Children’s Play Becomes Work When You Get in the Way. Let Them Be.

0 Comments
Children’s Play Becomes Work When You Get in the Way. Let Them Be.

“In today’s world there is such a focus on a child’s academic abilities that the social is becoming obsolete. I have seen children as young as 2 years of age who know their entire alphabet, the sound each letter makes and numbers up to 10. Parents are so proud of their child that they are “sooo smart”. However, the same child does not know how to play by himself—even for a few minutes—is constantly seeking approval from their parents, and has the highlight of their day being what they refer to as ‘lesson time’—which is an app on a tablet—because that is when they get to spend time with mom or dad.” ~ Early Childhood Educator  Play does not have a beginning and ending. It […]

We Over-Educate Children Because We Over-Think and Are Afraid to Feel

3 Comments
We Over-Educate Children Because We Over-Think and Are Afraid to Feel

There is enough research to clearly show that we are over-educating, over-pushing our children in school. But if you need extra evidence, here are two studies for you: “According to Daphna Bassok, an assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia, in 1998, 30% of teachers believed that children should learn to read while in kindergarten. In 2010, that figure was at 80%.” ~ Why are our kids so miserable? | Jenny Anderson, Quartz  “One major study of 700 preschool classrooms in 11 states found that only 15 percent showed evidence of effective interactions between teacher and child. Fifteen percent.” ~ The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids | Erika Christakis, The Atlantic If you need more research, please read Inspiring, Troubling […]

The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

60 Comments
The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

Photo credit: Thank you to Emek of Emek Studios Did you know that the right brain develops first? It does so by the time children are 3-4 years of age. The left brain, on the other hand, doesn’t fully come online until children are approximately seven years old; hence the first seven years being recognized as such a critical period in child development. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein The left brain’s functionality is one of language, numeracy, literacy, analysis and time. It is the logical, calculating, planning, busy-bee part of us that keeps us anchored in the pragmatic world, and in past and future. The right brain, on the other hand, is responsible for empathy, intuition, imagination and […]

Play with Wonder and Wander Forever ~ The Gift of the Right Brain

0 Comments
Play with Wonder and Wander Forever ~ The Gift of the Right Brain

“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.” ~ Andrew Harvey It’s a wonderful gift to allow children to play with wonder! But to the degree that we lean on the left hemisphere of the brain, we will love our “logical conclusions” more. There are no endings, however, in the realm of wonder. Only forever exists there. And tell me, what do children love more – endings or never-endings; conclusions or forever and ever more? There is wisdom in their desire, for while the left logical mind may perceive from the place […]

Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter

0 Comments
Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter

If you need a quick read to bring a smile to your face, or are simply gathering information, I offer these inspiring quotes to bring you back to the child within—to that part of us who never forgot the importance of laughing for no particular reason, of imagining far beyond what the rational mind can comprehend, and of sitting in wonder at the miracle we wake to every day. If you want more inspiration, check out my Inspiring Quotes for Child Learning and Development, and Playful Quotes for the Child in your Heart. You may also want to watch this short, fun and inspiring video called Come Out and Play ~ Embracing Life’s Infinite Playground. Also… check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the […]

There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

1 Comment
There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

“All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.” ~ Samuel Butler The other day I overheard a mother say to her son, “Oh, you’re just being silly, aren’t you?” He was goofing off and giggling in the most delightfully innocent and innocuous of ways. The mother’s tone was kind and intention heartfelt. But there was something stirring in her word “just” that struck me deep, an old shallow story that still saturates adult minds. That play is somehow frivolous is a belief still holding true for many. And yet ask any adult how hard play is for them. Ask them how easily they let themselves sing and dance spontaneously, how freely they dream, how fully they give themselves […]

Yes, Trouble’s Brewing Out There, but Are You Playing, Living, Despite it All?

0 Comments
Yes, Trouble’s Brewing Out There, but Are You Playing, Living, Despite it All?

There is a lot of turbulence in the world, and it is very easy to dwell on climate change, the US election, Brexit and more. Don’t turn a blind eye to it all, but do notice how much you are turning towards the doom and gloom versus what makes you come alive, here and now. For those on the healing journey, the “spiritual path” as some like to call it, you may be inclined to inner-work yourselves to death, endlessly processing the fine far away corners of your psyche. And for all of us, we may find it easy to focus more on bleakness than beauty, folly than fun, problems than possibilities and play. Yes this is somewhat dichotomous, I’m aware, for there can be […]

Beyond the Need to Prove Yourself in Sports and Life ~ A Journey of Healing “Not Enough”

0 Comments
Beyond the Need to Prove Yourself in Sports and Life ~ A Journey of Healing “Not Enough”

Those doing soul work, who want the searing truth more than solace or applause, know each other right away. Those who want something else turn and take a seat in another room. Soul-makers find each other’s company. ~ Rumi Like many boys, I participated in organized sports. I had my name on many rosters including those of soccer, rugby, hockey, basketball and volleyball. It was soccer, though, that was my first passion. I was a goalie, a good one. I generally excelled in most sports, and my bedroom was graced with a collection of trophies to prove it, but it was in soccer that I shone the brightest. And like many kids, I was competitive. Very competitive! I was hard on myself. A goal let […]

Inspiring, Troubling and More: Research and Stories on Child Learning and Development

0 Comments
Inspiring, Troubling and More: Research and Stories on Child Learning and Development

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” ~ Stacia Tauscher For a while now, participants in my keynotes and playshops have asked me to share the growing collection of research and stories I have on child learning and development. Teachers, in particular, want to share these finding with parents and education faculty to broaden perspectives on the importance of such things as play and nature in learning and development. Each piece below is listed as an excerpt of useful information with a link to its associated article making your perusing easier. Feel free to come back to this page as I will add new findings regularly, listing them at the top of their respective category. Scattered amongst […]

The Power of Letting Kids Play at School ~ A Success Story for Students and Teachers

2 Comments
The Power of Letting Kids Play at School ~ A Success Story for Students and Teachers

“For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living, and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.” ~ Penelope Leach During one of my Remembering to Play playshops, an Early Learning Professional shared how allowing more play in and outside the classroom has benefited both students and teachers in dramatic and unexpected ways. Here is what she told me: As part of an initiative to slowly move towards more play in our school, we have increased the children’s playtime in our classroom to a minimum of 45 minutes to sometimes one hour per day (from 20-30 minutes). We have […]