by Shirley Rempel|
Where do you begin to review of a book that has completely and utterly changed the way you do your job? That has completely and utterly changed your entire philosophy of teaching and dealing with children and families? That is exactly how I feel about the book, Lisa Murphy on Play.
Lisa Murphy (otherwise known as The Ooey Gooey Lady) has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for many years, and it is very obvious that she is passionate about her work and children. Lisa Murphy on Play is the second edition of the book, with updated statistics, information and more wonderful stories that Lisa is so amazing at telling.
When a book has so many highlighted and underlined points, as well as allows me to use an entire package of post it notes to mark "Aha" points, you know its a life-changing and impacting book. Seriously, that is what my copy looks like. And it is a book that EVERY SINGLE person who works in early childhood education NEEDS TO and MUST read. Seriously, it also should be required reading for all freshman ECE programs.
Lisa is of the believe play is the foundation of all learning in children's lives and she is right. Throughout the first 50 pages of the book, Lisa looks at play and how it impacts children. Then in the second part of the book she unfolds what she calls, The Seven Things. These are as follows:
1. Make Time Each Day To...CREATE
2. Make Time Each Day To...MOVE
3. Make Time Each Day To...SING
4. Make Time Each Day To...DISCUSS
5. Make Time Each Day To...OBSERVE
6. Make Time Each Day To...READ
7. Make Time Each Day To...PLAY
This is a not a check list as Lisa states in the final pages of the book. Its not a way to make us feel guilty for not doing and we don't have to go changing out programs just because Lisa says so. If we are running developmentally appropriate programs, we are already doing these things. If not, this book is a way to encourage to build a quality play based program for children to thrive. The book is to be a way to look at how important play is and how we NEED to let children relish in play and learn along the way without stress of kinder prep and society's ideas of what they should be learning. Finally in the last part of the book, Lisa walks us through the challenges that we often face with regards to making time for creating, moving, singing, discuss, observing, reading and playing each day, and gives ideas of how to overcome these challenges.
With each chapter, Lisa has a review of the key points of the chapter, a section called "Something To Think About" (questions to ask yourself about how you are doing each of the seven things) and finally a section called "Notable and Quotables", which she shares quotes related to each chapter. This has been invaluable to me as I think on my career with children and where I was and where I am heading now 18 years in. I was a "laminating lady" (you need to read the book or see Lisa live in person to understand that term) and obsessed with theme planning, and not looking at the true value of play and working with what the children want. This was an eye opening read, so empowering and I am so glad to call Lisa Murphy one of the biggest influences in my career as an early childhood educator and family child care provider.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!