board games, and card games were linked to school readiness and other positive behaviors, such as social competence (respect and empathy); and play with adults was associated with better memory. The findings were delivered with a prescription for play.
“Our first priority is the well-being of children and their families, so we felt it was our responsibility to champion research to understand the implications of play and media use on children’s development,” says John Frascotti, president and COO of Hasbro. “The team at CMCH developed pioneering methodology for this research which goes far deeper than any past academic research on play, and we hope these results will offer caregivers, teachers, and medical professionals useful guidance on which types of play best serve the developmental needs of children.”
The Prescription for Play Includes:
- Letter play;
- Active play;
- Board game play;
- Number play; and
- Play with parents.
“It’s important for parents, caregivers, physicians, and educators to understand that play is more than just fun,” says Michael Rich, founder and director of CMCH.