“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce

Choosing Toys for Babies

You may not be sure what kind of toys, or how many, your baby should have. It’s likely that you hear conflicting advice that runs from one extreme to another! It’s either: “Don’t give your baby toys; he’ll be spoiled,” to “Give your baby lots of toys; they develop her brain.” So…which is it? Both sides of this debate have valid points. A baby does indeed learn from the things she plays with, and the more things she has access to, the more she can learn. With this in mind, many parents spend a fortune buying toys; however, many toys hold a child’s attention for three or four days, only to be relegated to the bottom of the toy box.
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The Importance
of Messy Play

Children, especially young children, need to explore their environment with all their senses. Children learn primarily through play, so combining their need to play and their need to explore often results in a mess. This can’t be avoided and we would do well to remember that a degree of mess is part of life as a child and not something to become uptight about.
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On the Simple Joys
of Tree Climbing

All at once, my daughter has developed a fascination with tree-climbing. A few weeks ago, we were playing in this wonderful little grove of trees near the house, and she just started going up. Now, she’s unstoppable. Even when she’s riding in the car, she’s scoping out the trees as we pass: “That looks like a good one to climb; we’ll have to come back to that tree.” As a Nature educator, I’m a big fan of trees over plastic play equipment. Let’s just compare plastic play equipment, such as you might find at your local neighborhood park, with trees and rocks.
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The Curriculum of Play

John Taylor Gatto writes about how play teaches empathy, how to endure, how to enjoy leisure, adventure, independence, self-reliance, and more. And you don't get much of that in school, which is why home-based education and unschooling are so important to children's mental and physical health.
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The Need For Creative Play in Child Development

In this article from The Scientific American, author and cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, along with the renowned Jerome and Dorothy Singer, describes the research showing clear benefits of children’s engagement in pretend games from the ages of about two and one half through ages six or seven.
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jumping for joy 

kids playing with an earth ball

 

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