Archive | Creating Community

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The Very Old and the Somewhat Young

. Okay, readers: Please help me figure this out. Why is this idea — college students living for free in an old peoples’ home — so appealing?  Is there anything Free-Range about it, other than celebrating the idea of people connecting? Or maybe it’s just a new and good solution to a couple of problems […]

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Honey, can you go to the store for me? (And not shoot anyone on the way?)

Sending a 6-year-old to the Store, Alone, in New York City

. As we say in our house all the time, “Go Dog, Go!” as in hooray and carry on: Dear Lenore, I was newly married but still childless when my little brother sent me the article you wrote about letting your son ride the subway alone.  I was living in my home state of Montana, but […]

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Wouldn't you like your kids to be doing this tomorrow? With a lot of other kids?

Without Some Risk, Playgrounds Bore Kids

. How do you get kids back outside — and, incidentally, revitalize narcoleptic neighborhoods? You bring in risk. This New Zealand playground was designed to give kids a lot more “wheee” — or maybe “aghhh!” — for the buck. More than 6000 children contributed to the early stages of the playground’s development through the BNZ Amazing […]

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Happier Birthday to You!

Fun, Old-Fashioned Birthday Party Ideas

. Today’s post comes to us from Sally Mills Butzin, the mother half of the mother/daughter writing team  behind Best Buddies Birthdays, a guide to homemade, low-tech b-day parties. I agree with everything Sally writes below, and yet must confess that when my kids were young we did all sorts of pricey parties, including one at […]

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HI NEIGHBOR! WAKE UP! I GOT IN BY CLIMBING THE FENCE. LET ME PET YOUR DOG! WHY ARE YOU SO GRUMPY? WAAAAAKE UP!

What Happens When Happy Free-Range Kids are Also Rude and Loud?

. Here’s a letter that had me wondering what to do, too: Dear Free-Range Kids: Curious as to how to best handle this. I have no children of my own, but I do have three dogs. My neighbors (row house neighborhood), let their three young children out to play alone, regularly. This is AWESOME. Kids […]

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Some day we'll look back at this era in astonishment.

How to Get Your Kids Used to Playing Outside

. An article on how to get your kids to play outside would have seemed like an Onion headline back when…well, back anytime before The Onion. I was a bookworm and I still spent a ton of time outside. My kids, not so much. If you want to get your own offspring outdoors for any […]

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What a crazy world that would tell kids they can only go one direction!

Don’t Sign Your Kid’s Reading Log!

. This post comes to us from early childhood writer/speaker/wise woman Heather Shumaker, author of It’s OK Not to Share. Tomorrow her new book comes out: It’s OK to Go Up the Slide , which includes Free-Rangey chapters like Safety Second, It’s OK to Talk to Strangers, and Ban Elementary Homework. It even offers sample scripts and ideas […]

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Why do kids insist on making noise when they play this game???

“Officer, Some Noisy Kids are Playing Basketball in the Street!”

. Someone called the cops when a gaggle of young folk in Gainesville, FL, had the temerity to play street basketball, instead of silently staring at their screens inside. Here’s how an officer responded (it’s a little garbled for the first 15 seconds or so):. . And then the cop, as promised, returned, with “backup.” […]

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