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Recess

OPINION: Can this 12-step Program from Finland Aid U.S. education?

We are two American public-school dads who just returned from a fact-finding trip through Finland. We wanted to see what the United States could learn from an education system that consistently receives top marks from...
children playing

In Defense of Play: What Will it Take to Get Parents, Teachers, and Lawmakers...

The first time I taught a course on play, I used the term Play Defenders. I told my students, as future early childhood educators, they would have to become Play Defenders. It might be...
Recess Is More Than Play

Recess Is More Than Just Child’s Play

Recess is in distress. That all-important chance to refresh mind and body in the middle of a stressful school day is in danger of disappearing. In a full school week, third graders in American public...
Why Kids Need Risk

Why Kids Need Risk, Fear, and Excitement in Play

“Be careful!” “Not so high!” “Stop that!” Concerned parents can often be heard urging safety when children are at play. Recent research suggests that this may be overprotective and that kids need more opportunities for...
Make Believe Important

Why Make-Believe Play Is an Important Part of Child Development

Visit any preschool classroom during free play and you will likely see a child pretending to be someone else. Make-believe play is a ubiquitous part of early childhood. And beyond being fun for kids, pretending...
K Get Little Play

Kindergartners Get Little Time to Play: Why Does It Matter?

Being a kindergartner today is very different from being a kindergartner 20 years ago. In fact, it is more like first grade. Researchers have demonstrated that 5-year-olds are spending more time engaged in teacher-led academic...
Playful Risk

The Upside of Playful Risk

Summer is here, time for kids’ action adventure. Reread that opening sentence. Did you think of movies released in the summertime? Or did you think of the adventurous active pastimes that kids engage in during summer?...
Play with Me

Play With Me

In January 2015, I moved to a small town in rural Denmark with my husband and two young sons. Only two weeks before, we’d moved from Somerville, Massachusetts, out of the only home our...
Playgrounds

Time for a Game Changer: Playgrounds Fight to Stay Relevant to Kids and Parents

Stroll through your local playground on a summer day and take note of what’s missing: swings, seesaws, jungle gyms, and, all too often, children. Whether kept indoors by structured activities, parental fears, or the allure...

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