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Friday, July 11, 2014

Top 10 Toys That Beat The Summer Slide

Forbes – Jenn Choi

“What I plan on doing this summer is what I do every summer. I informally examine how much their schools have enriched their lives over the past year…If I find that my kids can use more help in some areas, I use the summer to work on them myself. Schools can’t do everything and while I can never provide a structured environment like school, at my disposal are tools that help make the summer very productive in a more fun way.” (more)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Study: Too Many Structured Activities May Hinder Children’s Executive Functioning

Education Week – Ellen Wexler

“When children spend more time in structured activities, they get worse at working toward goals, making decisions, and regulating their behavior, according to a new study. Instead, kids might learn more when they have the responsibility to decide for themselves what they’re going to do with their time.” (more)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Why It’s Imperative to Teach Empathy to Boys

Mind/Shift – Gayle Allen and Deborah Farmer Kris

“Too often children’s playrooms reinforce gender stereotypes that put boys at risk of failing to gain skills critical for success in life and work. The most important of these? Empathy…Why is empathy important? First, empathy breeds courage…People with empathy have stronger interpersonal connections and are more eager to collaborate, effectively negotiate, demonstrate compassion, and offer support. They’re team players…Empathy drives thoughtful problem solving.” (more)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fitness: Why Kids Love Taking Risks in Play [Video]

Liberty Voice – Nick Ng

“Play and taking risks are important aspects of growing up and physical and mental fitness development…Taking away risks from play is depriving a vital part of children’s development. If they cannot learn to solve problems and control their emotions during childhood, how can they do so later in life?” (more)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rod Morris: Playgrounds vital in education, development

The Dallas Morning News – Rod Morris

“As educators, we spend our careers pursuing what’s best for our students. We strive to integrate the best curriculum with the most qualified teachers to produce an outstanding learning environment.” (more)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What Kids Can Learn From A Water Balloon Fight

NPR Ed – ANYA KAMENETZ

“…parents shouldn’t be afraid of rough-and-tumble play and even play-acting involving pretend violence….This kind of play serves vital emotional and physical needs for kids…Children learn resilience and other cognitive skills by responding in the moment to rapidly changing situations. One scientist found that how well and how much children engaged in roughhousing predicted their first-grade achievement better than kindergarten test scores.” (more)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Playtime May Be More Important to Development Than Parents Thought

Education News – Grace Smith

“Professor Yuko Munakata of the University of Colorado…created a study to start the ball rolling toward an understanding of whether structured time or flexible time for children has an impact on their ability to “manage themselves”…When the children were evaluated…the results showed that the more time spent in unstructured activities, the better they were at executive functioning.” (more)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Is Entrepreneur Barbie The Doll We Have Been Waiting For?

The Huffington Post – Cavan Sieczkowski

“The official 2014 “career of the year” doll is Entrepreneur Barbie, and she comes complete with a smartphone, a shiny briefcase and power heels. Despite the fact that she is a decked out in pink, and her physical measurements are still impractical, this doll is meant to encourage little girls to break that glass ceiling.” (more)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Does Play Matter?

The Huffington Post – Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

“What if your children are malnourished and small for their age? What if you live in a developing country where most children are living in extreme poverty? You would feel defeated; it would be hard for you to see a way out for your children. You would worry that they would duplicate your fate instead of exceeding your meager circumstances. What if we told you that the answer to helping your kids thrive was to play with them?.”(more)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Barbee: Exercise is good for the brain

Citizen-Times – Susanna Barbee

“Exercise impacts the brain in a number of positive ways. So if we, as parents, want to help our children’s brains grow and develop during the dog days of summer, we can provide many opportunities for physical activity…According to a 2010 article in Brain Research, the hippocampus actually increases in size when a child exercises…Essentially, regular exercise will increase a child’s success at memory-related academic tasks…”(more)