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Friday, November 21, 2014

Give the Gift of STEM Skills for the Holidays

The Huffington Post – Jamie Davis Smith

“…the holiday season is a great time to get your children interested in activities that promote learning, particularly in the ever-growing fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)…seek out toys that are so much fun your kids may not even realize that they are building a solid foundation in STEM through play. There are some great options this year that appeal to any interest.”(more)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Focus on play in kindergarten may improve grades

Reuters – Kathryn Doyle

“(Reuters Health) – Training teachers to promote structured play among kindergarteners yields improved reading, vocabulary and math scores that persist into first grade, according to a new study.” (more)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Florida Parents Rally for Recess

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“Florida parents are up in arms over school boards not enforcing play time at recess each and every day…Studies have proven the benefits of recess time, including helping children to learn. That recess time “makes kids more attentive and more productive in the classroom…”” (more)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Arts Just as Crucial as Math and Science, Say Education Experts

The Reporter-Times – Staff Writer

“…there has been a recent push by educators to change the focus from STEM to STEAM, and add arts back into the mix for a more well-rounded education…Whatever the present academic focus of your local school district is, you can help support a more comprehensive education for your children at home, while making it fun. Here’s how to incorporate STEAM learning into your children’s playtime:” (more)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Children ‘prefer to play outdoors than watch TV’

BBC News – Staff Writer

“Children would rather be playing outdoors than watching television, but parents’ concerns keep them indoors, a survey suggests…Many parents believed their children did not have the same freedoms as they did as youngsters. They put this down to heavier traffic making playing in the streets more dangerous, as well as a lack of community spirit and fear of strangers.” (more)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Playworks Keeps Play In School


“Recess has been disappearing in schools. There’s too much fighting and bullying, too many boxes of band-aids gone through. In order to deal with this problem, about 40% of America’s school districts have shortened or simply eliminated recess — which also makes more time for academics. But cutting recess comes at a big price. Studies show that when kids don’t have recess, they have a much harder time in class.” (more)

3 Ways To Close The ‘Play Gap’ Between Rich And Poor Kids

Forbes – Jordan Shapiro

“Play is vitally important to individual childhood development…But play, like language, is not equally distributed. Low-income children do not have the same access to safe opportunities for play as their affluent peers.” (more)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K

The New York Times – Shael Polakow-Suransky & Nancy Nager

“WITH the introduction of universal pre-K in New York City, we have created a new entry point into our public school system. This raises a key question: What do we want our children’s first experiences in school to be? What does a good education look like for 4-year-olds?…We do not need to pick between play and academic rigor…This is a false choice.” (more)

Friday, October 17, 2014

The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss, Angela Hanscom

“They [children] need authentic play experiences that get them moving in all different directions in order to stimulate the little hair cells found in the vestibular complex (located in the inner ear). If children do this on a regular basis and for a significant amount of time, then (and only then) will they experience the necessary changes needed to effectively develop the balance system–leading to better attention and learning in the classroom.” (more)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Technology-addicted kids and Nature Deficit Disorder

Lansing State Journal – Brendan Dwyer

“From preschool to the teen years, research shows children who spend time outside are happier, healthier and smarter. But despite these critical findings, a study at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research showed that children under 13 spend 30-minutes or less per week in unstructured play time outdoors.” (more)