Tag Archives: children

Playing in the Mud. It’s just the start of it.

“If no pediatrician would deny that the healthiest adults spent their childhood rolling around in dirt, why obsess over keeping kids squeaky clean?”*

Learning happens in exploratory play. And it’s been going on for tens of thousands of years. It’s different than organized play. It’s play where kids have time to wander, to make up games, to use their imagination and to fall in love with the world around them.

So, what holds us back … Read more!

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Education. What’s it for?

Education. While the word itself may not spark as much passionate debate as religion and politics, everyone has an opinion. Those opinions vary wildly, yet there’s one common theme: we can, and we must do better at educating children. Education is viewed as essential to “progress” and better lives. So, ideas for improvement are put forth. Sides are taken. Debates rage—ratcheted up as test scores arrive. What makes sense?… Read more!

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‘Farm-on-Wheels’ brings dirt, science, fun, farming and food through Chicago this Summer

Props are good. I like props, so I knew Truck Farm Chicago would work. With a ‘farm-on-wheels’ that lets kids harvest and eat food, it’s easy to engage in conversations about health. I just wasn’t sure the plants would like being on the bumpy road day after day. Well, from the kale to the onions and spinach, to the chard and broccoli, we’re growing food. And yesterday we harvested the first fruit from our strawberry … Read more!

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Exercise is good for kids…

Whenever I visit a school I try to learn as much as possible, always making it a point to ask students how they spend their day. I’m interested for a few reasons, including discovering how much physical activity they get. While my “research” is anecdotal, there’s plenty of evidence (besides our waistlines) that shows we get less exercise than we used to.

And while we might “know” exercise is good for our bodies, and we … Read more!

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Time to Take Play Seriously: A Little Perspective


I note the calendar (it says ‘September’) and watch the sun set (earlier each day), yet I refuse to acknowledge what we know to be true: summer’s end is fast approaching. For me, summer represents the best of childhood: long days without schedules, mostly playing outside. So, while school may be back in session, let’s hope administrators understand what we know: outdoor play time is critical for healthy childhood development.

Why? For the vast majority … Read more!

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The George Jones Memorial Farm grows real food!

Last week I headed east for a wedding in Long Island. Needing an excuse to spend more time in NY, I scheduled a few school visits. While the schools were neat and the wedding a fantastic party, the highlight may have been a stop en route – Oberlin College in Ohio.

Not only did I get to see one of my heros, educator David Orr, and tour one of the highest performing buildings ever built, … Read more!

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Growing Green Minds: The Benefits of the Great Outdoors

Originally Published in www.afreshsqueeze.com

Children benefit from time in nature outdoors. I spend as much time as possible with kids and see the results firsthand. Even if it’s just exploring in the backyard or at the park down the street, the outdoors provide an opportunity to engage all the senses — see, hear, touch, taste and feel — in a way electronics can’t. Kids exposed to nature early and often usually are more aware, have … Read more!

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