Susan Ochshorn: Play Is Necessary for Children’s Healthy Mental Development

Kiersten Marek:

Social Worker’s orders: take time to play today and every day.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Susan Ochshorn, a specialist in early childhood education, demonstrates in this post (as she has before, and will again) that play is crucial for the healthy mental development of young children. Ochshorn is the founder of ECE Policyworks and a tireless advocate for childhood.

Ochshorn cites the research of Deborah Leong to explain the importance of play.

“Self-regulation, as the non-neuroscientists among us refer to executive function, has to do with the development of the prefrontal cortex, and influences both cognition and emotions. Leong compares this “muscle,” which grows exponentially in the years from birth to five, to a traffic controller, allocating mental resources to focus on the tasks at hand. Here are the three components of executive function:

Inhibitory self-control, which allows children to delay gratification, and to stay on task, even when they’re bored;

Working memory, which enables kids to take multiple perspectives and hold two strategies in…

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Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market: Peaches, Beans, Tomatoes and Samples

News from the Market:

Barden Orchard peaches are still coming in; ripe and juicy, they are here for only a short time so enjoy them now! Early apples are also appearing.

Farmer Frank reports that he will have shell beans this week. According to Mother Earth News: “Horticultural beans (also called shell, wren’s egg, bird egg, speckled cranberry, or October beans) come in both pole and dwarf varieties and can produce big harvests in small gardens. The colorful, mottled pods can be eaten like snap beans when young, but most people prefer to use the rich, nutty, red-speckled seeds, which mature in 65 to 70 days, as fresh shell beans and for canning and freezing. Some Southerners claim horticultural beans are best after the pods begin to turn slightly dry or “shucky.”

Tomatoes are incredible in their variety at our market this year. Try out the heirloom varieties that the farmers are growing: cut up a bunch of different kinds and have your own taste test to see which are your favorites.

And of course, there are greens, squash, corn, eggplant, peppers, onions, beets… and that’s only the produce. We also have herbs, flowers, plants, eggs, nime chow, baked goods, preserves, meat, fish, nuts and peanut butter, cheese and butter.

This Saturday, local chef Zoey (with her able assistants Hazel, Emily and Jonathon) returns for the first of 3 cooking demonstrations using foods from our vendors. Stop by and taste the fresh goodies.

See you at the market.