This talk is for parents who want their children to grow up to be passionate “doers” who make a positive difference in the world. Mike challenges the common assumption that children must stop playing to develop into productive adults. On the contrary, doers are highly self-motivated people for whom work is play.

Drawing from his background as the author of the book Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play, Mike shows how children can connect the dots from a playful childhood to an active, meaningful adulthood. The talk, which is open to the community, takes place on Wednesday, October 15 from 10:00 to 11:30 am at Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park.

Photo courtesy of Mike Lanza surrounded by family: Marco (7), Leo (2), wife Perla Ni, and Nico (4).

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Informal playspaces for our kids, right under our noses in Menlo Park

Recently, I took my boys to a creek in my sister’s residential neighborhood in suburban Pittsburgh, and they had an absolutely fabulous time for hours. And no one else was there. I sense a pattern. I wrote this article a few years ago about the creek down the street from my house. It’s one of my kids’ […]

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Thoughts on the overly-distracted world of Menlo Park children

At home, children are bombarding themselves with digital media – eight hours a day, according to a prominent study. Most older kids do their homework while “multitasking” with Facebook or texting on a nearby screen and music blaring in their ear “In terms of sheer quantity of time, I’m not sure that kids spend any […]

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Turning Menlo Park kids into “doers” is parents’ responsibility, not the schools

Kids’ lives are increasingly structured to discourage independent problem solving of real world problems – i.e. “doing.” The two biggest trends is their alarming increase in screen time and the increase they spend on adult-administered activities – school, homework, and afterschool activities. So, how do we combat this trend? I’m amazed to find that many […]

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Do your kids have fun playing at home indoors? Tips from a Menlo Park Dad

My three boys are never bored playing at home. Really. I’m serious. Despite the fact that they play a lot less in our wonderful front and back yards in these cold and dark months, my boys (8, 5, and 3) have been playing like mad at home. In fact, when we’re out, they often plead loudly […]

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Add “geocaching” to fun weekend activity for Menlo Park families

I took my family “geocaching” in our Playborhood for the first time recently . It was an amazing experience for all of us. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that you play whenever and wherever you want. “Caches” – containers stuffed with little treasures – are hidden in nooks and crannies all over the world. […]

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Menlo Park author talks about Playborhood on June 20

Menlo Park author and founder of the Playborhood Project, Mike Lanza, will talk about turning your neighborhood into a kid-friendly place of play when he discusses his book,  Playborhood, at Books Inc in the Town & Country Village in Palo Alto on June 20 at 7:00 pm.

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Now appearing in my neighborhood — Hugh the magician aka The Magic Beard

We have a magician in our neighborhood in Menlo Park. His name is Hugh, The Magic Beard. Kids around here call him Huey. In most neighborhoods, people wouldn’t notice him, or if they did, they’d notice him for his long beard and sixties-hippie appearance. However, this is Northern California, home of the Grateful Dead. We’ve […]

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Just a regular day in the Playborhood

Everything was right in the neighborhood today at a book launch party for Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play hosted by Menlo Park author and father, Mike Lanza and Kepler’s, which is stocking the book. As people familiar with Mike’s family home — shared with wife Perla Ni and their three boys — the […]

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Menlo Park Playborhood hosts book launch party on April 29

Come to our Menlo Park Playborhood on Sunday, April 29, to help us celebrate the launch of Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play! I’ll tell parents some details about building Playborhoods, while kids can have tons of fun playing in our yard! We’ll serve some snacks and refreshments. Two launch parties are […]

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Mike Lanza: Hangin’ in the Playborhood

Mike Lanza, a serial entrepreneur with “way too many degrees from Stanford,” has stepped back from the start-up grind to, well, play. Raised in a Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) suburb, Mike reports that he went outside to play everyday and had a boyhood free of  play dates and other signs that today’s kids are over-scheduled, over-protected, and […]

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