Obstacles to Play

Recently, a good friend of mine, a teacher at a local parochial school, announced via Facebook that her school was hosting a Pay to Play Day today. The word “play” caught my eye, but the details of the announcement are what stirred my passion. Why? Because Pay to Play Day works like this: kids bring […]

Protecting Play: In the Community

Play might be an internationally-recognized right of childhood, but as a society, we’re not doing so well at protecting play. Consider: According to one 2008 study, 25% of U.S. elementary schools don’t have scheduled daily recess for all grades Schools with a high population of minority and low-income students are less likely to have daily […]

Protecting Play: At Home

Kids come into the world with an innate need to learn, to understand and to create meaning, and for the first few years of their lives, play is the method by which they explore the world. We don’t need to teach them how to play — but we do need to step out of their […]

The Benefits of Active Play

Somehow, our society has lost touch with the importance of play. We talk a good game (“Play is the work of childhood“) but our actions (reducing recess, eliminating playground football, making playgrounds so safe that kids find them boring) betray our true intentions. As a society, it seems, we want our kids to be safe, […]

Kids & Play

I’m worried about our kids. Yesterday, I started my day off with an 8 AM meeting with the middle school principal. The topic: playground football. Football (actually, all play involving footballs) has recently been banned from recess at the middle school. I wanted to know why. The answer? Injuries, aggressive behavior and liability. Keep that […]

Keeping Boys Busy in the Fall

As a parent of boys, you already know that keeping boys busy is a must — boys with too much time on their hands tend to find trouble. But “busy” can vary from boy to boy and home to home, and while organized activities (sports, theatre, 4H, etc.) can be great, they’re certainly not necessary. […]

Creative Clutter

Are there blocks scattered about your living room? Random pieces of wood and nails on your garage floor? Before you holler, take a deep breath and read this post. (I know — the odds of you having your computer in the garage with you at this very moment are slim to none, but bear with […]

Camping with Kids

My boys and I love to camp. We’ve spent many weekends at state parks, including one memorable hotter-than-you-know-what weekend at a new-to-us park in the southwest corner of our state.  We spent the majority of our days down by the lake — swimming, paddleboating, kayaking, playing in the sand and otherwise enjoying a slower pace […]

Keeping Boys Busy in the Summer

Are your boys driving you crazy? (More than the usual crazy, I mean.) Summer is a challenging time for many parents, especially working parents who are used to sending their kids to school all day. As a work-from-home single mom, I’m definitely aware of the challenges. One solution is to sign your kid up for every single available activity, […]

Boys Need Risk

Do you have a risk taker in your house? You know, one boy who insists on climbing to the top of the swingset, then jumping down? Or one who’s always building the bike ramp higher and higher, pushing the limits of safety? Where does he fall in birth order? Based on the research, I’m going […]