Playing for Keeps

What if there were a way to make play not only more wholesome, creative and imaginative for children, but also more targeted to their developmental needs? Could promoting an environment of constructive play in our schools be part of the solution to school-based violence? Shouldn’t all children have access to play that fits their developmental level, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances or abilities? Shouldn’t parents be encouraged to remember that kids need unstructured time in their day for imaginative free play?

Playing for Keeps was founded in 1998 to promote and protect the role of play in our society. ACM adopted the former nonprofit as one of its leadership initiatives in 2008, with transitional funding from past Playing for Keeps supporters. Play has always been at the core of ACM’s work and that of its members. Yet play opportunities for young children are diminishing, drawing increased concern from educators, parents and the general public. Promoting the necessity of play and advocating that communities and families make play a daily habit has become more important than ever.

Goals for the ACM Playing For Keeps Leadership Initiative

  • To elevate the discourse about the importance of play
  • To empower and support ACM members with resources and advocacy tools
  • To position children’s museums as vital early learning partners in their communities