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Updated by Cliff Kraeker on Jan 11, 2017
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Natural Playgrounds & Free-play

Natural Playgrounds
6 things we learned about connecting kids with nature

Why should we help children connect to the natural world? And how can we best do so? Cathy Jordan, University of Minnesota Extension specialist and associate professor of pediatrics in the Medical School and Sarah Milligan-Toffler, executive director of the Children and Nature Network, shared their thoughts on the subject at this week's Frontiers in the Environment talk.

Forecast Calls for Fun - Children & Nature Network (C&NN)

"Go play outside!" It's a command that countless parents give their children on a regular basis. But in the Pacific ­Northwest, playing outside often means tromping through the mud and getting soaked. That's enough to make some parents think twice about ordering their kids...

Children's Playground Ideas

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Children's Playground Ideas

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Children's Playground Ideas

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Energy Times - Health, Vitamins, Supplements and Nutrition

Child of Nature Giving kids natural spaces for play allows their creativity to shine through. By June Corrigan June 2012 Parents used to have a hard time calling children in to supper; now they find it difficult getting kids to go outside.

The Role of Play in the Overly-Academic Classroom

Register for LEAD Conference at Play is being banished from kindergarten classrooms across the U.S. Learn how this is impacting the nation's youth. Narrated by Marcy Guddemi, Executive Director of the Gesell Institute

Prescription for Play

Dr. Ken Ginsburg, pediatrician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings, and Dr. Marilyn Benoit, Chief Clinical Officer at Devereux Behavioral Health and former president of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, address critical issues facing children and families today -- rising levels of stress and anxiety, obesity-related health problems, dramatically reduced time for free play and play outdoors, hectic and overscheduled family life -- and offer solutions to addressing these problems. Produced in collaboration with the Alliance for Childhood and KaBOOM!.

The Benefits of Risk in Children's Play

Risk teaches children how to fail and try again, test their limits and boundaries, become resilient and acquire coping skills. It's an important part of play, yet children are allowed fewer and fewer opportunities to experience risk. These leaders in the movement to restore children's play speak out on the subject. - Reading at Five Why

Kindergarten and preschool education in the U.S. have changed radically since the 1970s when I began teaching young children. The play-based, experiential programs of the past are rarely seen in kindergartens and are even disappearing from preschools now. Instead, hours are devoted each day to teaching young children reading, writing, and arithmetic and giving tests or preparing children for tests.

Outdoor play

How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers from Timber Press. "Reclaiming a piece of neglected play yard and transforming it into an ecologically rich #school #garden is among the most beneficial activities that parents, teachers, and children can undertake together.


Play On

Play On

cc licensed photo (attribution) shared by Kevan on Flickr I learned a lot as a Kindergarten teacher: Patience An ability to take nothing personally (I have heard on more than one occasion words to the effect of, "I'm bored, I'll be in the house if you need me!") Where all the glue sticks in a...

5 dangerous things you should let your kids do

At TED U, Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, spells out 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do - and why a little danger is good for both kids and grownups. This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

Kids These Days: Growing Up Too Fast Or Never At All?

On the cover of the April issue of The Atlantic there's a picture of a boy who could be 6 or 7. He's looking to the right toward an adult, whose hand he's holding. He's also wearing a helmet and knee pads. And - for further protection - he has a pillow strapped to his torso.

NZ is 30 Years Ahead of North America in Outdoor Play - Children & Nature Network (C&NN)

Do you remember the sensation of your legs caked in cold mud? Or the thrill of hurtling downhill on a piece of cardboard? Perhaps you had a secret hut at the end of the garden? However you remember your childhood, being outdoors was probably a constant theme. ...

Let 'Em Out! The Many Benefits of Outdoor Play In Kindergarten

For the typical American kindergartner, unstructured free play during the school day consists of 20 to 30 minutes of recess, and perhaps some time at indoor "stations" - perhaps creating with building blocks, costumes, or musical instruments. But what if there was more? What if the answer to "what did you do in school today?"

School's Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten

About the film: No classroom for these school children: this documentary film takes us to a forest kindergarten in Switzerland where children age 4 to 7 spend every day outside in the forest. This is a thought-provoking film about public education in early childhood. By U.S. director Lisa Molomot and producer Rona Richter.

Kindergarten in Victoria suburbs takes to the woods

Come September of next year, 22 kindergarteners will abandon their classroom each morning, rain or shine, for a hike into the woods where for the next 2 1/2 hours sticks and stones will replace pencil and paper.

Children and Nature Movement

"A back-to-nature movement to reconnect children with the outdoors is burgeoning nationwide." -USA Today, November 2006 Not long after the first publication of Last Child in the Woods in 2005, I found myself wandering down a path toward the Milwaukee River, where it runs through urban Riverside Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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