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The Benefits of Free Play Backed by Science

<a href="/articles/the-benefits-of-free-play-backed-by-science">The Benefits of Free Play Backed by Science</a>

A study of primary school children during school break periods has found that not only is the break period a good opportunity to enhance children’s physical activity, but lunchtime activities need not be costly. Providing simple and cheap items such as buckets and tyre tubes during school break periods was found to significantly increase children’s enjoyment of, and participation in, physical activity – more so than using traditional fixed playground equipment. Read full article

Research and Evidence on School Starting Age

<a href="/articles/research-and-evidence-on-school-starting-age">Research and Evidence on School Starting Age</a>

Earlier this month the "Too Much, Too Soon" campaign made headlines with a letter calling for a change to the start age for formal learning in schools. Cambridge researcher David Whitebread, explains why children may need more time to develop before their formal education begins in earnest...There are several strands of evidence which all point towards the importance of play in young children’s development, and the value of an extended period of playful learning before the start of formal schooling. Read full article

Are Your Children Over-Scheduled?

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2013/08/28/are-your-children-over-scheduled">Are Your Children Over-Scheduled?</a>

Do you feel stressed keeping up with your children's after-school activities? Is there a chance they might be "over-scheduled"? A quick video to make parents consider whether their kids have too many commitments outside school. And there's no connection between a child's 'success' and the number of these activities. Read full article

Helicopter Parenting - Why Is It Still the Mother's Fault?

<a href="/blogs/2012/12/14/helicopter-parenting-why-is-it-still-the-mothers-fault">Helicopter Parenting - Why Is It Still the Mother&#039;s Fault?</a>

I live in a small town way out in the country where – it’s true – debates about helicopter parenting are pretty rare. Here packs of sunburned kids ride helmetless around our winding roads, the wind blowing through their sweaty hair, the sun reflecting off their freckled faces...When Catherine Deveny decries helicopter parents and all their associated neuroses, she avoids the very persistent reality for many mothers: that of an oppressive sense of responsibility. Read full article

Why Don't Your Children Play Outside?

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2012/09/04/why-dont-your-children-play-outside">Why Don&#039;t Your Children Play Outside?</a>

Do you find it difficult to get your children to go outside and play? Are they reluctant or has your lifestyle simply led to them spending more time indoors anyway? And what do you think is causing this? Last week school principals from public, Catholic and independent schools supported the release of "active" diaries by Nature Play WA suggesting that half an hour of outdoor play every day for primary school-aged children. Read full article

School's Play with No Contact Policy Upsets Students and Parents

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2012/06/15/schools-play-with-no-contact-policy-upsets-students-and-parents">School&#039;s Play with No Contact Policy Upsets Students and Parents</a>

A primary school principal in Victoria, Australia has told children to "play with no contact"; the Principal explained that this direction came "directly from a safety perspective". In setting the background to this rule, Principal Ms Beckworth said the school had "a broken collarbone, broken wrist and concussion" . Children were so upset with this ban that Year 6 students are reported to have protested with some kind of 'sit in' on the oval at lunch time. It is reported that the school put a stop to the protest and that the students were called into the school hall to be spoken to about that behaviour. Parents are also reported to be upset by the ban and because the school did not consult the parent community first. Read full article

Caine's Arcade - Imagination, Inspiration, Cardboard and a Boy

Thanks to happychild blogger Carol Duncan for leading us to this wonderful 10 minute video about a nine year old boy, Caine, who built a games arcade out of cardboard boxes. He gets a huge surprise when an adult arranges, via social media, for a lot of eager customers. A fun and inspiring ten minutes for adults and children about play, creativity, vision and social media. Read full article

Why Unstructured Play is Important for Your Child

<a href="/articles/why-unstructured-play-is-important-for-your-child-0">Why Unstructured Play is Important for Your Child</a>

Unstructured, unsupervised fun could be more beneficial for your child's future than you realise. Parents are feeling they need to provide an array of structured and adult-directed activities to raise smarter children...but it is also backfiring as children are not being given the freedom to develop their own interests and creativity. Read full article

Best Australian Playgrounds - Foxfield Reserve, Athelstone SA

<a href="/articles/best-australian-playgrounds-foxfield-reserve-athelstone-sa">Best Australian Playgrounds - Foxfield Reserve, Athelstone SA</a>

Situated amongst mature gums with plenty of shade, Foxfield Reserve is a beautiful spot for a children’s playground.The Reserve is at the base of Blackhill and its conservation park - it is a combined area which provides a tennis court, an oval, a creek, a scout hall, toilets, walking trails as well as a gorgeous adventure playground. Read full article

Can a Children's Playground Really Be Too Safe?

Some researchers have suggested that the very safe playgrounds of today are depriving children of the opportunity to challenge themselves - they say a playground is a place where children can encounter and learn to overcome fears. Yvette Vignando debates this idea with psychologist Michael Carr Gregg on The Morning Show, Channel 7 - Michael bemoans the "woosification" of children. Read full article