Lullaby reditions of Metallica songs?

MarleyIt’s true! There’s a new series of lullaby CDs called rockabye baby. They take songs by modern groups – everything from the Beach Boys to Tool – and turn them into gently soothing sounds to sleep to. A good buddy of mind sent me the Bob Marley edition for my daughters first birthday and it is fantastic. Here’s what the Amazon.com description has to say:

With their glockenspiels, vibraphones, and mellotrons, the Baby Rock magicians have spun sweetness and a soothing vibe into everything from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to “Stairway to Heaven”

Another great kid-centric option for the music lover in all of us. <link>

The importance of play continued…

If you liked and/or agree with the Slate article I posted which discusses the importance of outside play, check out the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder submitted by one of my readers…

…Instead of passing summer months hiking, swimming and telling stories around the campfire, children these days are more likely to attend computer camps or weight-loss camps: as a result, Louv says, they’ve come to think of nature as more of an abstraction than a reality. Indeed, a 2002 British study reported that eight-year-olds could identify Pokémon characters far more easily than they could name “otter, beetle, and oak tree.”…

Check out the full review of this book on Amazon.com.

Encouraging ‘Play’ or stiffling it?

Great article from Slate.com on the current state of ‘Play’

The Paradox of Play: Are kids today having enough fun?

…Priding themselves on keeping up with quirky youth interests and desires, marketers can now count on ever younger consumers chasing after brands and fads. Yet notice who’s not complaining. It’s rare to hear kids these days gripe that the adult-mediated play regime gets on their nerves. That very lack of resistance from video-savvy, sports-crazy kids is currently inspiring yet more adult concern about youthful stress, even as the engineering of play becomes ever more ambitious…

…Consider the schemes for a “next-generation playground” to be built at New York’s South Street Seaport, designed by David Rockwell, who has created adult recreation spaces such as Nobu restaurant and Café Grey. Working in consultation with a variety of child-development experts, he exemplifies the cutting-edge interest in ensuring more than mere physical safety. Where the playground upgrades of more than a decade ago took the “jungle” out of gym, with the spread of spongy surfaces and tamer “climbing structures,” the new focus is more finely tuned. Promoting group synergy and innovation is the goal, echoing the corporate culture of places like, say, Google. ”Play is not optional for kids,” Rockwell told the New York Times, in an article (subscription required) announcing plans for the more free-form play area with movable parts, to be staffed by “play workers” trained to facilitate the best use of them; “play is how children learn to build community, how they learn to work with other people, it’s how they learn to kind of engage their sense of creativity … to understand that they can control their own environment.” The target audience was a little young to offer much in the way of comment, but follow-up articles (subscription required) indicated wariness among adults: Of course it’s great to get kids outdoors, but shouldn’t they be left more to their own devices?

The article, at the very end, also briefly discusses a book aimed at young boys about the “old-days” of play — “from making bows and arrows to learning about constellations and heroic battle stories.”

…”the thirtysomething authors are counting on a particular audience: fathers eager to embrace a rustic vision of self-reliant and resourceful childhood that few of them actually experienced—and even more eager to believe that such a vision still holds an appeal for children, too.

And maybe it can, though that is only likely to happen with some help from Dad. (No boy I know would delve into this book of his own accord.) But this isn’t necessarily the contradiction it might seem. After all, the modern father’s ineptitude when it comes to building a treehouse or a go-cart, not to mention playing marbles, could prove a godsend. Instead of a fussy facilitator, he can be a fellow bumbler, feeling his way and having fun. As he may well have forgotten by now, that’s part of what is called playing. <link>

Move over Dr. Spock

The new age of parenting is here, and available anytime, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.

One of my favorite parenting eMags/Blogs – Babble.com – has just launched the Babble-pedia (Wikipedia of the parenting variety) Pretty cool stuff indeed. Babble-pedia

Check it out here.

P.S.
Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I’ll try to do better this summer.