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What Is Missing From This Picture?

hopscotch If you said ‘absolutely nothing’ (or ‘fat children’) congratulations, you get it. If you said ‘adult supervision’ or ‘helmets’ then you are a tedious fool. I have not seen the movie Where Do the Children Play? but I’m pretty sure I’m on board with the central theme.

This thought-provoking documentary examines an issue of growing concern among pediatricians, mental health experts, educators and environmentalists: more and more children are growing up with few opportunities for unstructured play, especially outdoors.

You don’t even see kids playing outside in the snow any more. Children used to be kicked out of the house by their parents and told not to come back until dinner. They then roamed the neighborhood in noisy gangs — usually with a pack of dogs — got into trouble, made up contests and games, staged plays, devised money-making schemes, formed weirdass clubs, and learned how to navigate social situations and become autonomous and independent citizens of the world. (And that world is not a scarier place, parents just do not assess risk properly.) The movie will be shown at Temple Beth-El next Tuesday evening and will be followed by a panel discussion. It will screen again on March 30th down at the URI Kingston Campus.

[I originally had this incorrectly slated for tonight. The event takes place one week from tonight. My apologies to the commenter and anyone else who has been inconvenienced. I usually check and double check, but I was rushing. BC]

Tuesday, March 16, 7pm to 9pm, Temple Beth-El, 70 Orchard Avenue

8 thoughts on “What Is Missing From This Picture?”

  1. Megan, Providence Children's Museum says:

    Beth – thanks so much for posting about this event (twice!). I was excited to see the comments and the link shared. We had a great conversation following our screening and I wanted to let everyone know that the Children’s Museum has a community discussion listserv called “PlayWatch: Connecting the Community to Promote Children’s Play” ( It’s a way to share articles, ideas, other resources – please join the conversation if you’re interested!

  2. Pingback: Documentary & Discussion — Where Do The Children Play | Providence Daily Dose
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  4. Andy says:

    Forget Goofing Around: Recess Has a New Boss / March 14, 2010

  5. Frymaster says:

    There’s some related research on playgrounds that shows that the most-used playgrounds are NOT the one’s with the nicest stuff. Rather, kids prefer ‘free form’ play areas that have raw play materials – boards, sticks, an old steering wheel, maybe some little shovels – that let them create their own play-scape, if you will. It’s in A Pattern Language.

  6. Andy says:

    Thanks so much for correcting this. I just happy to know that we still get to see it! Thanks again, Beth! 🙂

  7. mangeek says:

    Awesome! Well said, Beth!

  8. Beth Comery says:

    I feel absolutely terrible. The screening is next week on Tuesday March 16th. Please accept my sincerest apologies. So so sorry.

  9. Andy says:

    Location/Date change?

    Went and the lights were out; no cars. 🙁

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