Monday, July 25, 2011

Builder Boards by Jack McGee, Playground DIY

The 'Builder Boards' from inventor Jack McGee are like Lincoln Logs for the backyard, and you can purchase them in fully and partially finished states from his website, or get the plans to make your own from his $13 how-to book (added to the sidebar Reading List).  OR construct the vintage models straight from this 1953 Modern Mechanix article

Don't miss Jack's other inventive DIY projects on his website, including a magnetic marble run, fun house mirror, and a busy box for special needs children. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kindle Kids Books: Why It's the Perfect Travel Companion for Your Kids

You know how traveling-and we mean literally going on a long road trip-can become tiresome for the little ones, so here's a tip: take Kindle kids books with them to get busy with. In a nutshell, Kindle is an electronic reader brought to the market by Amazon sometime in 2007. It is an electronic device that makes online newspapers, magazines,electronic books, or commonly referred to as e-books, possible for reading instead of reading it in the usual book print or in your laptop.
But what makes the Kindle reader a top choice as your kid's travel companion?

Portability is one. This reading gadget is so handy that it doesn't need more room in your baggage. You can actually just carry it around with you, without any strain at all on you if it's tucked in your handbag. Besides, it's pretty handy that a little kid can carry it with him, all by himself. Just imagine taking children's books with you, for your kid to read during your trip, definitely not a travel-fun sight.

Second is how about the idea of a 24/7 bookstore, thanks to its Wi-Fi capability? Ran out of page to read at two in the morning? Too bad, if you're a print page fanatic, you won't find a single bookstore up at this time-but for Kindle owners, time and place are not an issue. There is a limitless bookshelf, from the classics down to brand new titles, for Kindle users. Besides, you can stack more books in this device than you can ever imagine in your bookshelves. In case you're down with book one, you won't run out of titles during your long road trip, day or night. The internet doesn't sleep, remember?

There are two ways on how to get your favorite titles, both for adults and kids, into the reading device. One is through purchasing an electronic copy from Amazon store itself or other online libraries or bookstores that sell Kindle-compatible e-books and other reading materials. Prices are very reasonable, so a Kindle consumer doesn't have to worry on this. Print books are way pricey than electronic copies so might as well get something that's cheaper and yet could go for a limitless personal collection. The other one, which is most often favored of course, is through online legitimate sites that provide free books for public consumption. But of course, you may also chance upon unsafe sites if you're not too careful on this.

Last but not least, this e-reader won't strain your eyes, neither your kid's eyes, if you want them to stack up on many Kindle kids books for the travel and read through several titles during the whole trip. This e-reader has been created as if you are actually reading it on a print page material. Besides, its newest model now offers a better and larger screen, specifically designed for the ultimate reading fanatic. This way kids don't have to worry reading content on a small screen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Juicing Fruits and Vegetables For Kids

Summer is here and children out of school. "The markets are open to the farmers and the sale of fresh fruits and vegetables. Variety of colors and vibrant, perfect just for drinking! This is an excellent time to teach children to enjoy the era two together, and serve them on the rocks. Age is way cool, refreshing, and delicious to make sure that children and the whole family is getting the daily food requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, phytochemicals, and much more......
It will teach children to drink fruit and vegetables may require less effort than watching them sit at the dinner table that are struggling to eat a carrot to participate in the dishes. Having one glass of juice, fresh fruit and vegetables a day is very fast and easy that it will allow more time for children to play outside and soak up some vitamin D from the sun. Can fresh vegetables and fruit juice does not replace the water, but it is a great way to hydrate while the children enjoy the warm weather outside.

Juice is useful for many reasons. Here are just a few examples:

For those children who do not like to eat fruits and vegetables, and age is an easy and effective to give them the nutrition their bodies need. Will contribute in alleviating the stinging taste of the vegetables with fruits and vegetables provide a nice natural sweet and children like the taste.

The body quickly absorbs large amounts of nutrients from the juice from the solids, because the process of digestion if necessary, eat whole foods is exceeded
Enzymes in fresh fruits and vegetables play a vital role in converting food into body tissues and energy
Enzymes help to increase metabolism
Times and ensure a sufficient degree of phytochemicals to help fight diseases
Antioxidants are the characteristics of immune system development is concentrated in the juice.
The concentration of antioxidants in fresh juice was also fighting the harmful effects of free radicals on the skin and contribute to the skin glowing.

I remember when the times, fibers are removed. Fiber is essential for good health, so make sure to continue to encourage your kids to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains with fresh fruit and vegetable juice to get the maximum nutritional value of foods they consume.


Rainbow Surprise

4 carrots (washed, topped and tailed)
1 sweet apple (washed and stem removed)
1 celery stalk (washed)
1 Option
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
Mix and serve more than obvious

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lekeskuptur, Hugo Wathne, Stavanger Norway, 1980

Norwegian sculptor Hugo Wathne painted his concrete forms in bright colors for a sunny, open playscape at Auglend School in Stavanger, but left them unadorned for a stumble-upon glade in Middleheim Park, Antwerp.  Do any of my Norwegian readers know if these are still in place?

Endangered Kids – Is Computing safe for Kids?

Computing, such as children, "" learning "sugar-coated electronically that may spoil children's appetite for the main session." Encourage children to "learn" by flitting about in the world of multimedia color is a recipe for the mind is organized and undisciplined. Should encourage children to blossom and flower in an atmosphere of freedom. It should be in their development capabilities. Barry Sanders, a professor at Pitzer College, says the United States "are good readers derive from good speakers and well-read." Then, as a child matures, its success in reading and writing feeds his "deepest, user intimacy, and self." Therefore any threat to the eradication of illiteracy and reduction of the language of children "inner voice" - their stories and say to themselves ...
through talks or other academic problems. Should be that those who put their trust in technology to solve problems of education look more deeply into the needs of children. Renewal of education requires personal attention to students from teachers and parents a good active, strongly supported by their communities. It requires commitment to developmentally appropriate education and attention to the full range of needs of the child the real low-tech, - physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development.

So, be careful, be aware, the exchange of ideas to stimulate the cells of the mind before it's too late!

Computers and re-shaping the lives of children in the home and school, in ways profound and unexpected. Common sense suggests that we look at the potential damage, as well as the promised benefits to this change. Quite simply, childhood is the edge of our species' evolutionary. Children take time. Simply put, many children are not given enough time to be children.Computers are the symptoms of a severe rush of the end of childhood.

Children need stronger personal bonds with adults. After the powerful technologies and distracting children and adults from each other. They need time to play, an active material; hands-on lessons learned from all materials, especially the arts and language. Experience of nature. This is essential for the growth of a healthy child thrive in an atmosphere of freedom. After many schools and parents choose the child to read a computer works and reduce the minimum bids in developing regions in the transition to the time, money and technology, expensive is not installed! Researchers computers pose serious health risks to children. The risks include repetitive stress injuries, eye, and obesity, social isolation, and for some, the damage to long-term development of physical, emotional, or intellectual. Our children thrive to spend even more time staring at screens vision problems increase. The need for social and educational for children with low income is at stake as well. Quite clear, and the emphasis on the computing engine and only one of the human capacity - an abstract and analytical thinking of the development of the child in late, but he aims to jump start before late!Computers are tools to think the most complex ever designed. It was designed with the bodies of adults, as well as the mental capacity of adults, in mind. Even for adults, is associated with extensive use of job stress and serious injuries. But the emphasis on computers for children, who are growing bodies are usually more prone to stress, and presents many challenges in health development. Can the current emphasis on computers distract schools and families to attend to the real needs of the child, and can exacerbate existing problems.

Computer, such as television, can be an incubator mesmerizing.But many children, overwhelmed by the volume of data and flashy special effects of the global network and software much, and difficulty focusing on any one task.

Training must be five years old today on computers to get high-paying jobs of tomorrow?

For a relatively small number of children who suffer from certain disabilities, and provides the benefits of technology. But for the majority, and computers pose health risks and serious development problems. Particular concern is the growing incidence of disabling repetitive stress injuries among college students who began using computers in childhood. According to the National Council for Science in 1998 that prolonged exposure to computing environments may create "individuals incapable of dealing with the chaos and reality and the needs of the community building, and requirements for personal commitments."

Physical health
It can emphasize the use of computers in the place of childhood children at increased risk for repetitive strain injury, visual strain, obesity, and other health consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.Some development experts also warn that increasing the time children spend on computers, as already sitting for hours in front of television and video games, and can contribute to developmental delays in children's ability to coordinate movement and sensory impressions, and the meaning of the results. And can in turn lead to delays in language and other learning problems. This health threat and requires immediate attention, but the only concern because all the people in the "rat race computer!
Muscle injuries and skeletal
Long hours on the keyboard, and repeat continuously a few fine hand movements, may overburden the child's hands, wrists, arms and neck. This, in turn, may stress developing their muscles, bones, tendons, and nerves. For the user, the computer is a type of restrictions in the body that must adapt itself. Eyes staring at the focal length is changing, drifting back and forth across the screen. Fingers moving quickly across the keyboard or she is ready, waiting to strike. President sits on top of the spine balanced, according to one doctor, such as a bowling ball. Built for the movement of human beings do not respond well to a mobile sitting for hours at a time. Children who play games on computers for long hours, fight with control keys, jump with the space or run right to left or upside turvy by the arrow keys on certain that freeze with the pain, and vision in the hands and more! There may be a greater risk. This is because the bones, tendons, nerves, muscles, joints and soft tissue continues to grow.

Vision problems
Computer is the pressure on the eyes of the child and the development of the visual system and actually makes learning to read, and more complex. Is associated with the eye of the experienced by computer operators to the glow of the screen and the screen that are either too bright or too dim compared with the ambient light. Maintaining a continued focus at the same distance, at the same angle, and prevents the flashing so no more reading of the book, perhaps to monitor and displays the surface reading of the vertical and because our eyes are open wider, making it more of an effort to blink children or adults, and face all the fatigue visual from long periods on the computer screen. Beginning of the book can be expected to poke the key message and passively monitors a message that appears on the screen can be difficult on the eyes and challenging extra sensory perception, and thus may actually impede the process of learning to read and write. Their system, muscular and nervous system in the development process as well. It's not until about the age of 11 or 12 by their ability to balance and coordinate the movement and focus both eyes together quite mature. It is permissible for a pair of glasses to correct the problem immediately. But the myopia itself may be a risk factor for other visual problems. Can interfere with sports activities for children and the enjoyment of nature, and even reduce their choice of profession

Lack of exercise and obesity
A lot of health professionals, childhood obesity has increased in recent times in large part because children spend more time sitting in front of the electronic media and less time playing the actual, at home and school, and because they consume a lot of high fat, high sugar and fast foods things. Whether it's a video game or television or computers, has found its way to the children of modern technology with a bang. Children at risk for diabetes, a risk factor for obesity because of Hegelian reports say American children has been increasing for diabetes. Lack of exercise is a major problem because children are in the loss of time reveals in many activities. Education in schools is getting close to my books and stealing up lessons.

Secluded life
It has become many parents with active spend less time together than an hour with the child from previous years. With the recent rise in the purchase of home computers, laptops, and home to the Internet connections, as well as communications school, and children who are likely to spend less time interacting face to face with parents, teachers and friends. Television and personal computers in every bedroom of the child. Another novelty is the courtesy of the personal computer in the gala birthday! A recent study estimates that children between the ages of 10 and 17 today will see some less than a third of face-to-face meetings with other people throughout their lives as a result of e-culture, increasingly, at home, school or classes.Began, many children who live a secluded life and disappear in their rooms to spend most of their time with this technological wonder the media. Socially, children are themselves pieces and not a little courtesies and emotional attachments.

Less self-motivation
Many girls find boring or computer components, while creative children to play more games. Young students often seem to mesmerize, and even some drug addicts, and work on their screens, and not motivated to learn. Fascination with technology, and researchers caution, are not the same thing as a motive to learn about educational topics beyond the technology itself. May be tempted by some of the educational soft wares are more entertaining than education.

Stunt imagination
The infiltrated less creativity in the classroom with the replacement of computer skills. Creative work depends on the child's own internal resources - including originality, playfulness in generating ideas, activity and perseverance in their implementation. Similarly, involves the imagination and the ability to bring images to own one of life in the mind and one private. Children who are exposed to heavy electronic food on TV, and bombed the Internet, video games, and multimedia ready with pictures and animation cleverly often and quickly exchanged with a point and click, literally leaving nothing to the imagination. Never consistently and effortlessly, they are puzzled by their imagination and find it difficult to generate their images and ideas. Reduction is up to the visual effects on the minds of the video game, television and computer.

Poor language and literacy

May be the time spent with computers and other electronic media distract both children and adults to communicate directly with each other, face to face, weaving together a rich variety of cues spoken and unspoken encourage such interactions. You may, experts warn of literacy, and place children at risk of delayed language. In addition, very few opportunities for such communication, if extended throughout childhood, may permanently reduce the ability of children to express them in speech or in writing, to understand what they read, and even understand. They are at a loss of logical thinking and analytical.Before they are built vocabulary, feed the kids a spoon to computers.

Ethical behavior and emotional competenceThe most important gift parents can give the child to stimulate their mental, not a good education and educational games in detail, or summer camp, but the time - regular, large pieces of it spent together doing things that are naturally appealing to the child. Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan, the former director of the Clinical Infant Development Program at the National Institute of Mental Health, and warn that the focus on computers in childhood increases the tendency of our culture increasingly rushed and impersonal to the detriment of the child's emotional growth. And which, they add, that adversely affect their intellectual, social and moral as well, because the emotions directory to learn rights and advertising, marketing behavior.Flooded on the Internet, television and call for boards of interest are also exposed children are not only games, and children's products but also in drugs, pornography and so on sites such as, and provide targeted banner campaigns and downloads the desktop background that the impact of emotionally children. They are children who are unable to cope with a minimum of frustrations, and strongly criticized.Entitled, demanding, impatient, lack of respect for authority, and the objection often than their peers, unempathetic and "wounded." Easily their numbers are increasing. We should take note of this disturbing trend and intervene with some urgency if we want to raise children who will care about others in the community.
To summarize, these are the basic beliefs and concerns
* Childhood is a critical stage of life and must be protected to be experienced fully. Should not be rushed
* Every child deserves respect as an individual. All need to help develop his own abilities and unique in finding ways to include in a healthy social fabric.
* Children today are under enormous pressure and suffer increasingly from illnesses such as asthma, allergies, obesity and excessive disorders and depression. This should be a pressure trim down.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Playtimes: A Century of Children's Games and Rhymes at the British Library

Featuring film and audio clips from as early as 1900, the British Library's Playtimes website "explores the enormous diversity of children’s games as well as the changes and continuities of play through time. Historical footage includes boys playing leapfrog, girls dancing to celebrate the end of World War One and numerous examples of children performing traditional songs and games such as In and Out the Dusty Bluebells, Hopscotch and Mummies and Daddies.

Contemporary footage has been filmed at two primary schools in London and Sheffield and includes children re-enacting TV game shows, computer game-style fights and pop songs."

This is an amazing project!  But unfortunately the BL is very precious about their content...nothing can be downloaded for sharing, which is decidedly not in the spirit of playground games.     

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Playscapes at DWELL magazine

DWELL magazine's latest issue is on family and play, and I'm so pleased to have been asked to supply some online content for them over the next month.  The first slideshow, 'An Introduction to Modern Playscapes', is online now.  If you're a longtime follower of the blog, you've seen most of these images before, but it has been an interesting exercise to compile my personal faves and I hope it will serve as a quick way to introduce the idea of a playscape as a total designed space for play:  so much more than a flat piece of ground with some poles and platforms.   

Wired magazine has retweeted it to their close to a million followers!  Watch for a new slideshow every Monday for the next month.

3 Most Common Questions Parents Have

Listen to the full recording here: an interview with the radical parenting teenagers, Vanessa Van Betten
Here are some of the highlights:

1) What young people want to know their parents but are afraid of to say to them?
Do not take the complaint or dispute of the adolescents personally. It's usually just a way to vent them and they rarely mean anything ugly.Children do not listen to their parents - it's not just cool to look very interested in or recognize.The good relationship with their parents is no less important for adolescents as it is for mothers and fathers.

2) What is the relationship between parents fractures / teen?
Treatment of adolescents and the like are still infants.Impose the same rules that were established in primary schools over 15 years of age.Embarrassing them over and over again and then do not have as much to him or apologize for doing so.
** I recommend re-evaluation agreements with your kids on a regular basis. Children and technological changes so quickly that an audit every 6 months or so makes the children feel heard and certainly the current rules.

3) What is it like growing up in the 21?
It's harder than parents think.Technology plays a big role, children must learn to navigate the changing landscape.Unrealistic expectations of parents, teachers and friends, and add more coaches to the pressures of a difficult stage of life already.

Strategies to use for parenting your kids and teens

There are a lot of things that need to be considered in young children of your own to turn into a cute adorable children of school age and fixed in later to manage adolescents.
Between 2 and 4 years of age, and are encouraging parents to be patient on the management of young children, teaching them some of the behaviors of good and appropriate ways to behave, such as participation, saying "please" and "thank you". These basic lessons are the most important lessons taught, as well as the most important to be learned. However, the elderly and children less than get the lessons that seem to remember. Face of this, and parents often resort to desperate methods of bribery between the other for their children to do all that is asked of them.......

Be positive

But as parents, we must understand that this is part of your child's growth and learning, experience and care for them more than you ever need to be patient with your offspring. This is why it is always advised the use of praise, and point out strengths, and compliment their children through the recognition of all the times that are good and always give them positive feedback; all in the name of self-confidence.

The use of discipline

Of course, there are cases when children do wrong things and praise would not be appropriate. It is very common for parents to punish them. But they refer to the discipline rather than punishment. Remind your children about what they made mistakes, causing you to have discipline and not on long-term memory and placed in full. When it came time to discipline do not use yelling or beating as a last resort. The children will learn nothing but hatred and fear.

Of choice with your child
Such as children grow, they may not be open and sharing as they used to be when it comes to their feelings and emotions.Make it a habit to check in with your child every day. Dinner is a good chance to catch up on what is going on at school or with friends. Try not to ask general questions "Do you have a good day?" Or "How was your day?". Children are sure to be confined to "yes" or "No", answers, "Fine." To open the way for good communication to ask for updates. For example, "What happened to you today?" Or "What is the most fun thing you did today?"
Try to be a good listener first and foremost. Some teens do not appreciate their parents or a judge to comment on their experiences. I respect that. Confidence-building. Thus, it will be children who are interested in your opinion and advice.

Be respected
And one more thing to keep in mind, it is very important for parents to show respect for their children by not discussing him / her with relatives or friends.
Should be given to children and adolescents a lot of consideration because they are in the age of change and configuration. It is the duty of parents to raise them to the good men and women using the right tactics and manage their own emotions.

Monday, July 11, 2011

La ville molle (Soft City), Raum, Bourges France, 2010

La ville molle (part III) from Raum Raum on Vimeo.

We take the ground plane for granted, assuming that it won't shift beneath our feet.
But Raum Architecture's installation "questions the harshness of the city and the ground's capacity to change".

Their surprising, playful intervention was co-produced by the National School of Art de Bourges, the FRAC Centre and carried out with the collaboration of the city of Bourges and its downtown Council district.

Wondering about its secrets?  All is revealed in the construction video below... 

La ville molle (part I & II) from Raum Raum on Vimeo.

[Musical accompaniment by the french band "Mansfield Tya" (]

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Teaching Little Kids Colors

As a parent, you can be a good teacher for your little children. Teach them any skills as early as possible. You don't have to wait until their age is ready for school. Introducing colors to them is fundamental. Yet, it is an easy task. Thus we have some tips for you to teach your little children colors.
The best step to introduce colors to your little children is to use the surroundings as real examples. One thing you should know about children is that they are the best learner in which they have great desire to know anything new. It is easier for your kids to recognize the color when you include the colors anytime you mention common things, like car, hat, T-shirt, etc.

You can talk about the red shoes and pink socks that your children like. With this method, they will recognize the color of any other things. For example, as you mention "blue Teddy Bear" in their bedroom, they will recognize and be able to say, "It's blue" for any other blue things.

Also, you can use some books which contain some images in any colors. Ask them to mention the color of each image. Or, ask them to show you "the red cat" and "the green dog". Choose the books in which each image has a single color, like blue for the bird, brown for the chocolate, white for rice, and so on. If each image is colorful, we are afraid that your little children will get confused to answer your questions.

Keep in mind that children like playing. When they are playing, they actually surf their imagination. Take some coloring books and crayons. Let them improve their imagination and creativity. It is strongly suggested that you get involved in their activity. You can play with them. Ask them to make an artwork from dough based on their own imagination while you are also working on yours.

Then we advise that you have some discussion on colors with your little kids while watching TV. Ask them about the color of their favorite character, like yellow Sponge Bob, or pink Piglet. Finally, we hope that this article will be useful for you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Protect Baby's New Clothes With the Best of Baby Bibs

bibs is strange that the word comes from an old English word which means drink and this in turn is derived from the Latin verb that means the leak. 

Spill is designed to deal with the bib and although we link with infants and very young children, and for many years were worn by adults as well. Were worn in the court of Henry VIII and bibs all the people in court. 
This was due to eat in those days was very messy affairs where the consumption of large meals of many courses, with a tendency also extracted from chicken and pork and other meat, regardless of one hand, and over slobbered. ......

Today we associate only with young people and bibs worn primarily to absorption by saliva droplets from their mouths. As the child grows and begins to eat solid food, there is a continuing need for children as young bibs discover the joys of spitting food no matter how the father was trying to feed it. 

Can eat for the very young to try to be original as each spoon potential disaster on the verge of falling into the lap. Just like dogs, the child uses his mouth to experience the taste and texture of almost everything. Once the child has the eye and hand coordination, and are selected anything in the immediate and up-to-mouth. 

After years may continue this habit into adulthood when it is chewed the end of a pencil or pen when writing. The habit of natural and innate to the child put all sorts of rubbish in the mouth is a way to build a lifelong immunity at a later date. It is now considered excessive hygiene is unhealthy for the development of the natural growth of the child and can lead to health problems later. 

Baby bibs are an essential part of clothing for all infants and young children, unless of course you are lucky enough to live in a very hot climate where there is no need for the child to have any clothes. The bib is the item of clothing for the sole purpose to protect the clothing worn underneath. It should be like this apron is very absorbent and able to collect and not only a large amount of saliva a day, but also food and drink of the child who loves to press once again through the mouth is closed. 

The mouth is just about the most sensitive part of the body, and for the children a great deal of what you feel through this part of his or her anatomy. Later in life when the child becomes a teenager and has become a thrill and a kiss on the lips the lips is a reminder of years a child. 

If you have a friend with a new baby and want to buy some small gift, then you could do worse than to buy dozens of funky colored bibs. 

Playground Dollhouse, c. 1910

a beauty from the archives of the Library of Congress.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

By the City for the City...submit play ideas for NYC!

 I missed the beginning of this contest, in which NYC's  Institute for Urban Design (IfUD) in New York City solicited ideas about how the city's public spaces could be improved, and received nearly 550 ideas from residents across five boroughs.
#416 Wouldn’t it be great if...
there were more simple (read: inexpensive) but creative play spaces around the city for both kids and adults, like last year's PS1 courtyard installation?

 #480 Wouldn’t it be great if...stormwater was displayed under bridges in an interesting way.

 #465 Wouldn’t it be great if...there were ziplines crossing the east river?

 #323 Wouldn’t it be great if...any wall could become a contested space.

The second phase of the contest is to responses to these ideas.  Define a specific site and prepare a short design brief that shouldn't be "too technical—the goal is to find great ideas that can capture the public imagination and start conversations, so even a single rendering qualifies; have fun with it!”

There is a $25.00 submission fee, but ALL submissions will be published in an “Atlas of Possibility for the Future of New York,” and one prizewinner will be selected for each borough plus five additional winners at the discretion of an interesting group of jurors:  architect Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Bary Bergdoll (Architecture Curator, Musem of Modern Art), Ned Cramer (Editor-in-Chief of Architect), and Janette Sadik-Khan (NYC Transportation Commissioner) , among others.

Only a week to submit your proposal...they're due July 14th! 

I hope there are some amazing play designs submitted...what a great venue for submitting your own great ideas (I know you have them) to one of the world's great cities!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to Motivate Young Children to Read

Children who provide them with ample opportunities to read are more likely to succeed and move forward in school than those who do not have reading materials provided in the home.....
 These are the facts from the center of the international survey and the University of Nevada, Reno, United States in this article, and scientific culture of the family and educational success: books and education in 27 countries (2010)

Good reading habits start at home. It does not matter what kind of parents or the educational background and their caregivers, what matters is not what a parent to encourage a love of reading before their child starts school. Help the child to being a skilled reader requires a few simple steps and habits that will lead them excited about being a learner.


Talk with your child about what you are reading: newspaper stocks interesting and magazine articles, refer to the beautiful words of the books and the introduction of new vocabulary.

Offers a good selection of books for your child until he or she can always find one of interest.

Have your child select books in addition to those you choose.

Discuss the books with your child as he or read them. 
Ask questions about themes and characters and how the story might be related in real life.

Help your child build confidence by allowing him or her to re-read the book several times.

Reward your child for reading new books.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Forum: Play Design Training

Recently I was looking at the work of a firm whose playful, but not specifically playground, installation I had featured on the blog.  It turned out that they had also done some playground sites as part of large park developments; all of which were unimaginative and based on manufactured components.  And I wondered, why the difference?  Why would a firm that clearly had the capacity to be playful and creative when designing a park or a garden fall back on old standards when given a 'playground' brief?   I know, I know, maybe they were confined by their overlords to boring equipment.  But that isn't a satisfying answer since designers routinely fight for their creative work.  Was something lacking in their training or experience that kept them from seeing 'playground' as 'one-of-the-most-exciting-spaces-I-could-ever-be-asked-to-design'? 

So I've been asking people in the landscape architecture/architecture world if they talked about play at all in their training, and the answer has been consistently 'no, not once, not at all'. 

What about you?  Did your LA/Arch course discuss play?  If you make playgrounds, how did you get there? Do you know of any courses that specialize in the design of physical space for play?   Do you think there ought to be one?  What might it include?  See you in the forum.  (comment under Friday Forum:  Play Design Training)

P.S.  If you haven't been following the forum lately, please note a job posting from Theories Landscapes in London, and an interesting discussion on stray toys left on the playground, or add to the list of scrap stores!