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Thankful for blankets!

All hail the humble blanket! It is perhaps one of the best, all time classic playthings. Besides being a welcomed, cozy comfort for children of all ages, a blanket can be played with about a gazillion different ways. It is such the perfect toy that this year it has been inducted into the National Toy [...]

Does Monster High make you nostalgic for Bratz?

The tarty Bratz dolls with a “passion for fashion” (pictured above) made many of us nostalgic for Barbie dolls. The Bratz dolls pushed the sexy envelope in a way that made good, old fashioned Barbie seem wholesome – perhaps even prudish. Now I am wondering, will the new Monster High dolls [...]


Peggy Orenstein’s book CINDERELLA ATE MY DAUGHTER wasn’t the book I hoped it would be – it was better.

I was hoping she’d knock the marketing giant flat on its exploitative keister and that her book would make a strong and irrefutable case against Disney’s shameless and relentless marketing to young girls – opening parents’ [...]

“I feel so stupid.”

Ever since I discovered Catalog Choice, we’ve really cut down on the number of catalogs that arrive in the mail every day.  This has REALLY helped this holiday season – since the boys aren’t being tempted and taunted by pages and pages of enticing (yet junky) toys. When we get the Sunday paper (recycled from [...]

Good and Bad Toy Ideas

The other day a friend sent me the link to the Good Housekeeping Best Toy list for 2010. I checked out the list and thought,”Ugh!” So many of the toys on their list are EXACTLY the kinds of toys I steer parents away from. Today, I’ll offer some alternatives to the Good Housekeeping Best Toys [...]

Happy days (unplugged)

Have you heard about Disney’s new endeavor, “Disney Junior”?  It adds ten hours a day of new television programming aimed at kids ages 2 to 5-year-olds.  Disney Junior, to be launched in February, will focus on storytelling and social skills, instead of the academic focus of many preschool shows. You see, Disney did some of [...]

Find us at NAEYC’s Annual Conference!

Today I am packing for Anaheim, CA, where I will be joining friends and colleagues at the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Annual Conference. I’ll be there with other members of  TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment) and we will be sharing our resources Media and Young Children Action Guide and  [...]

Fun for All Ages

“Fun for all ages” is a wonderful concept. When thinking about imaginative play, and life in general, you know you have a hit when a wide range of ages can be equally engaged. Last week, our family held the second annual “Cousin’s Camp” for our upcoming generation. We had 15 campers ranging in age from [...]

A Real Toy Story

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the best toys are not toys at all. Fuzzy blankets and empty boxes rule when you are inside; wild flowers, sticks and rocks for when you are outside.  A blanket becomes a cape or a tent and a box becomes just about anything. [...]

Scholastic, once again, finds a way to get to our school children

This week the New York Times ran an article about, a media literacy campaign aimed at 4th through 6th graders (In a World of Ads, Teaching the Young How to Read Them, April 27th). After reading the article, and checking out the website, I was moved to write the following letter to the [...]