Tag: Play

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  • Gift Ideas for Children That Encourage Play

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    I wish I could say that my children made simple gift requests this holiday season reflecting the spirit of the season - perhaps asking for a beautifully illustrated book and some simple wooden toys. My five-year-old punctured this vision last... 

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  • Your Child's Brain on Nature

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    I was waist deep in muskeg (a fancy name for stinky swamp mud in canoe country), a wood-canvas canoe perched on my barely 16-year-old shoulders, and mosquitoes buzzed hungrily in my ears – a challenging, but not atypical, portage in the... 

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  • More Than Minutes and Limits: 3 Ingredients for Healthy Media Use in the Preschool Years

    “Broken!” Miles exclaimed. “It's broken!” He said again in an increasingly frustrated voice.

    It took me a couple of minutes to catch up. My son was positioned directly in front of the TV, trying diligently to move a character on Daniel Tiger with his index finger. I soon realized what he was trying to do and was struck by what a “2015... 

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  • Want your children to succeed in school? Let them play

    My family spent this past Sunday afternoon playing in the street. The best part? We didn't have to use the "game off!" and "game on!" codes to avoid cars. Instead, a main thoroughfare running through the heart of our city was transformed - all 22 blocks of it. As part of "Open Streets MPLS," the cars and busses normally crowding the street were replaced by strollers, bikes, wheelchairs,... 

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  • Is Technology Taking Over Your Summer? These Tips Will Help You Balance Online and Offline Fun

    Many of our visions of summertime include thinking of kids splashing in the pool, exploring the woods, riding bikes, going to camps and programs, and hanging out with friends. There is certainly a wide menu of options for kids in the summertime and there are more hours to fill with fun.

    But there are powerful magnets keeping kids indoors as well. Technology can be a wonderful... 

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  • How to Slow the Summer Slide and Enjoy Time With Your Kids

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    School is out for the summer and kids are finding themselves with a lot more time on their hands. So far my grandchildren are having no trouble filling that time up. Last week I watched them jump in and out of the kiddy pool in our backyard, covered in watermelon and grass, before racing off to finish building a "pig pen"... 

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  • Ten Ways to Make Space for Free Play


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    We've written plenty of posts about the importance of imaginative play for children's brain development. Far from being a waste of time, kids need free play to... 

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  • Imaginative Play Builds Brains

    Have you seen the Caine's Arcade video? My son just showed me it and what an incredible demonstration of imagination! Just thought you all would enjoy it.

    Jill, Chicago

    Jill,

    The Caine's Arcade video has gone viral online and it is easy to see why. For those of you who haven't watched it, check it... 

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  • Busy Kids? Balance is Key

     Does the gain from advanced academic programs such as IB and AP so many youth are involved in (pushed by educators and parents) outweigh the lack of sleep and limitation of other experiences, such as 4-H, because of so much time spent on studying?

    Shirley, Denver, CO 

    Shirley,

    I think that the growing popularity of IB and AP... 

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  • Video Game Addiction: Symptom Checklist

    Are you worried about your child's video game habits? Take a look at this video game addiction symptoms checklist I created to see if you have cause for alarm. While this is not a diagnostic tool, it can help you assess whether or not games are an unhealthy part of your child's life and if you might need the help of a professional.

    (Scoring... 

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  • Play is serious business

    My son's school keeps cutting recess shorter and it doesn't seem right. He is just a kid! Is there any 'value' to recess and play time in school?

    Even as the snow starts to fly here in Minnesota and parents are struggling to convince their kids to go outside, I am going to put in my plug for giving our kids more play time. Hopefully, no matter the season,... 

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