Review by: Lauren Mahon, Foreword Reviews - November 27, 2015
Creating A Beautiful Mess is packed with good information. Gadzikowski reminds us that self-directed play is important for our children and teaches us how to embrace it as a joyous necessity for them. This is a must-read for parents.
Review by: Margaret Lane, Margaret's Bookshelf, Midwest Book Review - November 24, 2015
Exceptionally well organized and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Creating a Beautiful Mess: Ten Essential Play Experiences for a Joyous Childhood" is as informed and informative as it is practical and easily applicable for parents with no formal childhood education training. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library Parenting Studies reference collections.
Review: Library Journal - August 1, 2015
Early childhood educator Gadzikowski offers a charming book on play, outlining the various types, importances thereof, a historical look back, and ideas for implementation. Arguing that "the concept of balance in children's play experiences is similar to the concept of nutritional balance," the author provides ten essential play experiences for a "balanced and joyous childhood." While educators categorize play into domains of development-and parents think in terms of its when and where-Gadzikowski's arrangement represents a child's experience. VERDICT From blocks and make-believe to turn-taking games and stories with toys, this work's encouraging and gentle perspective is sure to motivate even the most authoritarian parent. Warmly recommended for all messy mischief makers.
Review by: Frances Stott, Erikson Institute - April 17, 2015
This is an engaging book for parents and professionals who—in the spirit of play—freely choose to read it. While grounded in scholarly material on the potential connections of play to all aspects of children's development, the book focuses on the value of play from a child's point of view. Play is freely chosen, engaging, and is done purely for pleasure. The book expands to ten the number of activities generally considered as play and captures their discovery and delight by providing wonderful examples. Most importantly and sensibly, it promotes a balance of activities. This book is a joy to read!
Review by: Gaye Gronlund - April 16, 2015
What a lovely book examining the joys and importance of children's play! The investigation of the ten essential play experiences gives parents and educators many ideas for engaging children, following their natural instincts, enhancing their play experiences, and enjoying play fully with children. I found myself smiling throughout as I read the wonderful descriptions, considered the resources and support statements, and felt assured by Ann Gadzikowski's analysis of play.
Review by: Mary Ruth Moore, Joe L. Frost Play Research Collection - April 13, 2015
Perhaps the thing I like most about Creating a Beautiful Mess is the fact that the author alerts parents and professionals to both the cognitive and social milestones of each of these ten beneficial play experiences. The entire text is truly a balanced approach to adding the playful joy back into the life of the child and at the same time insuring that childhood is a respected window of opportunity for holistic living, learning, and becoming. For Gadzikowski, play is not a four letter word; rather it is the child's pathway to joy