By Cathy Saunders, Director of Education, Providence Children’s Museum Now that kids are back in school, I’ve been contemplating the challenge of keeping learning a joyful experience rather than a task that must be endured.Â At the Children’s Museum, we know that the best kind of learning happens when the learner wants to acquire new […]
Who hasnâ€™t noticed that every kid loves an empty box, often more so than the item that came in it? In my house, my kids are pretty much yanking the box out of my hands before Iâ€™ve had a chance to open it and planning some kind of reconstructive surgery to transform it into a castle, a dog house, a car, a dragon â€“ whatever they can imagine.
Seems obvious that kids of all ages need time to play. But how and when kids play seems to be at risk these days because of how it is defined and interpreted, growing use of media and the increasing pressures at home or in school to allot for kids time every moment of the day. I am an advocate for real unstructured â€œplayâ€ time at home and at school.
By Megan Fischer, Director of Communications, Providence Children’s Museum Providence Children’s Museum is a proud new member of Let’s Move! a comprehensive national initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama that is dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity. Active play is an important […]
Many people across the state are without power and dealing with down trees. The neighborly thing to do is to help however possible: Check on your neighbors, share food, and take turns watching each others children while families are cleaning up.
For some of us the start of the school has been delayed a day while others still go back the old-fashioned wayâ€”after Labor Day.
To enjoy the last days of summer, I have made a list of things to do with your kids to make the transition fun and a little easier. Drive carefully and best to call first to make sure places are open and ready for business.
1. Go to your favorite ice cream place.
Creativity â€“ like play and love â€“ eludes definition. We have a common understanding that artists â€“ painters, sculptors, poets, composers, designers â€“ are creative. Sometimes overlooked is the creative thinking that goes on outside the arts. Every good teacher creatively makes learning meaningful for students with a range of abilities and interests. Parents find creative solutions to the challenges of raising children all the time. And kids are incredibly creative.
A favorite childhood summer activity, my sisters and I used to spend hot days filling a little green plastic pool from the backyard hose to keep cool. But so much of the fun was what was happening outside the pool; we loved to splash the water straight to the ground, making muddy puddles. I remember how sun-warmed and sensational the mud felt on my bare feet, creating suction as I pulled them up and down. A Childrenâ€™s Museum colleague shared an accidental mud discovery she made with a group of preschool children. Playing with a homemade slip-and-slide on a hill, children were just as drawn to the mud they made in the process, noticing the fascinating downhill rivulets being formed as the water and soil met, the kids changing the directions of the paths.
By Mary Scott Hackman, Early Childhood Programs Coordinator, Providence Childrenâ€™s Museum
â€œIn childhood play, it is a safe assumption that kids need more than a two-dimensional screen to gain competency. Children need free, hands-on play that is kid-organized, to maximize their potential. Nothing lights up a childâ€™s brain like play.â€ â€“ Stuart Brown, M.D., founder of the National Institute for Play
Years ago, I attended a workshop given by an architect of childrenâ€™s spaces. One remark that struck me that day and lingers still was, â€œNext to food, the element that is essential to the health and well-being of our children is light.â€ I remember thinking, â€œWell, we should close down all childcare centers housed in basements!â€ And now I think itâ€™s just another reason to advocate for getting our children out of doors and into the natural light of day.
By Megan Fischer, Director of Communications, Providence Children’s Museum Shut down the video games, turn off the TV and step away from your screens — April 18-24 is Screen-Free Week! This national celebration, which coincides this year with school vacation, is presented by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and encourages children, families, schools and communities […]
More often than not, in response to â€œHey guys, what happened at school today,â€ recess is my elementary school-aged kidsâ€™ number one topic. Their daily 10 minutes of recess often results in 10 minutes of real-time recess retelling. Eventually, until I found ways to ask the right questions about math, science, reading, art, library and other learning opportunities they might have experienced between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm, this apparent recess fixation troubled me. Was recess the only aspect their days (aside from gym, another topic discussed with wild enthusiasm) that my kids valued? However, I no longer interpret their passion for recess as a devaluation of the other 350 minutes of their school days. Quite the opposite: without those 10 minutes, they and their peers would likely get far less out of the rest of the school day. Their animated retelling of those action-packed minutes on the playground contrasts starkly with the larger reality of many schools, in which recess clings to a tenuous existence. In Providence and across urban school districts nationwide, recess has become a scare commodity that kids need more than ever.