Blog

  • Productive Play for Uncertain Times

    If you read my previous post, you know how valuable play is for kids right now. Here’s a link, in case you didn’t. Chances are you’ve got tons of toys around your house, and many will work to provide this kind of variety. And they’re all types of play that kids already love. Often, when

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  • Play Will Save Us…Or At Least Help Us Through…

    Yes, I know that’s a clickbait headline, but while it’s a bit dramatic, it’s actually correct. These are challenging times, unlike anything most people alive today have ever encountered. So, before we get into any kind of discussion, it’s imperative to reinforce that personal safety, social distancing and staying safe and healthy are our primary

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  • A Brief History of Toy Fair

    Today’s global toy business is a distinctly modern phenomenon. The first New York Toy Fair in 1903 was nowhere near the massive show that it is today. In fact, the American toy industry was virtually non-existent. Many, if not most, toys were home made, or locally crafted. Real toys came from Europe. In those early

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  • Great Holiday Toy Ideas 2019

    The holidays are here…well, at least the shopping is! The shopping season is just kicking off, and we’re excited about many of the new toys this year. The good news is that there are some wonderful ideas for virtually every kid, from preschoolers to teenagers…and beyond. The toy year that began more than a year

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  • In Praise of Risk

    When I talk about “risk” and “children” in the same sentence, you can see some parents start to vibrate. I get told, “You’re irresponsible.” Or, “Are you suggesting I put my kids in danger?” No and no. As these final days of summer wind down, perhaps one of the best things you can do for

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  • Summer Fun on WGN in Chicago

    When I was a kid, we didn’t have too much scheduled activity. We were left to our own devices, and after breakfast my mom would turn us out of the house to play. There was no sitting inside watching TV. Well, maybe on a rainy day, though we were much more likely to play games

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  • Shakespeare, Social Media & The Importance of Reputation

    I was sitting in the gentle drizzle in Central Park this week watching the Public Theater’s splendid new production of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Kenny Leon, and I reflected, during a rain delay, on how as I’ve often said, Shakespeare knew everything. Seriously, gender politics and the current #metoo movement? Yeah, that’s Measure

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  • Summer Fun with Gayle Anderson & KTLA

    I’ve been playing with Gayle Anderson at KTLA for the better part of two decades! When it comes to just plain having fun, she’s simply the best. No wonder she’s beloved throughout LA! Over the years, Gayle’s dressed me in silly hats, and we’ve ridden roller coasters together and gotten to all sorts of fun

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  • Summer Fun with Kelly & Ryan

    Summer fun means summer toys,  and who better to kick off this season of play than Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. The most playful (and Emmy Winning) daytime hosts on TV know a thing or two about great play. Here are the toys that made the cut! By the way, it’s not easy to make

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  • From Board Games to the College Board

    The news stories keep coming about parents paying massive sums to secure college admission for their kids. From the C-List actors to C-suite executives to anyone with enough cash, they are committing fraud and buying their way into slots in top-tier schools their kids (presumably) can’t otherwise earn. It’s cheating, of course,

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