Playborhood: Silicon Valley Dad On Mission to Get Kids Playing Outside Again

November 17, 2016
in Kids

It’s 3 p.m. Do you know where your child is? Menlo Park father Mike Lanza doesn’t. His 12-year-old son may be at a friend’s house or in the backyard. He’s not always sure. And that is what he prefers. Lanza has been advocating for more childhood independence through what he calls “Playborhood,” a movement to create neighborhood spaces for unstructured play. He believes more kids should play outside and roam around the neighborhood, as children did in past decades, without the constant supervision of parents. “The fundamental thing that’s missing is children don’t have nearly as much independence as children have in the past and I think it’s hurting them in many ways,” said Lanza, a father of three boys. Lanza has turned his two-story home into a “playborhood”— complete with a trampoline, skate ramp, zip line, play house, scooters — any child’s dream space. Neighborhood children and their parents are invited to play at any time. The former software and tech entrepreneuer has also written a book and started a blog about Playborhood. Lanza has a Master of Education, Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Stanford University. Living in a high-achievement region like Silicon Valley, Lanza believes children are overscheduled with extra-curricular activities and academic pursuits. Children rarely go...

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