Ages 10-12 (Tween)Ages 13-17 (Teen)Ages 6-9Media & TechnologyParenting StylesPlayReviews

To Monitor or Mentor: A Review of Screenwise by Devorah Heitner

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Screenwise: Helping Kids Survive (and Thrive) in Their Digital World, by Devorah Heitner. This new book, officially out today, explores the intersection of childhood, parenting and all these devices that we are all carrying around all the time. As someone …

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Ages 2-5FeminismPlay

Running Round in Robot Town

My daughter loves robots. She loves them so much, she got 4 new ones for her birthday last week, along with building toys, books, a camping outfit, art kits, and a terrarium. Sounds like a great gender neutral haul, yeah? I wonder what you are imagining dear reader, when I say that …

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entry of Good Times Park, Eagan MN
ActivitiesFamily Field TripsPlayReviews

Field Tripping: Good Times Park, Eagan MN

We took I-94 through Minnesota in the summer, and reached the St. Paul area on a hot, sunny day in desperate need of a place to eat lunch and to give my two year olds a chance to move. Fortunately, we stumbled on Good Times Park, an unsupervised indoor playground in Eagan, MN (just …

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Child in snowman dress and sparkly shoes dangling from monkeybars.
FeminismIdentityPlay

The Casual Privilege of Conforming to Expectations

I first started thinking about conforming as a form of privilege when I was writing The Importance of Not Defining Normal for Other Children and realized how much easier it is, in many ways, to have a child who doesn’t push gender boundaries. In very specific circles, having kids who buck …

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Girl in superhero outfit with text: Stereotypes limit thinking; No Gender November - Stereotypes have no place under my christmas tree"
FeminismPlay

Why I’m On the Fence About “No Gender December”.

Maybe it’s just my Facebook peeps, but for the past couple of days, I’ve been seeing a reasonably steady stream of info about “No Gender December“, an initiative by an Australian group called Play Unlimited. The stated goal is focused – rightly in my book – on gender-specific toy marketing and seems …

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ActivitiesPlay

Report from Skepticon: CampQuest

I’m at Skepticon this weekend. It’s the nation’s largest free conference on skepticism, science, intersectionality, and atheism. It brings feminist-friendly atheism to Springfield, MO, one of the buckles of America’s broad Bible belt. I love this conference. There are so many awesome people here talking about so many issues that …

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Kids playing on a playground
Ages 10-12 (Tween)Ages 6-9FriendshipPlay

The Problem With Tween Girls*

The click-bait headline blared something I can’t quite remember about how just plain horrible elementary and middle school (i.e. tween) girls are. They are pushy and loud and mean. That’s the idea right? That we are raising a generation of girls so imbued with the paradoxical juxtaposition of “girl power” …

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ActivitiesPlay

LEGO, You Ain’t no Friends of Mine

So, we got the new LEGO catalog the other day. This is always a big day in our household, especially for me, as it’s when I can start planning my holiday shopping for the kids and usually identify what I want under the x-mas tree as well. (Pro tip – …

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PlaySpecial Needs

Boundless Playgrounds

Adventure playgrounds are awesome—kids enjoy unstructured play, take risks, build stuff using random supplies, and only occasionally get hurt. Begun as junk playgrounds in the mid 20th century, these play areas have new popularity. According to Fair Play for All Children, “children engage in a far greater variety of activities on adventure …

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Ages 2-5Play

A Small Break from it All

Note: This is an essay I wrote 4 years ago, but I still think it’s important for me to remember.  Weekends. In my younger years, they were times for relaxation and fun. In college, they often lasted most of the week and involved gay bars, drag queens, a little too …

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