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  • Three Activities to Improve Mental Well-being in Youth

    Three Activities to Improve Mental Well-being in Youth

    Originally posted in Psychology Today by Constance Scharff, Ph.D. on June 13, 2022 Like adults, children can develop a wide array of mental health issues. What if, instead of waiting for mental health problems to develop and then treating the symptoms, we taught children how to maintain mental well-being and proactively care for their mental • Read More »

  • When Children Are Given Time to Play

    When Children Are Given Time to Play

    Originally published in Psychology Today by Cara DiYanni, Ph. D., March 17, 2022   This spring, I am teaching a course on cross-cultural comparisons in play. As part of the class, students will observe children at play at various sites in the U.S. (playgrounds, indoor play spaces, museums). We will also be traveling to another • Read More »

  • Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today

    Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today

    Originally published in The Washington Post by Valerie Strauss, July 8, 2014 The Centers for Disease Control tells us that in recent years there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 and • Read More »

  • All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids are More Anxious, Depressed

    All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids are More Anxious, Depressed

    Originally published in The Atlantic by Esther Entin, October 12, 2011 For more than fifty years, children’s free play time has been continually declining, and it’s keeping them from turning into confident adults What are your memories of playing as a child? Some of us will remember hide and seek, house, tag, and red rover • Read More »

  • Why Kids Need Risk, Fear, and Excitement in Play

    Why Kids Need Risk, Fear, and Excitement in Play

    Originally published in The Conversation, August 1, 2017, picture credit to The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/why-kids-need-risk-fear-and-excitement-in-play-81450 “Be careful!” “Not so high!” “Stop that!” Concerned parents can often be heard urging safety when children are at play. Recent research suggests this may be over-protective and that kids need more opportunities for risky play outdoors. Risky play is thrilling and exciting play where • Read More »

  • Play is the surprisingly easy cure to your students’ deepest needs

    Play is the surprisingly easy cure to your students’ deepest needs

    Originally published in District Administration, 24 September 2021 Our students are happier, less stressed, less isolated, more motivated and are building stronger relationships. So, your school is once again face-to-face. Behind all the new safety measures, meetings, adapted lesson plans, and added stress—all you want deep down is to help students recover from what was • Read More »

  • Kids explain their rhymes, games, and songs

    Kids explain their rhymes, games, and songs

    Originally published in The Library of Congress by Stephanie Hall, 5 June 2020 Children jumping rope, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Ararat, North Carolina. Photo by George Price Jr., 1978. Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project. This post is part of a series of posts called Staff Finds During Difficult Times, in which staff members discuss collections • Read More »

  • Going Outside Will Keep Us Happier During This Time of Social Distancing

    Going Outside Will Keep Us Happier During This Time of Social Distancing

    Originally published in Let Grow by Katy Anderson, March 2020 With the continuing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the United States, everyone is talking about social distancing. I just found out that my three kids will be out of school for at least the next two weeks. Like many parents, I’m wondering just what • Read More »

  • 43 Ways our Kids Thrive on Free Play

    43 Ways our Kids Thrive on Free Play

    Originally published in We the Parents by Neve Spicer, November 2020 Is your child getting enough ‘free play’? Child-led free play – the unstructured time during which children can act out their fantasies, create their own rules, and explore the world at their own pace – profoundly benefits their early development. But here’s the thing: • Read More »

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