The Life is good Playmakers help kids overcome poverty, violence, and illness. We do so by using the power of joyful play to heal and strengthen children.
Leading the charge with us are thousands of child care providers, teachers, counselors and healthcare professionals who have dedicated their lives to the healthy development of children. We call these amazing men and women Playmakers. By providing play-based training, support and resources to these frontline heroes, the Life is good Playmakers are helping children reach their full, joyful potential.
Millions of our nation's youngest children have experienced profound trauma in its many forms — domestic violence, abuse, neglect, natural disasters, and extreme poverty. Theirs is a tragic and largely silent epidemic. It receives a fraction of the attention directed at childhood illnesses, yet it cripples development, devastates young lives, and shortens life expectancy.
A young, developing brain is highly sensitive to stress and will not fully develop emotional, social, and cognitive capacity if the child is continuously responding to threats during the first few years of life. Consumed by fear and powerlessness, traumatized children stop playing, connecting with others and experiencing joy in the world around them. In the absence of intervention, the impact of early childhood trauma often has devastating long-term effects on their psychological and physical health.
Playmakers are acutely aware of this national epidemic. They are on the frontlines and experience it every day. Yet they see hope and a healing solution. They know that the sensitivity of young, developing brains also means that children have an impressive ability to bounce back when they receive support from adults who care about them.
Interventions centered on play are especially promising in this regard. Play is the medium through which children explore, learn, connect and fully engage with the surrounding world. It is an essential activity through which children form healthy attachments, discover the world around them, and develop a foundation of competence, self-worth, and joy that can impact them for a lifetime.