April 29, 2013
April 29-May 5th is National Screen-Free Week.
The goal of Screen-Free Week is:
to spend a week turning OFF entertainment screen media and turning ON life! It is a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore nature, and spend time with family and friends.
At Turner Toys, we offer all kinds of great toys for you and your kids to play with. That’s what we do – we celebrate all things play! With all of these great activities, who needs TV or computers?
The reality is that most of us rely on our screens for work, entertainment, news and distraction.
Here’s what we’re going to try at our house:
- We’re going screen free for 1 day – today. Let’s see how it goes.
- No TV, computer, video games, Bejeweled, Facebook, Twitter, etc., EXCEPT for work or homework
- Yes to reading, practicing instruments, playing outside, playing puzzles, building constructions, making art…..
So, I’m on the computer writing this blog and I will return emails, but otherwise I’m not going on the NY Times website or FB…. No games on my phone. Seriously, this might be harder for me than my family.
As a precaution my husband took the power cords to the TV and computer.
Screen-Free Week Activities
The organizers at Screen-Free Week have loads of printables: pledge cards, activity logs, certificates of achievement to celebrate the week….
They also have lots of ideas for screen-free activities. I think my favorite might be: Fix Something.
The Educators’ Spin On It blog has loads of great activities and ideas for Screen-Free Week along with great printables such as activity cards for kids.
Toddler Approved blog also has great ideas and links to other parenting blogs.
Please let me know if you are going screen-free this week and how you are going to do it! Let’s share strategies and experiences!
February 19, 2013
Not sure how I feel about this, but the New York Times ran an article today: Gym Class isn’t Just Fun and Games Anymore. In some school districts, PE teachers are incorporating academic concepts and lessons into their PE classes. For example,
” while in push-up position, they balanced on one arm and used the other (“Alternate!” Ms. Patelsky urged. “That’s one of your vocabulary words”) to stack oversize Lego blocks in columns labeled “ones,” “tens” and “hundreds.”
credit: Angel Valentin for The New York Times
I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to combine physical activity or entertainment with education. Isn’t that what parents are looking for in educational toys?
As a seller of classic and educational toys, Turner Toys, is proud to offer many toys that provide fun and learning opportunities. For example, our Butterfly Alphabet Wooden Puzzle uses puzzle play to teach capital letters, colors, problem solving and improve your child’s fine motor skills. Plus it’s fun. Is it any different than what these schools are doing?
As a music educator, I know that teachers are being required to incorporate literacy and math concepts into all subjects. I do want my students to know that when they study violin, they are learning science (acoustics), language (music notation & foreign musical terms), math (rhythm reading and performing), etc. That’s on top of the art, beauty and emotion that they express through their music.
There is the argument that kids need to run around and move. Some say that’s what recess is for. I know that my children only have recess through the 5th grade. More and more schools have cut recess and PE (and music and art) for budgetary reasons but also to devote more time on “academics” because of the pressures of test scores.
Tell me what you think about integrating academics (even superficially) into physical education (or art or music)?