Suggestions Needed! Dad Asks What Books and Activities Will Make His Kid Curious, Active & Independent?

A Let Grow dad wonders what books, toys and activities can encourage his child's independence.

Got this letter today and decided to crowd source it! Please send your suggestions to [email protected] and we will edit them down and share right here, along with our own!

Dear Lenore: I recently finished reading Free-Range Kids (second edition). I have a few questions at the bottom of this email.  I really enjoyed the book. It helped shift my thinking about how we are treating our kids these days. It has reduced my stress and anxiety about many topics related to parenting. Been talking about the topics with my 75-year-old mother and she jokingly said, “I am surprised they had to write a book about this” because as a kid she (and many in her generation as you have pointed out) were doing many of the things you are suggesting. Yet at the same time she has that feeling that the world is less safe today than it used to be. 

I wonder if parents of past generations let their kids be more free intentionally? My estimation is that they did not, it was just a means for them to have more time. It will be the newer generations of parents that will have to intentionally choose to let their kids be more free because they realize the benefits. 

Real world questions:

I did have some questions after reading the book:

  1. I definitely want to get my 5-year-old daughter outside more. Her brother is 15 months and not walking yet, so she usually doesn’t have a playmate. Looking for ideas or resources of things to have outside for her to play with. I know that some kids just “played with sticks” and that is a fine answer, but maybe there are a few things that could entice them to get out the door. Also wondering your thoughts on playsets being worth the money? Note that I live in northeast Ohio.
  2. Ideas and resources about some of the best things for my kids to play with inside. I will say we have been keeping shipping boxes longer. Last week we had a boat and an ice cream stand out of a few boxes!
  3. Ideas and resources about age appropriate tablet/computer games.
  4. Recommendations and resources on discipline methods? Is there any consensus within the free-range community?

Thanks again for writing the book! I am starting Free to Learn by Peter Gray next. 

Regards,

Will Fugate

Let Grow here: Please send your recommendations — kid books, activities, community-building ideas — to [email protected] We also suggest Will and others join the Facebook group Raising Independent Kids, where people share questions and ideas all the time!

Free-Range Kids, Second Edition