Mike Lanza, MA Ed and MBA, is Chief Blogger at Playborhood.com and author on the subject of kids' play in neighborhoods. In his new book Playborhood Mike explains that modern technology, in the form of screen activities (TV, computers, cell phones, video games, etc) offer instant gratification, and are far, far more interesting to kids than most neighborhoods, which have a bunch of trees, cars, and a street, but zero action. In other words, kids will not tear themselves away from their screens and go out into their neighborhoods because, relatively speaking, their neighborhoods are B-O-R-I-N-G.
Mike says that, ultimately, the solution to this problem is for parents to make their neighborhoods more attractive to their kids in order to lure them outside. In other words, we need to make our neighborhoods so interesting to our kids that they'll actually want to go outside. That's what Mike has been doing in his neighborhood, and it seems to be working. "We've been there for almost two years, and now, all neighborhood kids know that if it's nice outside, there's likely to be something interesting going on. That's, to some extent, due to the time and effort that my boys and I have put into our yard and playing out there, but we've created a dynamic in which more play happens regardless of whether we're out there or not".
To find out more about how to turn your neighborhood into a playborhood you can visit playborhood.com.
You can also meet Mike in person for a book event Saturday at 11:00 am at A Children's Place Bookstore located at 4807 NE Fremont in Portland.