Suggested Reading for 2/22/13

suggestedreadingLots of thought-provoking stuff this week—and some neato activities for young children.

Baking soda and vinegar are always popular in preschool. Here’s a great twist, from the Kids Activities Blog—using them to make fizzing paint! Very cool.

From Childhood 101, some practical ideas for involving numeracy into everyday life for young children. All these ideas (a) take almost no effort to implement, and (b) will almost for sure make your child better at math in the long run.

From Train Up a Child, some good ideas for manipulative toys you can easily (and cheaply) make yourself. Every young child needs access to fun stuff to do with their fingers! I especially like the idea for pom-pom magnets. Also, a clever game you can use to support early literacy and phonics for kids who like to draw.

Teacher Tom, on letting kids do things that are likely to get them injured. This is a great example of something I do workshops on: helping children build resilience. The risks are probably never as high as you fear, and the rewards are greater…

A lovely blog post from Takoma Park on the importance, benefits, and logistics of roughhousing. I strongly agree. And a good interview about roughhousing in the New York Times. I don’t approve of some of the gender-essentialism they put out there; on the other hand, it’s important to acknowledge the particular roles and needs of fathers in our culture… Overall, insightful stuff: “We believe that real safety comes from knowledge, not from rules and saying ‘No!’ all the time.” Yes. Also, the little 1-minute video will make you want to try out some new roughhousing techniques immediately.

I’ve written some in this blog about children and media. It’s a complicated issue. This column from Boston.com calls for a more balanced perspective from experts. My dear friend Becky read this and enthusiastically commented that it’s nice, as a parent living in the real world, not to be made to feel guilty for allowing some TV.

From the New York Times’ Economix blog, a good overview of the current state of the union of child care, and why it’s a good idea to expand it. And this blog post at CNN.com makes related economic arguments, but frames the issue more in terms of social justice—a useful perspective.

From the Health at Every Size blog, some important thoughts on promoting health in children, and avoiding the destructive messages of the so-called “obesity epidemic.” Health and weight are two very different things, and pretending they’re the same is bad for children. FYI. In a loosely-related post, check out Teacher Tom’s thoughts on what “fitness” might look like in children (and adults).

A jam-packed post from Mummy Musings and Mayhem—mostly activities about “crossing the midline,” an important motor skill for toddlers. But no matter what developmental issues you’re thinking about, you’re sure to find inspiration in the many ideas here.

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If you read anything good this week, share it in the comments!

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