Commercializing Play

The Grammie Guide—Activities and Answer for Grandparents Today

This thoughtful book by Lynne Noel, Jan Eby, Laurie Mobilio, and Cindy Summers—grandparents to a combined 22 kids—is an informative guide to grandparenting young children in our modern, screen-saturated world. The authors rightly recognize that grandparents have a special role to play in fostering the hands-on, creative play that children need to thrive.

Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween

Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pal and Ballcap Buddies has written a wonderful handbook for parents trying to navigate the maelstrom of sexualized and stifling gender messages marketing to girls. Redefining Girly begins with Wardy’s account of her own transformation from an exasperated mom to effective activist. The rest of the book is packed—and we mean packed—with practical and concrete advice for parents who are trying to counter the damaging stereotypes for girls.

Beyond Winning: Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment

One byproduct of a commercialized childhood is that the values of the marketplace are adopted in all aspects of children’s lives. This is particularly clear in the realm of organized sports for children—where winning and competitiveness often crowd out the sheer joy of playing a game. Beyond Winning offers an alternative approach to teaching sports to kids. It deemphasizes short-term goals like winning and youth championships and discourages the introduction of adult-oriented, league-structured competition.

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age

CCFC has long been at the forefront of the movement to reduce children’s screen time—and The Big Disconnect is an important tool for helping families and people who work with children address this challenging issue. As families are more and more consumed by screens —children constantly texting their friends, parents working online around the clock—everyday life is undergoing a massive transformation. Easy availability to the Internet and social media has erased the boundaries that protect children from the unsavory aspects of adult life.

Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood—Teaching Young Children in the Media Age

This important and timely new book by CCFC steering committee member Dr. Diane Levin is a powerful call to action and highly recommended for anyone who works with young children or is concerned about the ways that screen time and media culture are affecting kids and families. Based on her work with children and teachers over the past thirty years, Diane details the ways in which today’s media saturated environment is affecting children’s learning and wellbeing.

Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play

We all know how important it is for children to play outdoors. And we also know that huge numbers of children are deprived of that experience. That’s why Mike Lanza’s new book Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play is so important. It provides blueprints for neighborhoods working together to encourage children’s outdoor play and to create safe spaces to enable it.

Free Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry

In 2008, when Lenore Skenazy wrote a newspaper column about letting her nine-year-old ride the subway alone in New York City, it touched off a media firestorm and critics dubbed her "America's Worst Mom." Surprised at the reaction, Skenazy began to ask how fear has reshaped parenthood and childhood alike. The result is a provocative and often hilarious book that asks and answers important questions like why are we so quick to judge other parents, do children really need to be supervised by adults every second of every day, and why isn't Halloween fun anymore?

Childhood Under Siege

In his new book Childhood Under Seige: How Big Business Targets Children, Bakan looks specifically at corporate influences on children. And it’s not pretty. He delves into child targeted advertising, child labor, psychotropic drugs for kids, and the corporatization of public education, showing in painful detail exactly how harmful it is for powerful entities whose sole raison d’etre is profit, to have so much control and influence over the health and wellbeing of society’s most precious, and most vulnerable, resource.

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