The intersection of play and mental health among kids is at the forefront of a new research initiative being conducted by toy company Hasbro and Boston Children’s Hospital that will look at how different types of play affects kids’ development.
The collaboration labelled #MorePlayToday is a byproduct of interactive media’s transformative affects on how kids learn, communicate and play.
#MorePlayToday will allow the researchers to observe play in all of its forms, whether traditional or digital, and to follow children as they grow. In kicking things off, Boston Children’s Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) will undergo a global review of all existing studies on play. Once the literature search is underway, #MorePlayToday will observe the flow of children’s play in a variety of settings throughout their day. Participating parents will complete reports on their children’s social development, creativity, positive and negative behaviors, language skills and physical health.
At the conclusion of the multi-year study, the team will be able to advise parents on which types of play should be encouraged in order to best serve the developmental well-being of children. The team will share the characteristics of play that increase critical developmental outcomes, and it will be in a position to recommend which environments are most conducive to different types of play.
Seeing as it’s rooted in interactive media, the collaboration will have a social media presence under the #MorePlayToday hashtag, and parents are being encouraged to ask questions about media and child health at askthemediatrician.org.