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Welcome to the Play = Learning Web Site

On June 10 and 11, 2005, at Yale University, Dorothy Singer, Roberta Golinkoff, and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek hosted a conference called PLAY = LEARNING. We held the conference because of the pressures on young children NOT to play but to learn disembodied facts, even in the crib. We lament our culture's increasing emphasis on drill and practice at the expense of play. Sponsored by the Fisher-Price toy company, the conference included outstanding researchers who study the benefits of play in a variety of domains vital to children's development. We hoped to do our bit to counter the trend that makes PLAY a four-letter word in our society. We hoped to make the broader point that play is the work of childhood and essential to children's growth and healthy development.

An edited volume with the same name as the conference is due to emerge in late 2005 or 2006 from Oxford University Press. Edited by the conference organizers (Singer, Golinkoff, and Hirsh-Pasek), it contains the papers presented at the conference.

This site also contains a Manifesto that emerged from the conference. If you agree with it, please sign it and include your affiliation. While we cannot in advance tell you the uses to which this Manifesto will be put, we will use it whenever we are in a position to advocate for children's play -- and you can too. Please do not share these names with anyone for any commercial purpose. However, it would be wonderful if people you know who feel similarly could add their names to the Manifesto so spread the word!