Reintroduce Free Play

The Why

In most of America, the days of sandlot/playground, pickup sports are long gone, replaced by a culture of practices, games and travel.

Kids are chauffeured and chaperoned by parents fearful of leaving their children unsupervised. Practice time is rigidly scheduled, with teams participating in ever more games and tournaments. The loss of free play has cost kids opportunities to exercise creativity, set and achieve goals, learn interpersonal skills and develop a love of physical activity for its own sake. Let kids play on their own terms, and they will.

Reintroduce free play

As recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics 

Four social barriers to informal play

More single parents, dual-working parents

Professionalization of parenthood

Impact of standardized testing mandates

Competition for college admissions

(Data: Ginsburg, Pediatrics, 2007)

What We Are Doing

Project Play WNY provides funding to organizations in the region to host Free Play Zones through the Summer and Winter Free Play Series competitive grant processes.

Contact us

If you are a youth sports organization interested in collaborative work to facilitate programming for sports sampling, please email inquiries to