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The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, available for the first time this week, is a great new children’s book about children’s play. Ernestine is scheduled to the max, and she’s not enjoying her life that much. After seeing her next-door neighbor, Hugo, play with abandon in his yard every day, she decides to blow off some of her activities in favor of play. So, she goes to the local park with her nanny, and she plays with Hugo, too. As … Continue reading
Sure, we’re all convinced that kids are playing outdoors unsupervised far less than kids did decades ago. Those kids played outside practically every day for hours, weather permitting, starting at the age of four or five. Today, it’s almost impossible to find this. However, it’s always nice to find statistics that confirm our own subjective assessments. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to find research that backs up this contention.
What a great gift for Christmas! Kids can play with cars on a map of their own neighborhood, or they can tape things to it, or they can draw on it. Whatever! The website where it’s being sold looks kinda weird, but I’m crossing my fingers (I just bought one). When you check out with PayPal, they ask you to type in your street address, and you get back a map centered there. Continue reading
My webinar, Neighborhood Play, Everyday, went very well yesterday. It is now available for viewing anytime. Here’s the link:
Neighborhood Play, Everyday webinar archive at Kaboom.org
Note that it takes a couple minutes to load on your browser, but I think it’s well worth the wait! If you watch all or part of it, please let me know what you think in comments for this article. Continue reading
We have bigger houses but smaller families;
More conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
More knowledge, but less judgment;
More experts, but more problems;
More medicines, but less healthiness;
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever but have less communication.
We have become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;
Tall man but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It’s a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.
Every parent of young children who reads this blog should buy a copy of The Big Orange Splot, by children’s book author and NPR commentator Daniel Pinkwater. It’s a delightful story of independent thinking and creativity in a neighborhood. Ultimately, it’s also about finding happiness in life, too. Continue reading
“More than any other creature, human beings are able to change. We change the world around us, other people, and ourselves. Children, and childhood, help explain how we change.”
This quote sums up The Philosophical Baby for me. When I read it, I realized that my ability to change the world, and to change myself, are the two things I cherish most about myself. They also embody my deepest desires for my children.
In the book, Author Alison Gopnik helped me connect those abilities I first experienced as a child with who I am today. Thus, I have invaluable insight into the value of what was going on in my mind back then. I see my children now with an empathy and appreciation I never had before. More than that, I feel a deep connection with them as they are today, not as I wish them to be decades from now as adults. Continue reading
The San Francisco Chronicle ran a big feature article on my front yard and Camp Yale. Check it out on the Chron’s web site, sfgate.com.
I’ll be writing a series of articles soon on the yard’s features, how we use it, and what we did at Camp Yale, but this article presents a pretty good overview. Continue reading
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