Sunday, July 8, 2012

Let Them Play: A Book Review

About The Book:

Playtime is focused, purposeful, and full of learning. As they play, children master motor development, learn language and social skills, think creatively, and make cognitive leaps. This (un)curriculum is all about fostering children's play, trusting children as capable and engaged learners, and leaving behind boxed curriculums and prescribed activities. Filled with information on the guiding principles that make up an (un)curriculum, learning experience ideas, and suggestions for building strong emotional and engaging physical environments, Let Them Play provides support to those who believe in the learning power of play. Age Focus: 2-6. Softbound.

About The Authors:

Jeff A. Johnson has twenty years of child care experience with children of all ages in a variety of programs. He operates a family child care program and presents keynote speeches and trainings at conferences both nationally and internationally. Jeff is the author of four other Redleaf Press books: Finding Your Smile Again, Do-It-Yourself Early Learning, Everyday Early Learning, and Babies in the Rain. 

Web site:

Denita Dinger has been a child care provider for more than ten years and operates a family child care program. She is a frequent featured speaker at early childhood conferences, focusing on the topics of hands-on learning and learning through play. 

My Review:

I am a huge advocate of play-based education, particularly for the early childhood years. Over the years that I have been in the field of early childhood education, I have read a number of fantastic books about play. Most recently, I had the opportunity to review Let Them Play by Johnson and Dinger, and what a great read it was. 

The book is theory heavy in that it gives a great amount of information about unplanning your curriculum. However, it also gives a ton of activity ideas and also each chapter has reflection/journalling questions for the reader to use. I absolutely love that they not only encourage play in classrooms, but they also talk about the importance of play in home child care and daycare settings! Perfect for me, since I run a family child care program out of my home. The activities are all every easy to implement and many use items that will already be available in your classroom, so very economical as well. The book is very well written, with theories backed up by a lot of research, honesty, and humor as well.  I also love that the book is very well organized, including chapters on observation and assessments of children.

If you are a parent or teacher of young children, you need to read this book. It will change your whole look at the concept of learning through play.

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

BUY IT: You can purchase Let Them Play: An Early Learning (un)Curriculum online through 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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