Outdoor education increases creativity

If an article from The Copenhagen Post is to be believed (Nature makes children creative), teaching kindergarteners outside makes them more likely to invent new games!

According to the study children in nature kindergartens are better at coming up with ideas for games, they are more alert, and better at using their bodies.

‘Children in nature kindergartens are better at everything we measured in our study,’ said Bent Vigsø, the head of the Collage of Social Education in Esbjerg. He carried out the study in co-operation with Vita Nielsen from the Collage of Social Education in Ribe.

The study showed that 58 percent of children brought up in close touch with nature often invented new games. Only 16 percent of indoor kindergarten children did so.

Therefore, if we want more recruits to our cause who can help us research and develop new games, clearly we must campaign for more outdoor education 😀 Besides, who wouldn’t want to be “better at everything”?

Stairball.org is up!

Nelson and I have decided to snatch www.stairball.org while it is still available, and I’ve been working on getting content up today.  I’m also updating links around the web that pointed to the old site at ajlvi.net.

Also related, Sunday afternoon at 1.30p during the Activites Fair on the main staircases of Parrish Hall we’re going to be holding a Stairball demonstration.  I’ll be teaching the game to new players and explaining some of the techniques for improved play.  Mike Rosenberg ’08, the best Stairballer I know (he certainly leads in our lifetime series) will be playing a game against me, and new players will be encouraged to try out the game.  Also, I’ll be taking names for the ALASSCA mailing list and will be trying to set up the league for later this year and a weekly Stairball night.  Anyone interested, whether you know how to play or not, is certainly encouraged to attend.

Sometime soon I’ll recount the story of the creation of Stairball, but first I have a couple of other word games to go through, including some patternfilling variants.

Stairball gets mentioned in the NY Times

For everyone who attended our stairball tournament at Ride The Tide, you may be gratified to see that it got us a mention in the NY Times! See At Decision Time, Colleges Lay On Charm by Alan Finder, from the April 26, 2006 issue.

Let others offer simple campus tours or paid transportation. At Swarthmore College here, high school seniors deciding whether to accept the college’s offer of admission can play indoor soccer with the dean. Or a round of stairball, a sport invented on campus. They can go to a French film festival, a feminist dance party (“all genders welcome”) or an “Earthlust Sleepout” all night under the stars. Or else try henna tattooing. And, yes, there are also sessions on financial aid and meetings with faculty members.

I must submit one correction: stairball was not in fact invented at Swarthmore, it was invented by Swarthmore student Adam Lizzi ’08, before he arrived on campus. He has, however, invented more interesting games since he got here, and will no doubt invent many more before he graduates. You may too, if you join ALASSCA!