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The good, the bad and the Common Core Standards

I am back from Boston and the MassAEYC conference and have had time to think about some of the points David Elkind made in his keynote address. Dr. Elkind is the author of many respected books, such as The Hurried Child, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk and most recently, The Power of Play.  [...]

Empowered by People

It is easy to feel small and powerless when corporations like Disney bully and try to silence watchdogs and advocates such as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (see story in yesterday’s NY Times). The small staff at CCFC works tirelessly on a small annual budget of $250,000, protecting childhood from corporate encroachment, yet have been [...]

The Wisdom of Play from Community Playthings: A gift to the early childhood world

Leave it to Community Playthings to convince me to break my rule against corporate sponsored teaching resources. Their new professional development guide The Wisdom of Play: Why Children at Play Are Their Own Best Teachers is outstanding. Their guide is free to anyone who asks. When school budgets are tight (as they are these days), [...]

Erector sets and engineering

My last post about building with LEGOs reminded me of a revealing passage in The Power of Play by David Elkind, Ph.D. The following passage comes from the chapter “Toys Aren’t Us”.

The need for hands-on play is now recognized in higher education. In the school of architecture at Stanford University, students are required to [...]

Raising Free-Range kids

On Monday, a reader left the following comment on the post Connecting with nature, connecting with each other: “I remember as a kid exploring woods by myself and with friends, and by ten I was riding my bike alone a mile or more from home. But I don’t feel comfortable letting my kids even go [...]

Thank You, Community Playthings!

Today I had the extraordinary privilege of spending a morning at Community Playthings. There, I met a fantastic group of people who are working hard on behalf of children everywhere. This is truly a company that understands what is good for children and has kept faithful to that ideal for decades. Their high quality maple [...]