Child's Play: Rediscovering The Joy Of Play In Our Families And Communities

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Child's Play: Rediscovering The Joy Of Play In Our Families And Communities

by Silken Laumann

Random House of Canada | March 6, 2007 | Trade Paperback |

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From one of Canada's most inspiring and gifted sports heroes, an urgently needed guide to getting our kids active and healthy.

Like many of us, Silken Laumann's fondest childhood memories are of play: staying outside until that final call for dinner, neighbourhood-wide games of Capture-the-Flag and road hockey that went on for hours.

But as a parent, Silken knows the world has changed. We are afraid to let our children out of sight, our streets don't feel safe, neighbours don't know and rely on each other like they used to. While we recognize the need for our kids to be active, our fears, along with our busy lives and the enormous societal pressure to (simultaneously) make athletes, academics, and artists out of our children, have led us to schedule their every activity, driving them to and from soccer practice, piano lessons, tutorials.

We have forgotten just how important unstructured play is for our children's development and well-being: It keeps kids healthy, creative and active; it teaches them valuable life skills and, most importantly, it lets our kids be kids, worry-free, unfettered.

Child's Play is a call for action, a guide to reconnecting with our kids, and a blueprint for building safe, supportive communities and healthy schools. Above all, it's a book of simple ideas for parents desperate for change.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: March 6, 2007

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679314075

ISBN - 13: 9780679314073

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Child's Play: Rediscovering The Joy Of Play In Our Families And Communities

Child's Play: Rediscovering The Joy Of Play In Our Families And Communities

by Silken Laumann

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: March 6, 2007

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679314075

ISBN - 13: 9780679314073

Read from the Book

The Dream Not long ago, on a damp, fall evening, my children, Kate and William, and I were taking our thirteen-­year-­old golden retriever, Banner, on a quick lap around the block before dinner. As I neared the ­dead-­end road by my neighbourhood park, I heard the distinctive thwack of a hockey stick on asphalt. Slam went the stick, whack went the ball–the sound was rhythmic and constant as my young neighbour Mark slapped his bright orange hockey puck into the net over and over again. A car came up behind us, and Mark glided over to pick up the net so the car could pass. He moved the net effortlessly back again and resumed his play, oblivious to my watching ­eyes. Hearing that sound of stick on pavement transported me back to the noisy streets of my childhood. On the roads I grew up on, there was always a group of kids playing street shinny and screaming, “Pass, pass, pass!” Unlike many other Canadians I’ve met, hockey wasn’t my passion – I loved capture-the-flag. In my neighbourhood we played this game almost obsessively. The objective, as the name implies, was to capture the other team’s marker “flag.” But if you were caught on the other team’s territory, you were “frozen” and had to wait to be rescued by one of your teammates. I would call, “I’m frozen, I’m frozen!” at the top of my lungs, hand stretched out, craning and leaning until someone on my team
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From the Publisher

From one of Canada's most inspiring and gifted sports heroes, an urgently needed guide to getting our kids active and healthy.

Like many of us, Silken Laumann's fondest childhood memories are of play: staying outside until that final call for dinner, neighbourhood-wide games of Capture-the-Flag and road hockey that went on for hours.

But as a parent, Silken knows the world has changed. We are afraid to let our children out of sight, our streets don't feel safe, neighbours don't know and rely on each other like they used to. While we recognize the need for our kids to be active, our fears, along with our busy lives and the enormous societal pressure to (simultaneously) make athletes, academics, and artists out of our children, have led us to schedule their every activity, driving them to and from soccer practice, piano lessons, tutorials.

We have forgotten just how important unstructured play is for our children's development and well-being: It keeps kids healthy, creative and active; it teaches them valuable life skills and, most importantly, it lets our kids be kids, worry-free, unfettered.

Child's Play is a call for action, a guide to reconnecting with our kids, and a blueprint for building safe, supportive communities and healthy schools. Above all, it's a book of simple ideas for parents desperate for change.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Four-time Olympian Silken Laumann is best known for her phenomenal comeback after a devastating rowing injury just weeks before she was to compete in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She won a bronze medal for Canada. In November 2003, she established Silken's Active Kids.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"This book's strength lies in the combination of the author's passion with the input of a good range of experts, including doctors, specialists in treating childhood obesity, teachers, sports coaches and political and social activists."
-Edmonton Journal

"Laumann's book is a practical approach about encouraging activity and unstructured play in almost any community. Her flashbacks to her childhood days of free play and the value of these experiences, even to a woman who would later become a competitive athlete, not only make sense but make one take a second look."
-Urbanmoms.ca


From the Hardcover edition.
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