Play

Toys, dirt and water

Toys, dirt and water

Tools for the important work of play My son Dante was a Seedling for two years, when he was three and four. The first year, he spent most of his time digging in the dirt or playing in a tub of water. When I’d come to pick him up, ... read more

Just Add Water!

Just Add Water!

Just Add Water isn’t just an improv comedy troupe at Yale. It’s a creed. If I were asked for the number one thing to do with children that is fun and has the broadest range of use, I would say to take whatever it is the child is ... read more

US Play Coalition Conference: play’s the thing!

US Play Coalition Conference: play’s the thing!

Sunflower Managing Director, Jennifer Ligeti, and I recently attended the US Play Coalition Conference on the Value of Play at Clemsen University. We came back with heads full of practical information from the leading thinkers and advocates in ... read more

Make it Safer. Add Risk.

Make it Safer. Add Risk.

We’re working hard to shift the conversation regarding child safety to include risk as a conduit for learning, rather than a situation that must be avoided. When adults who design childhood play spaces have the ability to assess risk and ... read more

Not Just for Kids

Not Just for Kids

I spent my first week in Växjö, Sweden, pedaling the hundreds of bike paths strewn across the county. One especially sunny weekday afternoon I was speeding around the lake enjoying the feeling of being thousands of miles from home. As I rounded ... read more

Play and Trust

Play and Trust

Sitting at a train crossing tonight, I looked up expecting to see freight cars zooming by. Only flat cars carrying huge dull looking container boxes flashed in front of me. I was sad to realize that the freight cars I loved as a kid might not ... read more

Their Right to Play

Their Right to Play

I have always felt the need to fiercely protect childhood and play. Why? Kids at play epitomize exactly what we as adults all strive toward: living each moment with energy, confidence, fully engaged and capable, fearlessly exploring ... read more

Flying

Flying

This time last year my youngest son, Steven, had been safely back home in the States for about a month, after a year in Afghanistan. My heart still crashed through my stomach at a radio mention of casualties in Afghanistan. I stood paralyzed at ... read more

Playful morning

Playful morning

It’s Friday 5:30 AM, on my way to 6 AM yoga. This morning I am met with a damp chill and sweet smelling air filled with birdsong. Over my shoulder I nod a good morning to the lake, still and barely awake. A white feather floats down before me as read more

I call it tiny. My kids call it nature.

I call it tiny. My kids call it nature.

Sunflower blogger Victoria won 4th place in KaBOOM!’s recent guest blogging contest. For those of you who missed it, check it out below and on KaBOOM!’s Play Today blog. Then read more great Sunflower posts by Victoria here. ... read more

Remember play?

Remember play?

Whenever I ask a group of adults to share a favorite play experience from their childhood there is a visible shift in their bodies. They become energized and I swear I see each of them as their little kid selves. Sharing treasured memories, we ... read more

So hard to leave…

So hard to leave…

Everybody who’s ever taken a class at Sunflower and then stayed afterwards while their kids played on the playground has, at some point (usually after a long, long time of playing) heard these words from Susan: “Take your children and leave!” ... read more

Some Serious Resources on Play

Some Serious Resources on Play

We don’t have leaf piles or snow piles here in south Florida, but occasionally we have large construction sand piles. Yesterday I drove by one. It was a Saturday so there weren’t any workers around. But there were eight, maybe ten kids climbing ... read more

Crossing the Bridge

Crossing the Bridge

This morning my six-year-old son, Dylan, will cross over the Seedlings bridge for the final time (that’s Seedling talk for Graduation). To the outside world it might seem like an ordinary event, but for us–the Glas family– it’s the ... read more

Weaned on play

Weaned on play

by Wynna Dunmyer, Sunflower mom My baby weaned, again. At Bridging Day last week, Griffin my 5 year old last baby, weaned. This time it was from Seedlings, the amazing play-based cooperative program that gave him space and time to grow and ... read more

How to make an invention

How to make an invention

by Jennifer Sneeden Making an invention is very difficult… The first problem is that you might not know right away what you’re trying to invent. That means you’ll need to have lots of materials to choose from. And all those materials may feel a ... read more

What’s your passion?

What’s your passion?

At the Seedlings Family Kick Off that Jonathan posted about last week, one of the questions we parents were asked was, “What’s your passion? What will you bring to Seedlings, as a helper?” I was mulling it over when Jaime, ... read more

Letting go

Letting go

I’m a control freak. If you’ve met me, there’s no point in my denying it. So for me, setting my children loose at Little Sprouts and especially Seedlings is as much a lesson for me as it is for them. In those programs, as in ... read more

Where are all the kids? | KaBOOM!

Where are all the kids? | KaBOOM!

Congratulations to Sunflower blogger Jaime Greenberg, 1st place winner in KaBOOM!‘s national guest blogging contest! In her outstanding winning entry, Jaime writes about one of the ways she is keeping play alive — for her children and ... read more

Steady Yourself

Steady Yourself

A little boy glanced at me from across the playground. Both his hands were on a big green post. He took his first steps to climb down off of a small tower as our eyes met. I saw one hand flutter, a tiny wiggle in his body, some small ... read more