Resources for Parents, Caretakers and Educators

Articles | Books | Videos | Magazines/Newsletters |
Toy Reviewers/Awards | Trade Associations/Organizations |
Toys and Games | Link Exchange


Minimalist toys offer safer alternative: experts (HTML)
Last year's toy recalls prompted independent toy companies to step in with safer alternatives that promise to improve children's minds with minimal risk to their health.

Pediatricians Urge Free Play (HTML)
Highlights from a new American Academy of Pediatrics report on the importance of play at home and at school.

The True Cost of Toys (HTML)
You CAN get the kids Great Toys AND make their holidays wonderful WITHOUT spending a ton of money… as long as you know how to get the most out of your toy budget.

Resources for Restoring Play (PDF, 139k)
Compiled by the Alliance for Childhood, this comprehesive list includes books, periodical and journals, articles, clinical reports, play organizations, and links.

Child’s Play: What Has Happened to Playtime and Should We Be Worried About It? (PDF, 768k)
Kids today don't play as much or as spontaneously as we did when we were kids. Child advocates blame hectic lifestyles, pressure to achieve and high-tech toys and media. Without imaginative, free play, they say, kids are losing valuable life skills.

Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills (HTML, Feb. 2008)
"It's interesting to me that when we talk about play today, the first thing that comes to mind are toys," says Howard Chudacoff, a cultural historian at Brown University. "Whereas when I would think of play in the 19th century, I would think of activity rather than an object."

Where Do The Children Play? (HTML)
“Where Do the Children Play?” is a PBS documentary, book, and outreach project about the vital importance of open-ended creative play for the healthy development of children.

A Call to Action on the Education of Young Children, prepared by the Alliance for Childhood (HTML, updated Feb. 2006)
"We are deeply concerned that current trends in early education, fueled bypolitical pressure, are leading to an emphasis on unproven methods of academic instruction and unreliable standardized testing that can undermine learning and damage young children’s healthy development."

Low-tech Toys Allow Kids to Play All Kinds of Ways (HTML, Dec. 2005)
When the new toy came into Creative Kidstuff, saleswoman Shannon Ingersoll thought it was the stupidest thing she had ever seen. It was a curve of brightly colored plastic shaped like a turtle shell with two holes in the side. What was its point?
But then, she brought it home.


A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World, by Daniel PinkA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future,
The era of "left brain" dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which "right brain" qualities–inventiveness, empathy, meaning–predominate.

mart Play Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ, by Stevanne AuerbachSmart Play Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ,
We've all heard of IQ but do you know your child's PQ or Play Quotient? A child's ability to play does more than provide for fun and diversion; it is critical for his or her emotional and intellectual growth, and teaches everything from social skills to analytical thinking. For the developing mind of a child, learning to play is paramount--but is your child getting the most out of playtime?

The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier ChildrenThe Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children,
Through expert analysis of the research and powerful examples, Elkind shows how creative, spontaneous play fosters healthy mental and social development and sets the stage for academic learning. The Power of Play restores play’s respected place in children’s lives and encourages parents to trust their instincts to stay away from many of the dubious educational products on the market.

The Hurried Child-25th Anniversary Edition-, by David Elkind, Ph.D.The Hurried Child-25th Anniversary Edition,
In the third edition of this classic (2001), Dr. Elkind provides a detailed, up-to-the-minute look at the Internet, classroom culture, school violence, movies, television, and a growing societal incivility to show parents and teachers where hurrying occurs and why. And as before, he offers parents and teachers insight, advice, and hope for encouraging healthy development while protecting the joy and freedom of childhood.

The Way of the Storyteller, by Ruth SawyerTeaching and Learning Outside the Box: Inspiring Imagination Across the Curriculum,
While we have a rich educational literature about holding students' interest, we do not have very much sustained work on what the imagination is, how it works in learning, or how it may be inspired in the classroom. Addressing the whole curriculum, this book provides insights into each of those areas central to educational success.

The Way of the Storyteller, by Ruth SawyerThe Way of the Storyteller,
Sawyer examines storytelling as a folk art and a still-living art, tracing its evolution from the earliest narrative impulses that developed as stories were written down. With simple suggestions, she instructs the reader in the art of storytelling and freeing the creative imagination by disciplining the mind. The Way of the Storyteller also is an invaluable resource with a comprehensive reading and story list.

The Treasury of Family Games, by Jim GlennThe Treasury of Family Games,
A must-have resource for every home, with over 200 games for the whole family; includes basic rules, easy-to-follow, detailed instructions, over 300 diagrams and illustrations, strategies, and tips. Learn how many players are needed, the game's level of difficulty, how long you can expect to play, and what equipment you'll need.

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Think-ets on YouTube
Watch the fun!

iParenting Media Awards' video interview with Think-ets co-founder Randy Compton.

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Playthings-The Business of Play

The Bloom Report

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Toy Reviewers/Awards

Dr. Toy
The Toy Man
Toy Tips
Parent’s Choice
iParenting Media Awards
Creative Child Magazine
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio
Eco Child’s Play

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Trade Associations/Organizations

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)
Toy Industry Association
Association for Play Therapy
National Storytelling Network
Story Arts
National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts
Alliance for Childhood

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Recommended Toys and Games

Flashflight - a family of light-up flying discs and toys for playing after dark.

You’ve Been Sentenced - the first game to really turn making sentences into a very funny, playable, and challenging game.

b.dazzle - Manufacturer of quality educational puzzles and games for adults and children.

Sprig Toys - Eco-friendly toys designed for the active preschool child.

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