The Zone'in Child Development Series Newsletter
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Zone'in LogoAddressing the effects of technology on child development.
Technology reduction ideas - what are you doing?

Boy playing videogameWe've all been there.  We know we watch too much TV, talk endlessly on our cell phones, or spend too much time on the internet, leaving our kids to entertain themselves.  We also know that technology overuse is linked to aggression, obesity, addictions, poor academics, behavior problems...and the list goes on.  We also know from experience that our child's behavior improves when they unplug for awhile, and get some fresh air and exercise.  But parents are just so busy these days, what with work and friends, kids are easily quieted by offering coveted TV programs, or the latest videogame or iPod.  The resulting parental guilt over neglecting children is getting so pervasive, it is often the fuel for permissive parenting style. 

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Help has arrived!
 
Introducing Unplug'in!
Discover the art of play!


Order Unplug'in now and have it shipped for free
on December 1, 2008 - Just in time for Christmas!


Unplug'in is designed to help children develop and enhance basic play skills, an essential first step toward unplugging from technology.

The Unplug'in game format follows that players are trapped in a TV, and they play the Unplug'in game to get out. Before they can unplug, players need to develop skills related to self identity, relationships, nature and their spirit sense, which is the goal of the game. Players achieve this by travelling through four dimensions (me, we, earth, spirit), and collect required points by answering game square questions, as well as answering questions on Unplug'in and Do'in cards. Travel between dimensions through remote portals require players to go on a story 'journey' of their own making. Unplug'in is won by the first player acquiring necessary dimension points, and completing the final victory lap to eventual unplugged status.

Play Unplug'in over and over again - each time helping children to establish a sense of themselves, improve relationships with others, reconnect with nature, and explore their spirit self.

Unplug'in brochures provide parents, teachers and health professionals useful information and techniques to unplug.

 
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Zone'in Tips for Academic Success

Getting a student's school year off on the right track can sometimes be a challenge for both teachers and parents.  Cultivating a love of learning requires that children first understand why they need to learn.  Then comes the harder task of making learning easy, for every child.  Following are some suggestions by pediatric occupational therapist Cris Rowan to ease the job of learning for all children.

1.  Why children need to learn: have an open class discussion about the history of schools and why schools were originally established.  Discuss the correlation of school curriculum to real life tasks, and then list job titles and how different subjects would apply.  Teachers and parents could help children identify what type of job they see themselves doing, what subjects apply to that particular job, and what steps could they take now to make sure they were a good applicant for this job when they graduate. These discussions with students can be useful for children even as young as kindergarten, in creating a love for learning.

2.  Easing the job of learning:  children need to move to learn, at least 1-2 minutes every 20 minute period.  Different types of children need different types of movement at different times in the day.  That's why doing whole classroom movement breaks are not often effective for every child in enabling them to learn.  Depending on the specific child, and where that child's energy state is at any given moment, different types of movement may make that child more lethargic or more hyper.  Each child needs to know their own body energy, and then learn specific tools and techniques to change their body energy, to get Zone'in to Learn. If they don't know, help them!
 
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Cris Rowan
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Cris Rowan is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, author, speaker and champion of easing the job of learning for all children.

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complete bio.