Childhood, Play

Weekend Reading: Play is a Child’s Work

Lenore Skenazy, who inspired the “free range” parenting movement when she allowed her 9-year-old son to take the subway home by himself and then wrote about it, has proposed that May 22 be declared “Take Our Children to the Park … and Leave Them There Day.” She quotes some important statistics that our fear of crime is rising while, in fact, the crime rate has been steadily declining for the past 20 years. Are our children paying the price of our fear by losing the freedom of free, outdoor play?   Read Lenore’s recent post from her blog, “Free Range Kids” which was republished this week in the New York Times.

Don’t bother me, I’m playing!

In another article published this week, librarian Barbara Fister challenges some of her colleagues who believe that children should be using Twitter, Facebook, and other Web 2.0 applications in order to become technologically literate.   Barbara points to the important neurophysiologic and developmental benefits of active free play for young children, and defends play as a “basic human right” of childhood. Read her article “Playing for Keeps” at libraryjournal.com.

Will you spend time outdoors with your children this weekend? What are their favorite places to play outdoors?

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  • Reply Maxanyamom April 24, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Yesterday, Max had a wonderful ‘western’ birthday party with a few, close friends. The weather cooperated and those children ran up and down the backyard hill all afternoon! I provided a backdrop of cardboard buildings (a saloon and a jail) to stimulate their imaginations, but they decided how they would play together. It was a wonderful site! Today, we’ll be out in the garden, digging dirt, and getting ready to plant. The kids will dig to their hearts content, and if they get ‘bored’ with that, they’ll invent new games on the play set! I LOVE being outside with them!

  • Reply Sarah Baldwin April 24, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Oh how lovely, Kathy! Do you have any pictures? Please give Max a big birthday hug and kiss for me!

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