Earlier this month, The Genius of Play, The Toy Association’s initiative to change consumer attitudes and behaviors by communicating the proven developmental benefits of play, unveiled plans for Play All May, its first-ever month long celebration of play taking place in May. We spoke with Steve Pasierb, The Toy Association’s president and CEO, to find out why it was important to launch the celebration and how toymakers can join the fun.
Why is The Genius of Play launching a month-long celebration of play?
Pasierb: The body of science documents that play is crucial to healthy child development – and while many toy companies know this, the fact remains that parents and the public need to be educated and reminded of the critical skills kids learn through play. On the heels of new research documenting the positive impact of the Genius of Play and given that the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a clinical report asking pediatricians to write kids a ‘prescription for play,’ as well as dozens of states calling for legislation to increase the length of recess at schools, it’s clear the time was right to launch this celebration. Given the shift in how the medical community, the educator community, and the public perceives play, we aim to accelerate momentum by encouraging parents, educators, and those in the industry to make time for play!
What exactly will happen during the month-long celebration?
Pasierb: Leading up to the month, we’re kicking off a major PR initiative to excite the public and industry combined with launching a new advertising campaign in digital, social, and in broadcast media markets across the nation. There will be a live announcement about “Play All May” at the TTPM Spring Showcase on April 25 in New York City.
Each day throughout May, The Genius of Play will share fun and engaging play activities, notable research facts, and other impactful play-related information on social media – and award daily giveaways of toy and game prizes. Dozens of online influencers will blast out social posts on their own channels, and 75 Learning Express stores across the U.S. will feature Play All May signage and hold events to bring the celebration to their communities.
How can toy companies participate?
Pasierb: We encourage members of The Toy Association to donate toys to one of the giveaways. It’s free for members and great exposure for your brand and products since The Genius of Play’s social media channels reach 2 million people every month! Companies are also encouraged to share Play All May assets on their own channels to spotlight the importance of play.
To reserve a spot in the giveaway program, Association member companies can complete the online form. Submissions will be accepted through March 31. For more information, contact Janis Zegman, at The Toy Association.
The Toy Association’s Genius of Play initiative is a leading resource on the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional benefits of play that serve children throughout their lives for parents, teachers, and the public. The Genius of Play’s website offers expert advice from play and child development experts, play ideas, and resources for teachers.