Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Developmentally Appropriate Play: A Book Review

About The Book:

Enhance the depth and richness of children's play. Developmentally appropriate play is complex, long-lasting, and all-engaging for children. It requires facilitation and guidance, thoughtful planning, and attention to the environment and materials. Developmentally Appropriate Play follows the new Developmentally Appropriate Practice guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and includes information to help you:

  • Identify and plan purposeful play
  • Guide children to make choices
  • Interact with children to enhance play
  • Provoke children into more complex play
  • Add representation to further enrich play
  • Incorporate standards into play

Age Focus: 3-6. Softbound, 240 pgs. 

About The Author:

Gaye Gronlund is an early childhood education consultant from Indianapolis. A former preschool, kindergarten, and primary- school teacher in regular and special education, she now works with schools and programs around the country helping them implement developmentally appropriate curricular practices and authentic assessment procedures. She has a master's degree in human development from Pacific Oaks College, with a specialization in early childhood education and teaching adults. Her portfolio assessment tool, Focused Portfolios, coauthored by Bev Engel, has been adopted by New Mexico's Office of Child Development and is being used extensively by early childhood programs across the country. She has written several articles for NAEYC's journal Young Childrenon subjects such as “Rigorous Academics in Preschools and Kindergartens? Yes, Let Me Tell You How!,” “Portfolios as an Assessment Tool: Is Collection of Work Enough?,” “Bringing the DAP Message to Kindergarten and Primary Teachers,” and “Coping with Ninja Turtle Play in My Kindergarten Classroom.” Her latest book, Making Early Learning Standards Come Alive, will be released in April 2006 published by Redleaf Press.

My Review: 

Developmentally Appropriate Play is a term that was coined by the National Association of Education for Young Children a number of years ago, and in the book of the same name, the author shows the reader how to plan and implement developmentally appropriate play in early childhood education settings.

I found the book extremely easy to read, with the writing style simple, textbook style, and engaging. It is a perfect read for anyone new to the field of Early Childhood Education. I have been in the field since 1998 and found reading this book a great refresher and it reinforced all the things I am doing appropriately, and gave me great tips for things I believe I need to improve on.

  Although this book includes a ton of pictures, I wish they would have been in full color. I realize that would likely add to the cost but I believe full color photos are much more esthetically pleasing. Another fantastic feature can be found in Appendix B, where the author has included reproducible pages for enhancing a dramatic play program. You can make menus, library cards, grocery lists, prescriptions and more. A great resource to use to create props and add to already existing prop boxes for hours of dramatic play experiences for children ages three to six years.

Not only does Developmentally Appropriate Play: Guiding Young Children to a Higher Level give you the basics about play, you will learn how to allow choices in play (perfect for teaching self direction and increasing self-esteem), teaching children about emotion through play and how to document learning that occurs through play experiences. This last one is so important because most parents don't realize how much learning happens when children play. Through pictures and descriptions of the activity parents can see what concepts, etc their child is learning and developing. 

This is the perfect addition any early childhood educator's resource library to be sure.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Developmentally Appropriate Play by Gaye Gronlund online from Redleaf Press

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Redleaf Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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