Play On!

Play On!

Play On! Research

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Our Research:

To validate the program, through a research grant administered by SHAPE America, Dr. Yuanglong Liu and Dr. Suzan F. Ayers of the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Western Michigan University, developed and implemented an objective analysis of the Play On! Program.

They conducted a national study to evaluate the program that provided specific information about the correlation between the program and physical activity benefits. Fourteen schools were selected through a national Beta Site selection process through SHAPE America, in which schools submitted an application to volunteer to participate in the research. Approximately 6,000 children from 14 beta sites in 5 states participated from February to May 2009. Research included a series of pre– and post– intervention surveys completed by the teacher, children, parents, as well as two focus groups at one of the Beta Sites to qualitatively measure physical activity and skill development. The photo above is an example of a Play On Beta Site installed in Whitehall Ohio.

The Play On! program incorporates the evidence-based 6 Elements of Play. To learn more about the benefits, read below!

Multiple Benefits include:


  • Aligns with National Standards for Physical Education and 60 minutes of recommended physical activity.
  • Promotes moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity.
  • Teaches significant health and developmental benefits that outdoor play environments offer.
  • Reinforces classroom learning through cross-curricular activities.
  • Links to potential funding aligned to support health and wellness initiatives.
  • Maximizes playground investments for free play, physical education, energizers, and before/after school programming.

6 Elements of Play:


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