Tag Archives: freedom

A brief history of the popsicle test

Children and adults in a popsicle storeHow do you measure the child-friendliness of a neighbourhood? Here’s one test. Would you, as a parent of an 8-year-old child living in that neighbourhood, let your child make their own way to a shop and buy a popsicle (or any variety of ice-cream) – and could your child get the frozen treat back home before it melted?

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Benign neglect: a vignette

This video clip shows a toddler exploring the garden of the Geffrye Museum in London while her father watches over her. It is very grainy: you have to watch carefully at the start to see the tiny figure of the girl.

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World through a windscreen?

Today is Playday, the annual play celebration. I am going to take a step back from the festivals, the Council fun days and the PR campaigning, important though they are. Instead, I want to explore one of the reasons why so many children are losing out on the opportunity to play outside in the first place: the car.

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Everyday childhood freedoms? Parents, not experts, have to decide

1st day at school (parents went too)

Some time ago a father emailed me asking for advice about the freedoms he should grant to his son. I don’t know him, or his son, and don’t know anything about where he lives. Which, by the way, is Melbourne, Australia. Why he might think I would be better placed than him to decide, I have absolutely no idea – and my reply said as much. Continue reading