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Out of the Books in Kindergarten, and Into the Sandbox

Mucking around with sand and water. Playing Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. Cooking pretend meals in a child-size kitchen. Dancing on the rug, building with blocks and painting on easels. Call it Kindergarten 2.0.

Concerned that kindergarten has become overly academic in recent years, this suburban school district south of Baltimore is introducing a new curriculum in the fall for 5-year-olds. Chief among its features is a most old-fashioned concept: play.