Why do union members picket the businesses they are striking against? Why do political protesters gather and march together? Why do I make sure my kids and I play in the front of our house rather than in the back?
We all do these things at least in part because we’re trying to make an impression on passers by, and ultimately persuade them to join us. Unions and protesters have learned over the years that this strategy works. The more often they put bodies out in public, and the more bodies they have out there, the more outsiders they can convert to their cause.
And so it is with play and neighborhoods, I’ve found. If you don’t care if your kids have more play opportunities with other kids, let them play inside your house and in your back yard. However, if you want to generate more play activity for your kids, you need your kids to be out front at every opportunity.
We’re thrilled to introduce our new weekly contributor Mike Lanza, founder of Playborhood, a blog (and soon-to-be-released book) that shows parents how to give their children a life of neighborhood play. Mike writes about how he’s done this for his three boys, ages 7, 3-1/2, and 2, in his Menlo Park, CA neighborhood, and he also writes about other playful neighborhoods throughout the US.