Lessons from “The Goonies” on Letting Kids Roam: 5 Things to Know About Kids This Week

Our curated list of kid-related news for May 13, 2016.

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Dana Villamagna, Toca Magazine Writer
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  • the_goonies_photo_5-12104907041. Why are those kids alone, Dad? Watching the ’80s movie The Goonies with his 8-year-old son was a revelation about how different childhood is today, according to author and dad Clint Edwards. In an essay he wrote for The Washington Post, Edwards describes looking at the movie through the lens of his son’s experience: “He wanted to know why a group of preteens was allowed to travel so far without parental supervision. This was something that seemed so natural to me as a child that I never gave it any notice, but Tristan, a boy being raised in 2016, didn’t know that wandering the neighborhood with friends was an option.” (Lessons from ‘The Goonies’ and from the Loss of Unsupervised Time for Kids)

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  • 2. School experiments with four-hour “recess.” One school in Brooklyn is bucking the trend when it comes to cutting back recess time for kindergarteners, according to a report Tuesday on WNYC: “In addition to a daily recess, they bring their 25 students to play in a nearby park for up to four hours every Wednesday, during all seasons of the year.” The kids play “in drizzle, light rain, cold weather and snow,” says one teacher at the school. The school secured a grant and collected donations so all kids can be well-suited with rain boots and gloves for outdoor play, even in inclement weather. (One School’s Experiment With Outdoor Play)

  • 3. Wise words for teens from Bill and Melinda. This week’s edition of Newsweek is labeled “The Teens Issue.” It takes a look back at a survey of teens 50 years ago and highlights one of teens’ biggest social concerns both then and (even more so) today: Racism. The issue also includes an interview with Bill and Melinda Gates, who advise teens about how to improve the world in the future. Bill: “Your generation is one of the most globally minded in history, adept at looking at our world’s problems beyond national borders … If you’re someone with some crazy-sounding ideas to solve our energy challenge, the world needs you. Study extra hard in math and science. You might just have the answer.” Melinda: “… Your ideas matter and the world will be better if you find an authentic way to share them.” (What Bill and Melinda Gates Want Teens to Know)
  • manhattan_house_playroom4. Hot real estate: Stylish playrooms. Community playrooms are a much-desired feature for parents of young kids living in condominium and apartment buildings in New York City, and these modern play spaces can be super-deluxe, according to real estate experts. “Children are very sophisticated these days, so it can’t just be Barbie or Barney anymore,” said New York architecture firm owner Nancy Ruddy, quoted in an article in this week’s New York Times about the posh playroom phenomena. Lighthouses amid carpeted surf; mini-tugboats and murals of New York Harbor; and custom-designed art elements are just some of the play perks the article lists in these upscale digs. (Playrooms that are more Frank Gehry than Fisher-Price)
  • 5. Preschool’s good, or not, depending on state. The annual State of Preschool report was released this week, and it showed that certain states (like New York) are doing better providing quality preschool options, while others (Texas and Florida) still lag behind. “Access to high-quality pre-K remains low and highly unequal,” said Steve Barnett, director of the the National Institute for Early Education Research, who was quoted in a Marketplace report on Thursday. (Access to high-quality preschool remains unequal)

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