Ghost in the Graveyard
Did you know?
Since 1980, the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for children ages 2 – 5 and more than tripled for children ages 6 – 11.
Between 1981 and 1997, free playtime among 6 to 8 year olds dropped 25% and homework more than doubled.
Since 2005, the amount of time children and teens ages 8 -18 spend watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the internet increased from 1 hour, 15 minutes per day to more than 7 and a half hours per day. (That’s more than 53 hours a week and more than most adults spend on their full-time job!)
An increased focus on standardized testing has resulted in the reduction or elimination of recess in about 40% of American elementary schools, and in some districts, schools are being built without playgrounds.
What’s a parent, health professional, or child to do?
Marlene Byrne, an award-winning children’s author and advocate of unstructured playtime, has come to the rescue with PROJECT PLAY—a movement to get kids away from their televisions and into the backyard for exercise, creativity and old-fashioned fun.
With more than 20 years of experience as an advertising agency owner, spokesperson, and writer, Byrne is using her creative talent to inspire today’s overscheduled, electronic-focused, and dangerously overweight generation of children to get active. Through children’s books, community activities, and school curriculum, Byrne is bringing back the nostalgic memories of her youth and teaching children backyard games like pick up baseball, kick the can, and ghost in the graveyard.
As the founder and author of Project Play, Byrne is not the first to call for more unstructured playtime among children. But while there are countless initiatives to increase children’s activity levels, few of them aim directly at the children.
Some of our FRN members had the opportunity to review Ghost in the Graveyard ($9.99). Here’s what they had to say:
Mama’s Money Savers: After reading this book, I want to go out and play Ghost in the Graveyard! It is such a cute book with tons of great colorful pictures. Since it is a chapter book it is geared towards kids around 9 years old, but I can see reading this to my boys in a few years. The chapters are short and the font is big so it really is a quick read, even though it is 55 pages. I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for inspiration for your kids to get out and play and read a book! I am sure the other books in the series are just as fun and creative as this one!
Mom of 2 Dancers Reviews: I gave this book to my daughter to read and she flew through it. She really enjoyed the story and wants to play the game included in the book. She also wants to read the previous stories especially Treasure Hunt!
Simply Stacie: The kids and I immediately settled in to read the latest edition in the Project Play book series. My young children sat captivated as I read about Sam and his friends “spook-tacular” adventures on Halloween night. My children immediately wanted to start playing and it was so easy to explain how to play as the rules are included in the book. My husband and I and even the family dog joined the kids in our own version of “Ghost in the Graveyard”. I have to admit it was a blast and the kids have asked to play again and again.
Sweeps4Bloggers: The book includes very clear instructions for playing the game. It can be played with 3 or more players and can work well for a large group. Depending on the safety of your neighborhood and the ages of the participants, you can set up easy boundaries (a backyard or playground) or it can be a larger area. It can be played during the day, but nighttime gives it some added spooky fun. Or it can be modified a bit and played indoors.
Stop by Project Play for more information about this and other great books!