Engaging Parents About the Importance of Play: The Impact of a Brief, Arts‐Informed Community Presentation. By: Rathunde, Kevin; Isabella, Russell. Family Relations. Apr2020, Vol. 69 Issue 2, p351-364. 14p. 1 Chart, 1 Graph.

Objective: This study evaluated the effectiveness of an arts‐informed approach to parent education using a 50‐minute, arts‐informed parent education presentation that integrated the creative arts (e.g., film, photography, music, dance, and design). The focus of the arts‐informed program was to communicate more effectively about the importance of play for child and adult development. Background: Arts‐informed or arts‐based educational approaches have been found useful for science outreach because of their potential to enhance affective engagement with information. This raises the question of whether arts‐informed methods could be used to engage and inform parents on research topics relevant for the family. Method: The study used analysis of covariance and a pretest–posttest control group design (N = 97). Results: One month after attending the arts‐informed presentation, parents of children in early childhood reported greater knowledge about play, support for play, and time spent playing with their child and that their children engaged in more free play. Parents also reported an increase in their amount of flow experience (i.e., states of enjoyable absorption), although they did not report changes in time spent engaging in leisure play. Conclusion: These findings are discussed in terms of the utility of arts‐informed approaches for family researchers interested in science outreach and community engagement as well as using the arts to enhance parents’ affective engagement with information about play.