Category Archives: No Tech Childhood

The research is out there. A collection of articles and studies supporting why we should hold off on giving devices and video games to our young children

How Toys Impact Children’s Development

Michael Jayne shares his findings about how toys can impact a child’s development and why we might want to put a bit more thought into the toys we purchase and give our children.

Considering the amount of time children spend playing with toys, it seems strange that so little attention has been drawn to their contribution to development. It is even more surprising that the apparent disparity between girls’ and boys’ cognitive abilities in later years lasting into adulthood, especially concerning boys’ average higher aptitude for spatial and mathematical tasks or girls’ talent for empathy and language, has not been linked to the dualistic, gendered nature of children’s toys and the media.
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Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens

And it’s that change, and that act of reading that I’m here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What it’s good for.

I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn’t read. And certainly couldn’t read for pleasure.

It’s not one to one: you can’t say that a literate society has no criminality. But there are very real correlations.

And I think some of those correlations, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction.

Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far.

The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.

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10 Reasons To Ban Handheld Devices for Children under 12

Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist calls on parents, teachers, and government to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years.

REPOSTED from Moving To
This is anedited list for more references and information please refer to the original article.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, causing escalating usage, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). Following are ten research evidenced reasons for this ban. Please visit to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research. Continue reading 10 Reasons To Ban Handheld Devices for Children under 12

Gordon Neufeld on Raising Children in a Digital World

Developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld discusses how parents can prepare children to live and thrive in the digital world at the KMT Child Development and Community Conference in Toronto.

This is quite possibly one of the most important lectures of our time. This is NOT about media and technology being inherently bad or wrong. It is about balance and developmental readiness. It is about what is best for our children’s hearts and minds.

15 ideas to get kids playing outdoors

Kids are playing more video games than ever before. Whether it’s on a pricey game console or on the computer, kids as young as three years old are playing video games. Sure, some may have educational lessons, but the vast majority are for mere fun and suck away the hours on a summer day. Get your kid outside and moving with these tips to get them away from video games.

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  1. Go for a nature walk. Kids seldom know much about nature, outside of the basics they learn in science class. Take your kids to explore the outdoors by taking them on a nature walk. Don’t worry if there’s no national park nearby, you can go down a trail at your local park or in the neighborhood and spot bits of nature as they turn up. Check out birds and collect neat leaves and flowers along the way. It teaches kids to appreciate and respect nature and gets them in tune with the great outdoors.
  2. Share old school games with your kids. Today’s typical six year old may not know what Red Rover is. It’s too bad since the game is a blast! Share old school games with your kids that will make them want to get outside and start Red Rover games with their friends and neighbors. This is a great game to play at a kid’s birthday party too, since there are usually plenty of kids around.
  3. Hit the beach. Appreciating nature comes with seeing the many parts of it. Showing your kids the beach will expose them to the sun and sand and you can incorporate a few lessons on erosion if the crowd is interested. Of course, if your kids are swimming the day away in the water, that’s fine too. Collect seashells and walk along the shore spotting crabs along the way.
  4. Go to the park. This one seems basic, but once upon a time, the park was where most families spent their weekends. Now we tend to spend the weekends running errands or at the modern day park, the mall (insert shudder here). Take your kids to the park and let them do what they want. This is a great place to let them run wild because it gives them an opportunity to interact with other kids and play on things they may not have a chance to play with otherwise, like the jungle gym or see-saw.
  5. Visit a public pool. If your kids don’t regularly get an opportunity to swim, taking them to a public pool one or two weekends a month during the summer will shake up their outdoor routine. Playing in the background can grow tedious, even for the creative bunch who love the outdoors, so get your kids in the pool swimming. Most public pools are free, so pack a lunch and go early and stay late.
  6. Go camping. This one is a little tricky because depending on where you live and whether or not you own a vehicle, it becomes more or less accessible. If you can go camping with your kids, take them! You’ll appreciate seeing them in new territory (and vice-versa) and it makes for a great bonding experience. Don’t forget to pack the camera, so you can take photos of the family fishing or swimming in the lake.

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Low Tech Learning

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EUGENE, Ore. – Step inside the world of the Eugene Waldorf School.

Math and word problems are solved on a chalkboard.

Students hold pencils in their hands.

You won’t find a single computer.

“I think it’s better to learn without technology,” said Julia Obsbury, an 8th-grader.

“I think it’s just fine without a computer,” said Allison Prince, a 5th-grader.

It’s part of the Waldorf philosophy.

“For the early childhood, it just makes no sense,” said Bonnie Stambaugh, a kindergarten teacher at the school.”It’s like trying to make them into little adults, and they’re not adults yet. It’s not their world for them.”

So Waldorf students just say no to HTML and PowerPoint to take a hands-on approach to learning.

“Our children may not be the programmers of the future, the testers of the computers,” said parent Monica Prince, “but they will be – I feel like they will be – the CEOs.”

The school encourages the appreciation of art and values social interaction.

They believe computers isolate children, hindering their personal growth and ability to learn.

Something else takes its place. Kids learn their multiplication tables through movement and rhythm.

In the upper grades, bean bags are replaced with more complex problems. They do use calculators, but just simple ones.

For recess, nature is the playground.

Waldorf’s philosophy is a stark constrast to many other schools that integrate computers and even iPods into learning as early as kingergarten.

So what do education experts think of Waldorf’s low-tech approach?

“The research shows that as long as students are engaged and engaged in inquiry, they’re learning with or without that particular technology,” said Joanna Goode at the University of Oregon School of Education.

The Waldorf School will be having an informational session with several guided classrooms tours on Wednesday, March 14th. To find out more about the Eugene Waldorf School, visit their website: