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A new kind of kindergarten design encourages kids to be their silly selves.

Thinking about what young students really need caused a major do-over for what a kindergarten could look like.

A new kind of kindergarten design encourages kids to be their silly selves.

What does a school do with 5- and 6-year-old kids?

The old answer was coax them into little chairs — at least until “creative time" — keep 'em relatively organized, and keep a lid on their natural enthusiasm. Basically a constant riot-control situation. And a first taste of standardized education.

But kindergarteners don't need to be forced to learn — really, they can't stop learning.

So educators in Tokyo had a different idea.

Architect Takaharu Tezuka explains in a TEDx Kyoto talk how one school created a kindergarten that doesn't fight against kids' natural impulses. It counts on them.


The roof is a giant ring of a playground. Why? Kids love to run in circles.

The single, continuous classroom has no walls.

Teachers asked kids to use crates to create their own areas, but somehow it didn't quite manage to get done.

The design has child psychology in mind.

Kids can get anxious when they feel walled-in or constrained. That doesn't happen here. And since little dynamos thrive in environments with lots of noise, they've come to the right place — there are no acoustic barriers.

“The principal says, 'If the boy in the corner don't want to stay in the room, we let him go. And he'll come back eventually because the circle comes back.'" — Takaharu Tezuka


This shows the rambling travels of one little boy over the course of just 20 minutes. Over the course of his entire morning, he covered 6,000 meters, or 3.7 miles!

Things are deliberately a little risky.

Parents have a hard time figuring out how much protection is too much protection. But children, Tezuka says, “need to get some injury. That makes them learn how to live in this world." And so, he says, there needs to be a “small dosage of danger."

Should all kindergartens be like this?

Dunno. But there's a lot of discussion these days about standards-based teaching and why our kids don't seem to be learning as much as they need to.

This refreshingly creative and successful take on kindergarten is at least a reminder that there's still a lot to learn about educating children, especially at this miraculous young age.

Here's how the kids spend their day.

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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@taliasc on TikTok

One dad who decided to go clubbing with his daughter is making our day while having the night out of his life.

Talia Schulhof (aka @taliasc) had to know she had all the makings of a viral-worthy TikTok when she posted:

“My dad wanted to go to a club so here’s how it went.”

If she didn’t know before, the now 10 million views are a sure indicator. People are loving this adorably wholesome video.

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