Children nowadays face a lot of societal pressures. We expect them to be achievers in school or sports, have many friends and be better than the next kid. Parents tend to push their children to mingle with other kids, putting them in the spotlight. However, this does not only increase your kid's shyness, it also makes them feel insufficient and affects their overall confidence level.
How conscious are you in your experience of daily life? Do you have fun? Do you create exciting projects and share your time with those you love? Or are you unhappy? Are you always complaining about loss? Are you waiting for somebody else to make the move that will take you out of your comfort zone to a better place?
What culture will we find in the urban spaces of the future? How is meaning articulated in cities beyond the often empty rhetoric of efficiency and progress? Our team (see below) are midway through a project that looks at possible high growth towns of the future through the forms of play found there.
When should children be allowed onto Facebook? The site says it only accepts users over the age of 13. New research published this week by Internet security giant McAfee and the Anti-Bullying Alliance says that most children use the Internet away from their parents' watchful eyes (which I can quite understand).
Without really noticing we've been heading towards the end of the traditional outdoors childhood. Something that many millions of adults took for granted is becoming the exception rather than the norm for today's children, where-ever they live. Roaming ranges are down, physical activity is down and the ability of children to identify common wildlife is being lost.
Nicholas Hytner's Othello was so good I saw it twice. It's not the first time Sir Nick has wowed the critics. And I somehow doubt it will be the last. I perch comfortably outside his office, staring at black-and-white action shots of hit after hit: Adrian Lester in Henry V, Simon Russell Beale in Much Ado About Nothing, James Corden in One Man, Two Guv'nors. If there's such thing as a grammar of theatre, Hytner is fluent in it.
During Climate Week (March 4-10) I am putting this theory to the test with a Fun and Games to Save the Planet event at the London Science Museum on March 6 and we are inviting people from all walks of life to come and 'have a go'.
Making nature part of children's everyday experience is a simple and effective way of plugging them into the world around them. Children are naturally inquisitive and love to explore; it's about getting them hooked and excited about the simple things. It could be about watching ants marching to their nests, snails clinging to a wall or birds singing in a tree.