5 articles I loved this week. (Smart Picks #35)

Thank you to everyone who sent me articles this week. I enjoyed reading so many of them, like this one about ebooks reading with toddlers, and hope you find others below to be helpful, too.

Relax, it's okay if you're not "bringing up bébé."

It turns out that hyper-parenting is a phenomenon in many countries besides the United States. Pamela Druckerman, the author of "Bringing Up Bébé," gives straightforward suggestions for becoming a slightly less hyper parent, while accepting where we live and not completely rejecting the norms around us. 


Photo: Spencer Moses

Photo: Spencer Moses

Try using theater-based techniques to help kids find their inner courage. 

Years ago, I worked at a theater with several programs for at-risk kids. It amazed me to watch them grow and change in positive ways thanks to their experiences on the stage and in class. Jocelyn, founder of Child's Play NY wrote up this fantastic and ready-to-use set of suggestions for using theater techniques to encourage children to take risks and to be brave.


Minecraft can help kids learn to read (and love it).
Many people have embraced Minecraft as an effective tool for learning math and science skills. This article shows how Minecraft is a game steeped in a culture of literacy, one that can be incredibly engaging for kids.


Are your kids doing typical "kid stuff" regularly?

A program called the Free-Range Kids Project is trying to help parents loosen their grip and raise more independent children. 


Why daydreaming is critical to effective learning...

Like us, kids have access to more technology than ever. It can be quite difficult for them to learn how to tune out all of these distractions. This post gives actionable ideas for helping kids mindfully release the stresses of multitasking and focus on priorities.