November 18, 2008

Serious business: Childhood experts step up campaign for more free-wheeling play time

By DAVID CRARY
Associated Press
Nov. 18, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) - In one classroom, a group of preschool teachers squatted on the floor, pretending to be cave-dwelling hunter-gatherers. Next door, another group ended a raucous musical game by placing their tambourines and drums atop their heads.

Silly business, to be sure, but part of an agenda of utmost seriousness: To spread the word that America's children need more time for freewheeling play at home and in their schools.

"We're all sad, and we're a little worried. ... We're sad about something missing in childhood," psychologist and author Michael Thompson told 900 early childhood educators from 22 states packed into an auditorium last week.

"We have to fight back," he declared. "We're going to fight for play." [More]

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