Trust No One — Especially Not a Parent Volunteering at School

Hi Readers — Here’s a round-up of Providence, Rhode Island-area schools that are making their parent volunteers get background checks, sent in by a gal named Rema. I know a lot of folks will say, “This makes sense! Can’t hurt — can only help!” but let’s consider whether that’s true. *First of all, if there are any […]

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Not Relevant at All — But So Fun!

Hi Readers — Tomorrow morn will bring a posting of gravitas and import. Or at least, something relevant to Free-Range Kids. But tonight (it’s bedtime here in New York), here’s a video that I’ll be replaying in my mind tomorrow morning: A woman and her son get ready for school in FIVE MINUTES! (And I love […]

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“Stop the Swing Completely Before Getting Off”

So you think you know how to swing, kid? Sure, sure — everyone thinks they do: “You get on, you swing.” Yeah. And brain surgery is, “You open the top, you put in the marbles.” Listen, it’s not that simple.  If it was, everyone would be doing it! Luckily for you, The National Program for Playground Safety has come up with […]

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Kodak Moment or Kiddie Porn?

Hi Readers — Above is the question a Walmart employee in Arizona asked himself when some parents brought in a camera memory stick to be processed. Seven or eight of 144 photos showed the family’s three girls  frolicking in the bath. Kodak Moment? Or kiddie porn? We know what the employee decided — and we  know what […]

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Maybe You CAN be Too Safe

Hi Readers! Here’s a little piece from MSNBC some of you sent in (thank you!), about kids and slides. Turns out when mom slides down with Junior on her lap to make him safer…she doesn’t. That’s what Dr. John Gaffney, a pediatric orthopedist and professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, discovered, to his […]

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This Is When I Despair

Hi Readers! I usually don’t like to comment on the comments — “Everyone’s entitled to his own opinion,” etc. etc. –but this time I must. This comment arrived in response to the story I posted last night (below this one) about a teacher who wanted an author to speak to her fourth grade class. Since the  school and […]

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Can You Please Come Talk to My Class…But Not Look at Anyone?

Hi Readers — Here’s a note from puzzlemeister Eric Berlin, author of The Puzzling World of Winston Breen. Read it and peep. Er…weep: I’m an author of middle-grade novels, and as such I have a lot of interaction with elementary school kids. I’m glad to say I haven’t often come in contact with the kind of paranoia […]

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Message in a Very, Very Safe Bottle

Hi Readers! Here’s a cool story from the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, California. Can you spot the ridiculous safety precaution? Betcha can! Long Beach pupils’ message in a bottle gets a reply — 10 years later By Kevin Butler, Staff Writer LONG BEACH – In 1999, a third-grade class at Mark Twain Elementary wrote letters […]

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Fetch Me A Worm! (And Other Ways to Get Kids Outside)

Hi Readers – Over the summer Judy Molland gave me an advance copy of her book, Get Out! 150 Easy Ways for Kids and Grown-Ups to Get into Nature and Build a Greener Future,” which is filled with the kind of tips I like: Simple ones I hadn’t thought of. Now the book is out […]

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