Back To School! Part 2, Backpack Drives

This week we’re re-posting a popular back-to-school series from last year. Tuesday we tackled back to school shopping. We hope that has been going well, and you were able to stick to your End Goal. A reader posted a most insightful comment on that post about the importance of being gender fair when shopping for backpack drives, so we’re dedicating this week to discussing backpack drives. You may recall our focus on family-oriented community service around Thanksgiving and gosh darn it, it’s about time we had another post about service.

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Back to School! Shopping for Supplies Safely

Backpacks are one back-to-school item often best purchased online where variety is greater

Somehow it is that time of year again – back to school! This week we’re re-posting a popular, two-part series we did during back to school time last year. Today we’ll talk about back to school shopping. Thursday we’ll talk about backpack drives.

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Book Review: Mirette on the High Wire

This week we are revisiting some Caldecott Medal-winning favorites. Early in the week we featured Owl Moon. Today we take a look at Mirette on the High Wire, a long-time Fair Play favorite.

I recently asked my mother to select some of our family’s favorite picture books. Raising four children of their own and now two grandchildren, my parents’ collection has become well-honed over time. Every book that remains seems to have a distinct purpose – a lesson to learn, gender fair and anti-racist representation, or beautiful illustrations and rhythmic text. Needless to say, competition for this short list of favorites was hot. Today we’ll talk about one of the winners (and Caldecott award winner), Emily Arnold McCully’s Mirette on the High Wire.

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Book Review: Owl Moon

OwlMoonCoverWe haven’t featured many books on Fair Play and frankly, that’s an oversight. We love to read, a passion kindled by Fair Play Supermom and dad and their dedication to providing a constant stream of new reading material. We’re going to make a concerted effort to feature more books on Fair Play, beginning today with the Caldecott Medal-winning Owl Moon, by Janet Yolen. Later this week we will revisit another favorite Caldecott Medal Winner, Mirette on the High Wire.

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Post-LEGO Movie Inspiration: LEGOs, Duplos, and LEGO Friends

If The LEGO Movie inspired the child in your life to get building, we’re re-posting a review we did back in 2012 of the LEGO options that make up today’s market.

LEGO Friends, the new-ish “legos for girls” are a hot item. From the voice of Get More Girls into STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math), some people love them and some people hate them. They were even nominated for a TOADY award (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children). I don’t love them, although since I first wrote this, LEGO has drastically expanded their offerings to be less gender stereotyped, and I even bought one for Fair Play Niece for Christmas. I’ll also go off on a tangent in this post about toy companies and their treatment of horses in children’s toys because this is a lifelong pet peeve of mine.

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Kid Crafts: Two Minute Valentines

Valentines (6)You know how we love our quick crafts around here! Today we bring you some valentines you and your child can make in about two minutes flat. Homemade valentines are a fun project, and result in a more heartfelt card than the heavily branded, cheap cardboard ones you can buy at the store. Because you made them yourself, you know they’ll be gender fair!

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Fixing Valentines Day: Friendship Thanksgiving

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I have a lot of problems with Valentines Day. Valentines Day is not only a day of celebrating all things gender-unfair, via a hyped celebration of gender roles. It is also (perhaps even equally so) a day of consumerism. Adults spend a great deal of money proving to themselves they’ve realized their full and highest potential as (heterosexual) sentient beings by buying fancy gifts, dinners, lingerie, booze, and so on, for what is supposed to be the good of their relationship. Children are in on this action as well. It is expected that most children bring valentines to school (often the cardboard variety with Disney Princesses) to distribute to their classmates. These little cards often have candy or a treat attached but rarely much of a note. This whole charade in the celebration of gender roles. Now, if this all bothers you, you don’t have to celebrate Valentines Day. Certainly the choice to abstain is yours. But, can we fix it instead? I say yes, and yes we should. Continue reading

A Christmas Hail Mary: Homemade Gift Certificates

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It’s December 23. You actually have all of today to shop and in most places, a good part of tomorrow. The price, of course, is your sanity and a lot of your time. But supposing you’re done braving the crowds, or you get to tomorrow evening and you are desperate, or perhaps you want to put a little time into your final effort. Let’s talk about the homemade gift certificate.

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