Play in Difficult Times

A few notes on the importance of play in difficult times: Play is essential to child development. So all you super-parents out there working from home, home-schooling, and/or parenting under stress and isolation can rest easy that simply letting children play at home or (socially-distanced) at a park is contributing their physical, social, cognitive, and…

Nature Journal

Is there anything more beautiful than the first almost lime-colored spring green that appears on the willow trees of New York City at the end of March? Playgrounds may be temporarily closed, but we can still take walks outside (with caution, masks, and social distancing), pass street trees and community gardens, and visit our neighborhood…

Trauma-Informed Resilient Schools

Greetings Beautiful School Communities, As we all adjust to our new normal amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, I’d like to share a resource offered by Starr Commonwealth on Trauma-Informed Resilient Schools Teacher Training. This online training is currently being offered free of charge. You can “purchase” it now for free using the coupon code noted,…

P.E. at Home or in a Park

We know that getting exercise can help us focus, reduces stress, and improves our health. The CDC recommends that children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 years do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. If you’re currently home schooling, here are a few free online resources for getting in P.E. time throughout…

COVID-19 Resources & Support

So many of our amazing programmatic partners have compiled resources to help communities find support while schools are closed, from securing meals to online teaching resources to resources about safety and COVID-19. We’ve compiled them here, and we’ll keep adding to the list. Thank you for all you do! From Wellness in the Schools – COVID-19…

NYC Parks LIVE

Even from home, we can stay tuned into Spring through Live Broadcasts from NYC Park’s new Parks@Home site. Here’s a sampling of their programs: Join an NYC Parks Ranger for a scenic hike or nature activity, live every Tuesday. Have you visited every park in NYC? On Wednesdays, tune in for a live walk through…

Play:Ground NYC – Train as a Playworker

You may remember Play:Ground NYC’s amazing Playworkers from their presentations at our Annual Stewardship Workshops. You can currently sign-up for their Spring Playworker Training to learn about playwork with play:ground’s head playworker, Yoni Kallai.  The NYC Playgrounds Program would be happy to support the training through our mini-grant program with hopes that the attending teacher…

The Movement Creative

The Movement Creative is an amazing NYC-based parkour, movement, and games organization that we’ve been inviting to partner with our school communities. Although Parkour is often seen as an activity for the super fit and super bold YouTube sensations jumping from window ledges to building tops, I’ve loved seeing how their movement philosophy translates to…

School Garden – Planning the Nitty Gritty

So much about properly caring for a new school garden concerns the nitty, gritty nuts and bolts of who’s doing what and when and where are all the things kept?! Here are some questions and logistics to consider when you’re coordinating use of your school’s new garden. You might keep this info on a worksheet in…

Basic Garden Tips: All About Weeds

Lets talk about weeds! What’s wrong with weeds? Bad for your other plants. It is especially important to manage weed growth in small spaces like schoolyard gardens and plots where soil and nutrients are limited.  Unfortunately, weeds left to grow wild will eventually kill some plants and stress others. Too messy. Weeds make your school…