Welcome to a new year!

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2013 holds lots of opportunities to further our mission of promoting the importance of play and learning in children’s lives. We are planning four Ultimate Block Party events this calendar year, three of which will be inaugural events. Baltimore, which hosted a Block Party last fall, is revving up for a second celebration.

Thanks to these efforts, and several others about to launch, play has begun to get attention in the news. The Christian Science Monitor interviewed UBP’s Susan Magsamen and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek for a story about the value of play in children’s lives. UBP received prominent mention as a new way for families to relearn the once known, but now seemingly radical idea that play equals learning in childhood.

The Ultimate Block Party is also proud to announce the launch of a new Web portal highlighting the science of learning from our sister organization, the Learning Resource Network, or L-rn. L-rn is an exciting, new, in-depth resource designed for families and educators to understand what prominent researchers in education, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive and behavioral science have been uncovering about how children learn. L-rn is designed to provide this important science learning to adults involved in children’s lives to facilitate their intellect, curiosity, social and emotional learning, and development of new skills for 21st century learning. Best of all, with activities and tools for engagement, L-rn gives parents, teachers, childcare providers, counselors and health professionals a platform to discuss what these innovations mean in kids’ lives.

Launching on February 20, 2012, L-rn invites you to delve into the basics of neuroscience (“Brain 101”), best practices in Global Learning, understanding how researchers are discovering the ways children soak up new knowledge (“the L-rn Lab”) and the ways new tools and technologies are enhancing learning in the classroom and the home.

Join us to learn more by following us on Twitter @L_rn, and, and be sure to "like" us on Facebook (Learning Resource Network). Watch for our Dear L-rn blog and ask the experts questions. Finally, join the L-rn community to let us know what you think – there are opportunities to comment and engage in a variety of ways on the site.


The Ultimate Block Party in Your Town

If you are interested in bringing the Ultimate Block Party to your town, please email Susan Royer, sroyer@ultimateblockparty.org.

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Event Reviews

“We’ve been to block parties before, but we’d never seen anything like the Ultimate Block Party.” AOL ParentDish, 10/6/10

“The event is likely to catalyze a new round of discussions and debate about children’s playtime at home, playful learning in school, and how American childhood is changing. These are incredibly important conversations.” New America Foundation’s Early Ed Watch, 9/24/10

“A day for serious play” New York Magazine, 10/4/10

“[This group] wants to remind kids and parents that play is a big part of kids’ lives and kids should be playing and being creative and having fun.” Time Out New York Kids’ Rory Halperin on WCBS, 10/2/10

“Creative kid fest” DailyCandy, 9/27/10

“…the Ultimate Block Party was designed to help families experience firsthand just how important play is in helping kids learn. More than 30 interactive activities took place throughout the day, all geared toward teaching kids the ‘6Cs’ they’ll need for success in the 21st century: Collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence.” AOL ParentDish, 10/6/10

“Critics’ pick. This new event, expected to be an annual occurrence, is all about promoting play – something every kid can get behind.”
Time Out New York Kids, 10/10

“It’s the kind of event that will make you want to be a kid again!” Time Out New York Kids Weekly Newsletter, 9/30/10

“Simon says go to Central Park” The New York Times, 10/1/10

“A truly wonderful day of joy for children and families -- engagment, wonder and learning all in one! Can't wait for Baltimore's next one!” Bryn Parchman, President and CEO, Port Discovery Children's Museum