LiiNK Updates

August 2019

Welcome Back to School from the LiiNK Team!

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Tips From the Top

It’s hard to know anymore what is appropriate use of technology time for children. Here are the rules based on the newest research:

Birth-3 Years Rules: Never/Nowhere

No technology. This includes smart-phones, computers, and televisions. Any screen time impairs social communication, development and a child’s attachment to the parent or other family members. If children are completely disconnected from technology, they have time to develop relationships with others and can develop other needed sensory-motor skills playing with physical toys, and develop reading skills and relationships with other children.

3–6 Years Rules: One Hour a Day

At this age, children can be introduced to technology under careful parental supervision. Parents too often may give a child a tablet or smartphone as a sitter or a reward for good behavior. This is a crucial time in a child’s development to learn pro-social behavior and social behavior. Keep children involved in activities outside of the computer and avoid multi-platform portable devices (e.g., phones, iPads, laptops). Watch their use in public areas of the home and block video games and questionable sites.

Appropriate activities now are:

1. Using an eReader for storytime.

2. Sorting shapes and finding hidden objects on mobile apps.

3. Accessing electronic toys that educate and teach numbers, letters, and vowel sounds.

4. Making sure children still physically play, read books, and engage other children.

6–9 Years Rules: Supervised Use

Children need to balance technology with social and physical behavior. Now that children have passed the physical milestones of mastering running, kicking, and bending over without falling, screen use may include games that the entire family can play when the weather is not appropriate to be outside using the above skills. It is important that this screen time is a family bonding experience when the outdoors is not available. Still control screen use and avoid multiplatform portable devices, as these are harder to monitor. If used, children can be allotted 2 hours of screen time per day under close parental supervision.

Appropriate activities now are:

1. Using the Internet under supervision (create tech-free time to talk each day!)

2. Taking time to create a new definition of “screen time.”

3. Keep children active in unstructured, outdoor play, social interactions with peers, being in nature.

9–12 Years Rules: Responsible Use

Still have the rule of no more than 2 hours of screen time a day, including family videogame time. Do not allow access to tech devices in private areas of the home, and no access to online gaming (especially any role-playing games).

At this age, children need to be mentally and physically stimulated through reading, taking nature walks, riding bikes, getting involved in school and sport activities, making friends at school, and spending time with family. Try to establish family time with no technology (e.g., no screens at dinner or in the car). If rules are broken, confiscate all screen devices for 24 hours (or longer) and lock all technology up at night.

Appropriate activities now are:

1. Uses the Internet under supervision (create tech-free time to talk each day.)

2. Independence with technology, social media with strict time limitations and rules for use.

3. Parents should monitor computer homework and confiscate all tech when screen time rules are broken.

4. Make sure children complete chores and stay involved with outside activities with friends such as nature walks, riding bikes, sport activities, healthy peer interactions.


Dr. Debbie Rhea

Director, LiiNK Project

LiiNK in the News with D-Magazine and Noggin Educational Foundation!

Click the picture below to read D-Magazine's piece titled, "This Researcher Thinks Recess is the Key to Better Test Scores." Photo by James Coreas.
Play the video below to watch Noggin Educational Foundation & two LiiNK members discuss the value of play on Fishbowl Radio Network.
The One About The Power of Play

All elementary schools in EM-S ISD are now LiiNK Schools!

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LiiNK welcomes Pond Creek-Hunter & more schools in Seguin ISD to the project this Fall!

Sunshine & Smiles! We PLAY!

LiiNK schools have outdoor recess every day! Being outside in different temperatures helps build students' immune systems. Your child will only go outside when it is SAFE to do so, according to the CDC and the National Weather Service guidelines. We are still in hotter temperatures, so make sure to send your child with a water bottle and check out our Summer Recess Reminders for more information. Find the Spanish version here.

Join Us for a Parent Workshop on Raising Resilient Children!

Saturday, Sep. 28th, 8:30am

Texas Christian University

Check out this flyer for more information. Register using this link!
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From the Teacher's Mouth

"In addition to being more focused in the classroom, I am noticing our kindergarten students of all abilities positively interacting with each other and having more tolerance for each other's differences." - K Teacher on the LiiNK Project

Connecting the Dots!

Positive Action lessons are taught daily. Make sure to ask your students what they've learned about self-concept, thoughts, actions, and feelings during the first few weeks of school. Which characters helped them learn about these ideas? What was their favorite story?

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Unit 1

Week 1) Positive Action: To do or cause good things to happen

Week 2) Self-Concept: How you think and feel about yourself

Week 3) Valuable: Precious or great worth

Week 4) Happiness and Success: To feel good about who you are, what you are doing, and how you treat others

Week 5) Unique: To be one of a kind

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The book that sparked a movement!

Finland is an educational superpower, despite breaking almost every “rule” we Americans think we know about education. Wrong Turns, Right Moves in Education (Archway, 2019) investigates the differences in these systems, advocating for an educational model that focuses on quality over quantity and the social emotional growth of children through play.

Click here for a book review posted by the US PLAY Coalition! The book can be purchased here.

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Let Grow aims to change minds and behaviors so children can develop into healthy and resilient adults. The LiiNK Project is excited to work with Let Grow to move forward the initiatives of allowing children to take risks, encouraging more free play and socialization, and giving responsibility back to children.

"Wasting Time"

A new book called "Range" by David Epstein looks at superstars from Roger Federer to Duke Ellington to Michelangelo. What they have in common is that they didn't specialize young. Federer played everything from soccer to ping pong. Ellington shunned music lessons to focus on drawing and baseball. As a young man, Michelangelo pushed aside art to write poems (including some about how much he hated painting).

Long story short: Life stories meander.

It's freeing to know that kids get something from whatever they're drawn to -- art, sports, dinosaurs. And you, too, are constantly growing from your interests outside your job and daily routine. "Range" cites Shonda Rimes' radical "Year of Yes" -- saying yes to all sorts of new experiences -- as the ultimate in life-enhancing freedom.

At Let Grow we believe that free time to discover and pursue new interests -- really, to play -- is key for everyone. That's why we love LiiNK so much! And that's why we, too, have a free play initiative that is, appropriately enough, free. It calls for keeping schools open before or after school so kids have a safe, convenient place for free play with lots of other kids of all ages and "loose parts" (cardboard boxes, balls, tape -- junk). These "Let Grow Play Clubs" are so popular, that some schools have waiting lists to get in.

Yes, waiting lists for kids who just want to play -- dream, cooperate, make something fun happen -- and don't get much of a chance to do that.

Here's to us all, young and old, "wasting" time doing things we love.

Lenore Skenazy, President of Let Grow, founder of Free-Range Kids