Unplugged Play

Chris and I recently got the book “Unplugged Play” by Bobbi Conner.

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 I’ve read it through and think it’s a fantastic book!  I would recommend it to any parent with a child under the age of 10! 

We picked it up because it looked like it was something that would mirror the philosophy of the Waldorf school we’re applying to get Hannah Rose into for the fall.  Their early childhood curriculum is play-based. 

This book talks about the importance of play for kids…but it’s more than that!  It’s got ideas for parents who might be short on them, or who have forgotten some of their own favourite childhood play exploits!  There’s a section for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary kids.  There are ideas for getting them to play with other kids, play alone, or play with mom and dad.  The great thing about a lot of these ideas is that they are educational in some fashion–but what matters most to a child is that they’re fun!  Truth be told, childhood is all about learning!  Play is how children work at learning!

I think part of the reason this book appeals to me so much (as does the Waldorf philosophy) is that it fosters creative and imaginative thought!  That’s the foundation for problem-solving later in life.  Instead of putting a child’s mind into a box with a finite number of possibilities (something t.v., video games, and the like do), this kind of play opens up an infinite amount of possibilities to a child.  Later in life, they’ll be that person who is able to think outside of the box to get the job done…  That, and they’ll have a much richer and more fulfilling life.

Chris and I are actively restructuring Hannah Rose’s play…from how we play with her, how we encourage her to play, the toys we buy (and don’t), and the amount and quality of her screen time (that’s all t.v., video, movies, etc.).  We’re going to limit her screen time to 1-2 hours a day MAX right now.  We’re not going to encourage her to use a computer, yet.  She can start doing that in a few years.  (Again, goes along with the Waldorf philosophy).  That’s kinda like teaching a child the basics of arithmetic before giving them a calculator!

If you’ve got small kids–I suggest you read this book!  If you’ve read it already–I would love to hear your take on it!

 

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2 Comments

  1. 7 February 2008 at 9:57 pm

    no batteries??? man my house would be silent! hmmmmm

  2. bren said,

    7 February 2008 at 10:18 pm

    lol…you don’t have to eliminate them completely, just limit them perhaps? And might not be entirely silent–you might discover new noises. which of course, could be good or bad….

    I remember playing once when I was a kid and SCARING my mother! I had gotten so involved in this fort I had made in my bedroom using all my toys and blankets and I guess I was playing very quietly. It was the quiet that scared her…


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