Playing! What a waste of time!

Finland’s Genius Idea: More Free Time for Kids

. If you look back on your childhood and what you did in your free time, the thing that you LOVED to do just may still be part of your life. In fact, please tell us stories of that — the thread from your childhood interest or obsession to your current work (or obsession). Me, […]

Continue Reading
Does that guy HAVE to be my kid's tutor?

Why Is That Young Man Tutoring Kids? Get Him Out!

. Demonizing anyone isn’t good — gays, Jews, blacks, you name it. And it is no less despicable when we demonize a group that has, until now, enjoyed exemption: Men. Let’s just not demonize, okay? Dear Free-Range Kids: In the early 2000s, as a member of a college honors society, I volunteer tutored at the college level. […]

Continue Reading
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 […]

Continue Reading
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 […]

Continue Reading
You've got to be carefully taught.

Cute or Depressing?

. The girl is sooo cute. The parents are sooo worried. The message is sooo sickening: Welcome to the world, little one! Let’s get rid of that trust thing RIGHT AWAY. DISTRUST is the name of the game. Start distrusting already! Soon you may have to save yourself from a terrible man. Cookies are good […]

Continue Reading
The Callison sisters know it's okay to be different.

It’s Okay to be Different

. When I was at the US Play Coalition conference at Clemson University last month, Kent Callison from the playground manufacturing company GameTime was talking about the importance of videos. He aired the one I posted here about how prisoners get two hours a day of “play” time outside, which is more than most of today’s kids get. […]

Continue Reading
Forgot one, George: Safety is danger.

AGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

. The paragraph below is from a press release about a GPS’ing service parents can subscribe to. When would you need this service? How about when your kids are — Walking to school solo.  Sure, you only live a few blocks from school, but letting your kids make the journey alone seems terrifying.  Freedom is […]

Continue Reading
This is almost the same as tackling!

Forget Tackle Football, Girls! How About Apple Bobbing Instead? — Principal

A tradition for 50 years, the “powder puff” girls tackle football game in Jupiter, Florida, is being canceled for the first time thanks to—what else?—safety concerns. Dan Frank, Jupiter High School’s principal, said “Student safety is my first priority.” The girls’ short practice time and borrowed safety equipment, he said, “put our students at risk.” […]

Continue Reading