Archive | Parks, Playing and Playgrounds

A different kind of school test.

Can All Schools Do This?

What’s particularly wonderful about this outdoor field trip is how it gives kids who aren’t “good” or successful in the classroom another place to show who they are. It was sent to us by filmmaker Alastrair Humphreys, who writes: Two years ago, teacher Mrs Monaghan took her class on an overnight microadventure (video here). Now, […]

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Safe, safe, safe.

Are Our Kids Too Safe to Succeed?

. Here’s a chunk of my piece that just ran on  Politico. After explaining that I’m the mom who let her 9 year old ride the subway alone, yada yada, and that our society overestimates danger and underestimates kids (also yada yada), I went on to say that keeping our kids constantly supervised  is  — …catastrophic. […]

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Wow -- is that a playground?

Kids Allowed to Engage in Unsupervised “Risky Play” Develop Skills that Help Later in Making Smart Decisions about Sex and Drugs

. Mariana  Brussoni is  an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia in public health and pediatrics, and lead author of a major report on the health benefits of “risky” play. The study determined what Free-Rangers feel in their (once in a while broken) bones: Too much supervision and safe-to-the-point-of-stultifying play spaces prevent kids from […]

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Is sitting quietly okay? Provided no one plays duck, duck goose?

Sign of the Times

. It’s so strange to me that society doesn’t connect the dots. Especially dots as obvious as these: Dear Free-Range Kids:  I live in Rockhampton Queensland Australia.  Our town is one of the states most obese.  Rockhampton has been identified as one of the cities that our states health system recently targeted to pilot a healthy eating, healthy […]

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Oh no! MORE of them! Our poor children!

A Truck Drove by The Bus Stop!

. This was a  notice sent out by an Iowa school district. As the resident who sent it to me wrote, “Evidently it is now a crime to even speak to a child waiting for the bus. Two men in a truck! Everybody run!” (Boldface mine.) Subject: Stranger Danger Alert: 1300 Block of NW 92nd Street, Clive […]

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"Oliver! To step down, put one foot lower than the other and have your body follow."

No Child Left Un-assisted: A Day at the Playground

. A dismaying letter followed by an infuriating news item. Aren’t you glad you got up today? Dear Free-Range Kids:  . My girlfriend and I were strolling through the Western North Carolina Nature Center. There’s a lovely climbing structure for the kids that is supposed to resemble a spider’s web. Though there is the usual soft material […]

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I'm scared some school administrator is going to be an idiot!

What a Stupid and Terrifying School Intruder Drill

From Wyoming’s trib.com news comes possibly the dumbest school shooting drill I’ve heard of: Aubrey Truman was swinging on the playground at Worland’s East Side Elementary School about 10 a.m. Thursday when she received the scare of her life. A man in a hooded sweatshirt with a suspicious backpack appeared in the back of the […]

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Free at last!

MARYLAND MEITIVS CLEARED OF FIRST “NEGLECT” CHARGE

Hallelujah! Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the Dec. 20 incident when they let their kids walk home from the park in Silver Spring, MD.  As Donna St. George in the Washington Post reports: A Maryland couple investigated for neglect after they let their two young children walk home alone […]

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