Philly Play is a project of the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation and Philadelphia City Council. Formed in 2013, the Philly Play program has grown from 15 recreation centers to 65 recreation centers with 1,600 kids, 75 staff and a combined total of over 48,000 hours of play coach facilitated, heart rate elevating playtime each summer.
Play Philly is dedicated to ensuring that every Philly kids gets 60 minutes of heart rate elevating play every day. We accomplish this goal by providing structured, high quality active play and recreation programming in Parks and Recreation Centers and by educating, training, empowering and supporting adults who work with kids.
Heart rate elevating physical activity is critically important to the wellbeing of Philadelphia’s kids. Increased physical activity increases life expectancy, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and improves the physical and psychological well-being of kids. According to the Philadelphia Department of Health, Philadelphia kids are sedentary for more than 60-percent of their day. Girls, particularly pre-teen and teenage girls, are significantly less likely to be physically active than boys of the same age. Children of color are more likely than white children to be overweight and obese and have less access to high quality, supervised heart rate elevating structured play.
Of the top ten largest cities in America, Philadelphia ranks number one when it comes to the percentage of children with obesity and number two when it comes to the percentage of children who are overweight.
But we can change outcomes for Philadelphia children if we get them off of the couch, out of the house, and engaged in at least 60-minutes of heart rate-elevating, active play every single day.