Archive | Parks, Playing and Playgrounds

Don’t Arrest Parents Who Let Their Kids Go Outside

Don’t Arrest Parents Who Let Their Kids Go Outside

I am in Boston giving some talks, and once again, some parents tell me that one reason they’re not sending their kids outside is the fear that some busybody will call 911. That is why we must make it not only normal, but blazingly, officially LEGAL to give our kids some independence, a point the […]

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The antidote to foot problems? Or simply the most wonderful picture ever? Or both?

Why Her Son, 11, Was Developing a Foot Problem

We keep cutting down on kids’ play time so they can do “more important” things. But this West Coast mom of four writes: Dear Free-Range Kids: Today I took my son to the pediatrician for his annual physical. He’s 11. I mentioned the slight turn in of his ankles that I had noticed and wondered […]

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Halt there, child! Is your game

How Over-involved Can Adults Get at Recess?

Justin Murphy at The Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, NY reports that: Children at Pittsford’s Jefferson Road Elementary School who come up with a fun new game for the playground will need to do a few things before recruiting their classmates to play along. First, they should write out the name of the game, the rules of play […]

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time magazine cover sports

Time Magazine Cover Story: How Kid Sports Turned Pro

This week’s Time cover story may remind you of our post from last week, The Case Against Starting Serious Soccer Lessons Too Soon. Time’s cover is: Crazy Travel. Crazy Costs. Crazy Stress. HOW KID SPORTS TURNED PRO  Time’s press release summarized the issues perfectly (boldface mine): This week’s TIME cover story focuses on the booming […]

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Are kids learning to ride bikes (or taking off their training wheels) later?

UPDATE! Are Kids Learning to Ride Bikes Later?

A confession: I learned to ride a bike when I was 9, probably the oldest of all my friends. Maybe I started a trend? Dear Free-Range Kids: I was recently visiting the Long Island town I moved away from several years ago, and was visiting some old friends. I have a 7-year-old daughter, and she […]

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School Superintendent Michael Hynes believes more recess = kids more ready to learn, inside and outside the classroom.

Meet Superintendent / Thought Leader / Former Terrible Student Michael Hynes

It’s time for us all to become familiar with the work of Michael Hynes,  superintendent of  the Patchogue-Medford School District on Long Island and passionate promoter of PEAS: the physical, emotional, academic and social growth of kids, not just their test scores. Hynes put his district where his mouth is, doubling recess. Kids at his […]

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Maybe he can wait a year before joining the travel team?

The Case Against Starting Serious Soccer Lessons Too Soon

Money, time, car travel, lack of free play: There are a lot of costs to starting soccer ultra-soon, ultra-seriously. This post is excerpted from a much longer one sent to us by Jon Mikelonis, father of boys 11 and 9. He writes, “My wife is from Brasilia. We reside in Northern Nevada. I am an […]

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I'll race you to the drinking fountain!

19 Is the New 60, When It Comes to Activity Levels

A recent Johns Hopkins study found that today’s kids are so inactive that by the time they reach 19 they have the activity level of 60-year-olds. I have a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, “19 is the New 60,” looking at childhood sluggishness and making one blindingly simple suggestion. But first off: Why are kids so […]

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