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  • Movement Breaks Should Not Be a Substitute for Recess

    Movement Breaks Should Not Be a Substitute for Recess

    High knees and jumping jacks shouldn’t replace sunshine and free play. When the school’s phone number pops up on my phone at 11:30 on a Tuesday, I pause. For a split second, I catch myself thinking, “Please don’t be the principal.” I have to move on quickly from this line of thought because the only • Read More »

  • You Can’t Control the Weather So Why Should it Control You?

    You Can’t Control the Weather So Why Should it Control You?

    We complain kids these days are getting soft and don’t dress for the weather, but parents need to lead by example.  It was a nasty day of slushy mess—the kind that makes you want to settle in by the woodstove with a steaming mug of tea, or maybe something stronger. Yet we were here, at • Read More »

  • Why kids need recess more than ever

    Why kids need recess more than ever

    It’s about so much more than getting daily exercise. Recess is an important part of a child’s school day, and for reasons you may not have realized before. The daily outdoor playtime about much more than burning off energy and getting exercise; it is crucial for building a sense of community and boosting academic performance. • Read More »

  • When Children Play, They Follow the Golden Rules of Fairness

    When Children Play, They Follow the Golden Rules of Fairness

    I am a long-time admirer of Marc Bekoff and his research on play among canids (wolves, coyotes, dogs and the like). I was happy, therefore, to see his recent Psychology Today blog post entitled “When Dogs Play, They Follow the Golden Rules of Fairness.” My post here is a response to Marc’s. I’ve stolen his title, • Read More »

  • Finns Find that The LESS Time Boys Spend in Physical Activity the WORSE Their Reading Ability!

    Finns Find that The LESS Time Boys Spend in Physical Activity the WORSE Their Reading Ability!

    When boys get less time to run around, they do worse on reading and math. That’s the conclusion of a study done in Finland — … When boys get less time to run around, they do worse on reading and math. That’s the conclusion of a study done in Finland — FINLAND! Land of way • Read More »

  • The role of free play in early childhood education

    The role of free play in early childhood education

    Glance at a typical family schedule and you would no doubt see that afternoons are jam-packed and many children — even the youngest among them — have full itineraries of structured after-school activities. In an effort to raise well-rounded and intelligent children, many parents enroll their youngsters in all sorts of extracurricular activities, including sports • Read More »

  • Learning on the playground: How elementary school recess enhances every aspect of child development

    Learning on the playground: How elementary school recess enhances every aspect of child development

    Recess is a lot like school lunch: Some kids get lasagna with an organic green salad, some get a burrito out of a box, and some do without. Like lunch, who gets recess—and who gets good recess—is often determined by what school district a student lives in. Inequity doesn’t have to be baked into recess—or lunch. “Recess • Read More »

  • To really learn, our children need the power of play

    To really learn, our children need the power of play

    Pasi Sahlberg came to the U.S. as a visiting professor at Harvard University, and William Doyle moved to Finland to study its world-renowned school system as a Fulbright scholar. We brought our families with us. And we were stunned by what we experienced. In Cambridge, Mass., Pasi took his young son to have a look • Read More »

  • A three-point plan for healthier kids: play, play and more play

    A three-point plan for healthier kids: play, play and more play

    The biggest issues confronting parents these days all seem to have one common element: smart devices. We know for sure that children today suffer more mental health issues than generations before. We also know that kids now sleep much less than they should, and a lack of sleep affects their wellbeing and learning. Reading and • Read More »

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