Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play


In Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play, you'll find inspiring stories of innovative communities throughout the US and Canada that have successfully created vibrant neighborhood play lives for their children. You'll also get a comprehensive set of step-by-step solutions to change your family and neighborhood cultures, so that your kids can spend less time in front of screens and in adult-supervised activities, and more time engaging in joyful neighborhood ...
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In Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play, you'll find inspiring stories of innovative communities throughout the US and Canada that have successfully created vibrant neighborhood play lives for their children. You'll also get a comprehensive set of step-by-step solutions to change your family and neighborhood cultures, so that your kids can spend less time in front of screens and in adult-supervised activities, and more time engaging in joyful neighborhood play.
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Editorial Reviews

Peter Gray
"When I speak to groups of parents about the great value of children's self-directed outdoor play, the first question I'm usually asked is about how to make such play possible in today's world. My answer to date has generally begun with a reference to Mike Lanza's Playborhood website. Now I can refer them to this book! This is not only a great resource; it's also a great read. You'll enjoy it, and it'll get you thinking, even if you don't have kids. A better place for kids is a better place for all of us."
- Peter Gray, research professor and play specialist, Boston College
Mark Lakeman
"In your hands is a book that is a revelation. It will teach you to see the the true meaning of the neighborhood where you live. Mike Lanza helps you honor your children's wonder of the world around them and inspires you with his strategies, vision, and community love stories."
- Mark Lakeman, founder of the City Repair Project
Joan Almon
"When I was young my friends and I played all over our neighborhood. It was our world, and it gave us the security to go out later and explore the wider world around us. Life is different now. You can drive through the safest neighborhoods and they look like ghost towns. Not a single child is outside playing. I am so grateful to Mike Lanza for reminding us that play begins at home and in our neighborhoods. It takes so little to make it happen there - just awareness, passion, and commitment. This book helps to feed all of those."
- Joan Almon, Director, Alliance for Childhood
Ken Denmead
"In Playborhood, Mike Lanza reminds us that 'Go outside and play!' isn't about driving our kids away, but about enriching their lives. Even better, he lays out a wide range of examples to inspire each of us to create play-friendly spaces in our homes and blocks. Playborhood makes me want to go out and turn my front yard into the funnest place in town for kids to hang out!"
- Ken Denmead, author of the Geek Dad series of books
Robin Moore
"At one level Playborhood is a compelling parenting guide. Mike Lanza is one of a growing number of activist parents who want their kids to have a happy childhood, acquire basic life skills, successfully navigate adolescence, and become self-reliant, socially adept, creative, problem-solving adults. In short, he proposes a return to the historic basics of healthy, happy childhoods. The Lanza key to success is for parents to take actions in the 'front space' of homes, streets, and neighborhoods.

On another level, this well-researched, lively, easy-to-read, 'Jane Jacobs primer for kids' presents timely lessons to all those who influence the spatial public realm of neighborhoods - architects, landscape architects, planners, traffic engineers, community developers, neighborhood associations, public officials; and especially developers. Anyone concerned with the lifestyle issues affecting the healthy development of today's children should read the compelling lessons of Playborhood."
- Robin Moore, Professor of Landscape Architecture, North Carolina State University

Po Bronson
"Playborhood is important reading and an inspiration for all of us concerned with how childhood has changed."
- Po Bronson, co-author of Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children
Richard Louv
"The value of unstructured outdoor play, fading in the virtual age, is vital for children's health and happiness. This invaluable book, Playborhood, will inspire you create the kind of outdoor environment that nurtures the hearts of children - and parents."
- Richard Louv, author of The Last Child in the Woods
Darell Hammond
"While there is an increasing amount of literature bemoaning our country's growing play deficit and community apathy, Mike Lanza has decided to do something about it. This book is bursting with practical inspiration on how to transform your block into a vibrant, communal space for kids to play. His case studies span inner cities, suburbs, and small towns alike, demonstrating that no matter where you live, you have the tools in hand to effect real, lasting change for your neighborhood's youngest residents. A must-read for any parent who wants to give their kids the same kind of childhood we enjoyed -- back when outdoor play was as simple as opening the front door."
- Darell Hammond, author of KaBOOM! How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play
Alice McLerran
"Want to be part of a revolution that can return free outdoor play--once the birthright of childhood--to today's kids? Playborhood is a seriously subversive book, an inspiring "how-to" guide. It outlines with zest and clarity approaches that parents in affluent suburbs or tough inner city blocks can take to create a safe space for shared, imaginative, vigorous outdoor play that kids will love and make their own."
- Alice McLerran, author of Roxaboxen
Vicki Abeles
"A culture of play helps children develop into happy, healthy, responsible, creative adults. Single family approaches like cutting down on screen time or structured activities are a step in the right direction, but Playborhood highlights the importance of families engaging in community action to create a culture of play for everyone."
- Vicki Abeles, producer of the documentary film, Race to Nowhere
Stuart Brown
"Play and love are the most formative forces for good and survival in our species' long term adventures on this planet. Good and credible neuroscience and a wealth of paleo-anthroplogic data now confirm that our 'pursuit of happiness' rests on these two elements that are foundational for our becoming fully human. What Mike Lanza accomplishes in Playborhood is to bring his own deep love of his kids, and his transformative knowledge of play into mainstream action, where it is most relevant and needed. The examples in the book of successful play based neighborhood activities in a wide variety of settings also confirms the power of play to bind latent community energies into a contagious pervasive play ethic. The positive implications of this readable and engaging book impact parenting, education and the building of a trusting, life-sustaining neighborhood."
- Stuart Brown MD, Founder and President of The National Institute for Play
Fred Kent
"Playborhood demonstrates how we can transcend the isolation of our neighborhoods to find engagement with others. Mike Lanza gives an intuitive sense for how to do this because he and the others he writes about are 'walking the walk.' This book is full of tangible steps we can take in our neighborhoods to immediately improve our happiness, health, and sense of place."
- Fred Kent, President of the Project for Public Spaces
Gever Tulley
"Playborhood is the new owner's manual for your block. Everything you need to transform your neighborhood into a healthy, playful, and lively place for children and families. Reclaim your streets, trees, and front lawns - it's time to make space for free-ranging play. Mike Lanza has written the how-to manual for a new generation of families that want to do more living where they live.
- Gever Tulley, author of 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984929818
  • Publisher: Free Play Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 416,940
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Lanza has been blogging about kids, play, and neighborhoods at since 2007. He's worked hard to create a very rich neighborhood play life for his three boys - ages 7, 4, and 2 - in Menlo Park, California. He's also discovered and written about dozens of neighborhoods throughout North America that are doing innovative things to make a vibrant life for kids. Prior to his writing career, Mike was a five-time software and Internet entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. He holds an MA in Education, an MBA, and an MA and BA in Economics, all from Stanford University.
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