Games to get kids talking
My college roommate Hannah is a marvel. She looks for the fun in parenting, and she finds it. In the process, kids of all ages open up to her. I’ve never met anyone who could get kids talking the way that she can (okay, that’s not quite true; ... read more
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
Play helps a neighborhood find a sense of community
Six months ago, we moved to a new neighborhood. We were moving from a townhouse with almost no yard, and while my boys seemed to be fine playing in a tiny patch of nature, I was hoping for something larger. Our new house has a fenced back yard ... read more
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
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
Go With the Flow
“Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re ... read more
Overheard at Sunflower’s Seedling Family Kick-Off… I close my eyes and let the sound surround me. These familiar sounds always make my heart beat a little faster. Some of them are subtle, like the twang of a rebounding rubber band. ... read more
I call it tiny. My kids call it nature. | KaBOOM!
Congratulations to Sunflower blogger Victoria Green, 4th place winner in KaBOOM!‘s national guest blogging contest. Go Victoria! Check out her (awesome if we do say so ourselves!) winning entry on KaBOOM!’s Play Today blog here: I ... read more
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
I Want to Play Too!
One day while I’m out running I stop at the park in my neighborhood. I look around to make sure nobody is watching, and then I jump on the swing. Thinking of my three-year-old, because this is something we usually do together, I pump my legs and read more
A Day at Seedlings
9:30 am – Trikes race, swings fly, granite pestles grind and pound spices into dry oatmeal, castles are constructed, the girls’ fort invites in a few boys, a wild bowling game is invented while in the distance dark storm clouds ... read more
Bring that beat back to me again…
I recently got back from an amazing vacation, visiting a wonderful, playful, up-for-anything friend and seeing my most favorite band in the world (Dave Matthews Band ♥love them!♥). I went completely on my own–no kids, no husband–and ... read more
Risk and safety (part 2): Refiguring fearful equations
On Monday I wrote about how, as parents, our emotions and resulting fear can cloud our ability to effectively assess risk in our children’s lives. It isn’t easy but experiencing risk is the only way we all learn. The US is lagging ... read more
Lessons from Seedlings
My daughters’ time at Seedlings shaped the big kids they’ve become today. And, while they were learning to experiment and explore and express themselves through play, nature and the arts– I was learning too. read more
To seven-year-old Jonathan it was the edge of the world. To everyone else at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex it was just the tall diving platform. After climbing the stairs I inched my way to the edge of the 33 foot tall precipice and looked ... read more
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
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
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