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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)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Playground Swings Banned in Spokane, Following National Trend

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“Playground swings may soon become a thing of the past for a school district in Washington state — the latest in a nationwide trend of schools riling parents while increasing safety…Schools are feeling pressure by insurance companies to remove the equipment…” (more)

Two hours of physical exercise per week could make your child smarter

TheHealthSite – Editorial Team

“A new study has revealed that just two hours of extra physical activity each week can improve school performance…According to Dr John Rately…an active child’s brain develops much better than one who is not.” (more)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Research Says Exercise Boosts Executive Skills: Top Ten Toys for Smart Bodies and Smarter Minds

Forbes – Jenn Choi

“In a world that is filled with brain training apps, memory boost programs, and even test prep centers for four year olds, it is rather refreshing to see scientific studies still supporting good old fashioned run-around time…parents and schools can still support children by offering them thoughtfully-designed toys that maximize movement and fun. These are some of my favorite tools that train the body and the mind.” (more)

Play, Informal Learning Cultivate Kids’ Interest in STEM

Scientific American – Ben Rosner

“The process of trial and error, overcoming frustrations and making repeated attempts can be the same for mastering a language or understanding science. When you’re driven by curiosity, you’ll be surprised at your ability to come up with unimagined and perhaps unimaginable ways to solve a complex problem.” (more)