The Ultimate Block Party aims to create a multi-pronged social movement that champions the importance of play and playful learning in children’s lives. We seek to ensure that all children are provided with competitive skills for the 21st century global world and to build a public groundswell about the value of play for fostering lifelong learning in the sciences and the arts. Our mission is to affect policy about children and the way we deliver education in our society.
Play & Learning are Complementary
Playful learning advances children’s social and academic achievement in ways that enables them to build the skills needed for 21st Century success.
Playful Learning is Children's Work
Playful learning is serious business. From blocks to architecture, scribbling to fine art, sandbox to boardroom, manyof the important skills that prepare young people for a successful future in the workplace originate in the playground.
Playful Learning is Essential
In the last two decades, children have lost an average of 8 hours of free play a week. The American Academy of Pediatrics calls the decline of playtime a national crisis.
"Play is essential for children at every age. It enhances their sense of curiosity."
"Play is not a 4-letter word, play is an opportunity for learning."
author and researcher, Temple University
"Play is how kids learn!"
author and researcher, University of Delaware
"Play reduces stress - doing playful things is a way that children are able to let go of stress."
Vice President, Boston Children's Museum
"Play is important for families. It is what knits us together through curiosity and joy!"
author and Sr VP at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Ultimate Block Party is a 501(c)(3), and all donations are tax-deductible. Please click below to help support our growth, allowing us to make a difference in more children’s lives.
Recreating the Block Party
The goal: to engage the community in a hands-on, interactive celebration that brings the arts and sciences of learning to life. Our plan is simple – channel the “block parties” of the past where families came together to share knowledge, excitement and experiences. In this case, we bring together the scientific community of researchers studying learning, the professional community of educators, social workers, and librarians, non-profit organizations invested in children such as museums and early learning service providers, and corporations that provide products for children, and families.
Gathering in Public Spaces
We use public spaces as the backdrop for the gathering of families, children and educators together to experience first-hand how play and learning are complementary. From dress-up to stacking blocks and creating art, cognitive research suggests that exploration and discovery experiences foster language and early literacy in children from diverse backgrounds.
Success Nationwide and Maybe in Your Town!
Successful Block Parties have been held in Central Park, New York, Toronto and Norwalk, and more and more cities are asking for the opportunity to hold a Block Party of their own. If you are interested in bringing the Ultimate Block Party to your town, Contact Us.
25 percent of kindergarten teachers surveyed said they had no time at all for free play in their classrooms (Alliance for Childhood report Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School, 2009).
In the last two decades, children have lost an average of eight hours of free play a week.
Only 36 percent of children meet doctors' recommendations for physical activity (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report Recess Rules, 2007).
UBP partnered with ACM in 2016. ACM’s members include more than 300 museums with 31 million visitors each year. ACM and its member museums are committed to individualized learning through play and children’s healthy development.