Thursday, April 16, 2009

Let's Play!

I am very interested in the subject of play and am always keeping an eye out for new books on this subject. So my interest was piqued when I saw this book at the library:

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown, M.D. with Christopher Vaughan (Avery, 2009).

I haven't had a chance to check this book out yet, but Publisher's Weekly gave it a starred review, writing, "This close psycho- and sociological examination will yield insights for parents and educators, adults who have a hard time opening up, and anyone else curious about the everyday games people play.

George Bernard Shaw once said, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

Here is a small selection of books you can find at the library to inspire you on the subject of play:

Be the Coolest Dad on the Block: all of the tricks, games, puzzles, and jokes you need to impress your kids (and keep them entertained for years to come!) by Steve Caplin and Simon Rose (Broadway Books, 2006)

Jokes, tricks, puzzles, games and more to bring out your "cool dad" self.

Backyards for Kids by Ziba Kashef and the editors of Sunset Books (Sunset, 2008)

Maybe your idea of play takes you outdoors and into sandboxes, play houses, climbing structures and more. If you're handy and looking for a project, maybe you'll find inspiration for your family here.

A Running Start: How Play, Physical Activity and Free Time Create a Successful Child by Rae Pica (Marlowe & Company, 2006)

Contents include Keeping it real : how kids really learn -- Ready or not, here come organized sports -- Helping your child master movement -- The real standards for "smart" -- Does your child play enough at school? -- Finding the right organized activity program -- You've gotta have heart : why compassion matters more -- Than competition -- Finding creatures in the clouds : the value of downtime -- Getting back on track : family first.

Child's Play: Montessori Games and Activities for Your Baby and Toddler by Maja Pitamic (Barrons Educational Series, 2009)

Contains more than 60 activities to help parents enjoy, encourage, and assist in their child's key developmental stages. The emphasis is on fun and play as your child begins to explore the surrounding world. Divided into six chapters, the book explores the development of the senses, coordination, art, movement, language, and nature. The activities are simple to set up and follow, and they require no specialized knowledge or materials. Templates that relate to the activities can be found at the back of the book. --Page 2 of cover.

The Playskool Toddler's Busy Play Book: 500 activities for any situation - sick days, play dates, holiday cheer, indoors, outdoors, and educational play by Robin McClure (Sourcebooks, 2007)

Contents include: Seasonal celebrations -- Holiday fun -- Indoor activities -- Outdoor adventures -- Toddlers on the go -- Family fun -- Parents' night out -- Special events -- Calm and quiet -- Memorable play dates -- Smart zone -- The sickies. There's a baby version too.

The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting by Doug Hewitt (Hatherleigh Press, 2006)

Maybe you are co-parenting and your time for play is limited or part-time. Here's a guide for you. You can find fun ideas to inspire your quality time together as a family.

Mister Rogers' Play Time: encourage your child to create, explore, and pretend with dozens of easy-to-do activities by Fred Rogers (Running Press, 2001)

More than 80 entertaining games and creative activities for parents and caregivers of children from the beloved, sweater-wearing childhood expert and the creator of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

The Everything Toddler Activities Book: Games and Projects that Entertain and Education by Joni Levine, M. Ed. (Adams Media, 2006)

Contents include: All about toddlers -- Activities throughout the day -- What to do on a rainy day -- Away from home -- Art and exploration -- Sensory activities -- At a table or on your lap -- Dance and movement -- Let's pretend -- Games -- Songs and music activities -- Backyard and nature activities -- Literacy activities -- All about me -- Building social and emotional skills -- Exploring themes -- Exploring concepts -- Seasonal activities -- Holiday activities -- Party time.

Your Child at Play: One to Two Years: Exploring, Learning, Making Friends and Pretending by Marilyn Segal, Ph.D. (Newmarket Press, 1998)

Hundreds of creative play activities for the toddler, ideas for encouraging creativity and language skills; strategies for toilet training, dressing, going out in public, controlling temper tantrums, and much more. Check out others in this series for a variety of ages.

Super Granny: Great Stuff to Do With Your Grandkids by Sally Wendkos Olds (Sterling, 2009)

Infancy to age three -- The preschool years (3 to 6) -- The school years (6 to 11) -- Adolescence (12 to 18).

The Preschooler's Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 3- to 6-Year-Old Busy by Trish Kuffner (Simon & Schuster, 1998)

Ideas for every day of the year to keep your young child busy, happy, exploring, creating, learning and having fun!

"Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold."
-Joseph Chilton Pearce

Or, another way of looking at it, according to Confucius, is: "It's better to play than do nothing." :)

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