Photo 'Just Rome' courtesy of Pensiero on Flickr

100+Top Play Resources (Now 300+)

'Just Rome' courtesy of Pensiero on Flickr

‘Just Rome’ courtesy of Pensiero at Flickr

[ This list currently has over 300 entries. I am trying to keep it updated, so please let me know what I am missing!  Thanks, Carol]

There’s growing recognition that play is not just, well, child’s play. Mounting evidence shows play has a crucial role in cognitive, physiological, behavioral and social development and adaptation at all ages and stages of life.

In essence, we need to take play seriously. Play has been recognized as a right of every child by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. It is also the right of teens, adults and seniors. As we learn more about the benefits of play, it’s apparent it belongs in living rooms and boardrooms, and in sand lots and parking lots – any place there’s room to move. Play sculpts our brains, our bodies, our relationships, and our future.

Below is a wide ranging – but by no means exhaustive – list of play resources that includes organizations, resources, guidelines and reports, current news stories, books, audio and video, e-newsletters, blogs, twitter hashtags, image and design collections, programs, locations, and events.

Many of these sites offer extensive resource lists and news feeds of their own that integrate the fields of education, urban design, transportation, the environment, nature, physical activity, sports, nutrition, and obesity. While the list focuses on more recent resources that mainly center on play, there are many, many outstanding resources I’ve overlooked. Please feel free to add them in the comment section…on your way out the door to play.

Play: Organizations (alphabetical)

Play: Resources (alphabetical)

Play: Guidelines & Reports (most recent first)

Play: Books (alphabetical order)

  • 50 dangerous things (you should let your children do).  Gever Tulley, NAL Trade (Reprint edition), 2011.
  • The ambiguity of play. Brian Sutton-Smith, Harvard University Press, 2001.
  • Children at play: an American history . Howard Chudacoff, NYU Press, 2007.
  • The dangerous book for boys. Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden, William Morrow, 2007.
  • The daring book for girls. Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, William Morrow, 2007.
  • Exuberant animal: the power of health, play and joyful movement. Frank Forencich, AuthorHouse, 2006.
  • From ritual to record: The nature of modern sports. Allen Guttmann, Columbia University Press, 1979.**
  • The genesis of animal play: testing the limits. Gordon Burghardt, The MIT Press, 2005.
  • The genius of play: Celebrating the spirit of childhood. Sally Jenkinson, Hawthorn Press Ltd, 2001.
  • Homo Ludens – A study of the play element in culture. Johan Huizinga, Beacon Press, 1971.
  • KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. Darell Hammond, Rodale Books, 2011.
  • Last child in the woods: saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Richard Louv, Algonquin Books, 2008.
  • Man, play and games. Roger Caillois, University of Illinois Press , 1961. **
  • Play = learning: how play motivates and enhances children’s cognitive and social-emotional growth. Dorothy G. Singer, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (eds). Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Play as if your life depends on it: functional exercise and living for Homo sapiens. Frank Forencich, Go Animal, 2003.
  • Play dreams and imitation in childhood. Jean Piaget, W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1962.**
  • Play. How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul. Stuart Brown, with Christopher Vaughan. Avery, New York, 2009.
  • Playing and learning outdoors: Making provision for high quality experiences in the outdoor environment. Jan White, Routledge, 2007.
  • Play reconsidered: sociological perspectives on human expression. Thomas S. Henricks, University of Illinois Press, 2006.
  • The Games We Played: A Celebration of Childhood and Imagination . Steven A. Cohen, Simon & Schuster, 2001.
  • The play ethic: A manifesto for a different way of living. Pat Kane, Macmillan UK, 2005.
  • The power of play. David Elkind, Da Capo Press, 2007.
  • The theory of the leisure class. Thorstein Veblen, Penguin Classics, 1991.**
  • Under the sky: Playing, working and enjoying adventures in the open air – a handbook for parents, carers and teachers. Sally Schweizer, Rudolf Steiner Press, April 2009.

** Recommended by Dr. Jack Berryman, noted sports historian, Professor, Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington School of Medicine.

Play: Audio & videos (Most recent first)

Playful popular videos

Play: Image and design collections (alphabetical order)

Play: e-Newsletters (alphabetical order)

Play: Blogs (alphabetical)

Play: Twitter

Hashtags  #playoutdoors  #playoutside  #recessrevolution #goplay  #parks
(These streams are a great way to find play-centric individuals and organizations to follow)

Play: Programs (alphabetical order)

Play: Locations

Play: Conferences

Play: Events

Play: Current News Stories (most recent first)

Related posts on play

Note: I have bookmarked all these resources on the social bookmarking site at

Photo: “Just Rome” courtesy of Pensiero at Flickr