Podcast Episode 212: What a kid’s behavior tells us – A Conversation with Early Childhood Professors Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky (2017 Favorite)

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

So, I got totally sick with bronchitis! I am thankfully on the mend, but I haven’t had a voice suitable for radio at all… Which means I’m extra-happy to bring you this great conversation, a listener favorite from 2017.

Early childhood education professors Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky are in the midst of writing a series of books called Loose Parts, extremely practical books about structuring a kid’s environment to eliminate lots of problems, including temper tantrums!

But, I bet that’s not how they would describe it… Because while we are eliminating the problems, we are fostering really cool stuff in our children – and THAT is what Loose Parts is really about.

Key links at weturnedoutokay.com/212 – and thank you so much for listening : ) Continue reading “Podcast Episode 212: What a kid’s behavior tells us – A Conversation with Early Childhood Professors Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky (2017 Favorite)”

Podcast Episode 205: Listener (and Karen’s) Favorite Episodes So Far

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

In which we discuss favorite episodes, Karen’s, and Listeners’…

The family dynamics of introverts versus extroverts; the joy and learning that comes with Loose Parts; falling down and getting back up again; a profound and hilarious potty training story.

All links at weturnedoutokay.com/205

Happy listening and Happy New Year!! Continue reading “Podcast Episode 205: Listener (and Karen’s) Favorite Episodes So Far”

Podcast Episode 167: How to Have Happier and More Engaged Kids – An Interview With Nursery School Owner Tanya Trainor (Rebroadcast)

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Today’s episode, originally broadcast in late 2015, was super fun to record because I got out of my usual studio and hung out at what’s easily the most amazing playground I’ve ever seen. All of the equipment we see on a typical playground – huge climber, big slide, jungle gym – was gone, and in its place were loose pieces. Bricks, cement pavers, wooden siding, bales of hay, an 8 foot long rowboat, tree stumps suitable for sitting on or rolling around, a rain gutter with a hose near the top: these were some of the many things that replaced more typical playground equipment.

It’s not a huge space, and today’s guest, nursery school director and owner Tanya Trainor of Miss Tanya’s Nursery School, knew that typical equipment would no longer work when, in spring of 2014, she found out that the fall zones required around each piece of equipment were expanding. So, Tanya and her staff did an amazing thing: they asked the children, “when we get rid of the climber out on the playground, what should we replace it with?” Their answers created the wonderful results spread out before me.

Listen to this episode to discover:

1) how these playground changes brought about the wonderful improvement in children’s behavior while outside

2) the children’s contributions to this new outdoor play space, and the difference contributing has made in their feelings of autonomy and collaboration

3) the dramatic drop in frequency of negative behaviors; Tanya reports far fewer incidents of conflict or need for redirection since moving to the new kind of playground

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/167 for key links and to listen – and have a happy Fourth of July!

Continue reading “Podcast Episode 167: How to Have Happier and More Engaged Kids – An Interview With Nursery School Owner Tanya Trainor (Rebroadcast)”

Podcast Episode 160: Kids and Conflicts; How to Help – Part 3 in the Open-Ended Play Series

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Does your child ever get into arguments, verbal or otherwise? What’s your instinct when this happens – do you want to jump in and smooth everything over?

That’s not an unusual reaction, because we parents really hate it when our kids fight!

In this Just You and Me episode, we dig into why “smoothing everything over” is detrimental to our children’s development, and what to do instead.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/160 for show notes and key links, including to the wonderful conversation I had while sitting out on the playground – where kids played as we spoke – at Miss Tanya’s Nursery School!

Continue reading “Podcast Episode 160: Kids and Conflicts; How to Help – Part 3 in the Open-Ended Play Series”

152: What Happens When Kids Don’t Get What They Need? Talking With Early Childhood Education Professors Miriam Beloglovsky and Lisa Daly

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Rarely am I speechless – in life or podcasting – but today’s guests took my breath away with their observations of real young adults who grew up without open-ended play in their lives.

Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky, authors and professors, know a lot about how easy it is for a child growing up today to have zero practical knowledge. It’s because their lives were spent preparing for, and taking, tests.

Now as adults, these young people score really well on tests… But cannot accomplish simple tasks such as using screwdriver. Imagine not having the mechanical knowledge to use a screwdriver!

Thankfully, Daly and Beloglovsky spend their days teaching tomorrow’s teachers, and have a wonderful go-around for this burgeoning problem. And, it is burgeoning – more and more young people leave high school without any practical knowledge, move out into the world looking really well-prepared on paper, but lacking competence and confidence in many key areas of their lives.

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/152 for show notes and key links to this mind-blowing conversation with two thoughtful, engaged people!

Thankfully, human nature being what it is, Daly and Beloglovsky report that even grown-ups can learn these important mechanical, physical concepts.

But there’s only one way: through play.

It’s the tinkering, investigating, and coming up with “I wonder” questions that educates people about gravity, velocity, mechanics, and every other science or engineering concept.

So my question for you is: how are you incorporating play into your young child’s life?
The answer may be more important to their well-being and happiness than you imagine.

Key Links:

Check out Daly and Beloglovsky’s book, Loose Parts, here – it’s a great resource for incorporating open-ended play into your child’s life.

Also, their website, Reflective Perspectives, discusses more about open-ended play and loose parts. Click here to check it out.

Click here to read the Alliance for Childhood’s great paper, Crisis in the Kindergarten.

For my conversation with Tanya Trainor, nursery school owner and a woman who has seen the transformative nature of giving kids loose parts, go to weturnedoutokay.com/036.

If you’re seeing aggressive behavior, or sadness, or passivity in your child – and you’re worried that it’s due to the lack of open-ended play – the Ninja Parenting Community could be just the place to get help.
It’s where I help parents just like you figure out how to handle all the tough stuff our kids throw at us.
Click here to learn more about the community!

036: Happier and More Engaged Kids – Just By Changing Their Playground! With Nursery School Director/Owner Tanya Trainor

Today’s episode was super fun to record because I got out of my usual studio and hung out at what’s easily the most amazing playground I’ve ever seen. All of the equipment we see on a typical playground – huge climber, big slide, jungle gym – was gone, and in its place were loose pieces. Bricks, cement pavers, wooden siding, bales of hay, an 8 foot long rowboat, tree stumps suitable for sitting on, or rolling around, a rain gutter with a hose near the top were some of the many things that replaced more typical playground equipment.

It’s not a huge space, and today’s guest, nursery school director and owner Tanya Trainor of Miss Tanya’s Nursery School, knew that typical equipment would no longer work when, in spring of 2014, she found out that the fall zones around each piece of equipment were expanding. So, Tanya and her staff did an amazing thing: they asked the children, “when we get rid of the climber out on the playground, what should we replace it with?” Their answers created the wonderful results spread out before me.

Listen to hear more about:

1) the improvements in how the children relate to one another and play together in going from more conventional equipment to this new kind of playground

2) the dramatic drop in frequency of negative behaviors; Tanya reports far fewer incidents of conflict or need for redirection since moving to the new kind of playground

3) how engaged the children are in both the creation of this new outdoor play space and their use of it

If you take just one thing from this episode, I hope it is this: play with “loose parts,” as this kind of outdoor play equipment is called, is a critical part of every child’s development and fosters all the important things that children will need to take into adulthood (social skills, problem-solving skills, creativity and curiosity.) Has your son or daughter’s preschool adopted the loose parts philosophy yet?