Archive for February, 2017

Playing It Up!

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Playing It Up…With Loose Parts, Playpods, and Adventure Playgrounds is a book I designed for the Alliance for Childhood about nature centers, parks, and playgrounds that offer open-ended environments and materials to children, in response to the rapidly dwindling opportunities modern children have for creative play.

Recent studies demonstrate the failure on multiple levels of academic-based kindergarten programs, early testing, and screen time for young children, and this book describes one element of a movement to restore genuine play to childhood. Just out and available now.

Morning Ritual

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Click twice to enlarge.




Take Love for Granted

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

A painting and a poem for this Day of Love. As the poet says, Wake it every day… Happy Valentines Day, everyone.


Assume it’s in the kitchen,
under the couch, high
in the pine tree out back,
behind the paint cans
in the garage. Don’t try
proving your love
is bigger than the Grand
Canyon, the Milky Way,
the urban sprawl of L.A.
Take it for granted. Take it
out with the garbage. Bring
it in with the takeout. Take
it for a walk with the dog.
Wake it every day, say,
“Good morning.” Then
make the coffee. Warm
the cups. Don’t expect much
of the day. Be glad when
you make it back to bed.
Be glad he threw out that
box of old hats. Be glad
she leaves her shoes
in the hall. Snow will
come. Spring will show up.
Summer will be humid.
The leaves will fall
in the fall. That’s more
than you need. We can
love anybody, even
everybody. But you
can love the silence,
sighing and saying to
yourself, “That’s her.”
“That’s him.” Then to
each other, “I know!
Let’s go out for breakfast!”

—Jack Ridl