Category Archives: library

Minnesota parents know

MPKThis first-of-its-kind website remains a valuable resource.

Minnesota Parents Know is a resource filled with convenient and trusted child development, health and parenting information. The site was developed for parents by the Minnesota Department of Education, and it provides research-based information on child health, development, nutrition and safety in raising strong and healthy children.

The information on the site is organised into sections on the newborn, ages 1-2, ages 3-5, grade 12 and student-parents, and within each category there is a Parenting A-Z and a section on child development. There are a good range of videos accompanying the written information, with some available in Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, Lao & Khmer, courtesy of ECHO Minnesota.

The history of MN Parents Know dates back to 2006, but sadly the site does not appear to have been updated since 2013, so there are some broken weblinks. Nevertheless, it remains an attractive site and is easy to navigate.

I think the site is worth bookmarking because it is free, does not require any log-in, and you may find that one day it contains just the resource that you’re looking for!



The Natural Learning Initiative

Growing Place IMG_7052Creating environments for healthy human development and a healthy biosphere for generations to come.

Increasing numbers of children are losing contact with the natural world. To address this, The Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) aims to help communities create stimulating places for play, learning, and environmental education. The NLI is based at NC State University, North Carolina, USA, but make many of their resources freely available to anyone around the world.

Here are some great resources to start with:

  • NLI InfoSheets. There are nine NLI InfoSheets in English, and most are also available in Spanish. I particularly liked the Top Ten Activity Settings InfoSheet, which is in full colour and five pages long.
  • NLI have an excellent weblinks page including many Nature, Outdoor Play and Environmental websites.

One small improvement it would be good to see at NLI is clarity about copyright and licensing – for example, the Nature Play At Home book states that it can be shared or reproduced with attribution to NLI and NWF, a position that would be expressed more clearly in a Creative Commons CC-BY licence.

Visit The Natural Learning Initiative at:

You can also follow NLI on Twitter at and on Facebook at


Tufts Child & Family WebGuide

tuftscfwgThe WebGuide is a directory of quality websites covering all ages from early child development through to adolescence.

Tufts University have assembled approved links to websites and videos on topics of interest to parents. It is also used by students and professionals in the fields of child development, education, and psychology. All the sites and videos listed on the WebGuide have been systematically evaluated by graduate students. In order to ensure reliability, the evaluation system includes criteria such as the inclusion of citations in peer-reviewed journals.

This really is a very reliable resource for students and workers’ continuing professional development (CPD). It is easy to navigate, with drop-down menus across the top of the site. For example, ‘Health’ includes ADHD, Autism and Aspergers.

The WebGuide has been systematically evaluating links since 2001, so it has now amassed a substantial collection. Tufts’ evaluation criteria are rigorous, but I think that if it were to have begun today it might have indicated whether each resource was open-access or not.

Viewing the WebGuide from Europe, I can’t help wishing we had a comparable directory for resources outside the USA.

Access the WebGuide at: