Review: The Education Shelf - February 11, 2016
Starting with Character: Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos is a recommended pick for educators and parents looking at new curriculum development strategies for early learners, and outlines six key character traits in young children that can be supported by easy activities. From developing caring and honesty to cultivating self-discipline, chapters consider the emotional state of infants, toddlers, and two-year-olds and provide guidelines for assessment, evaluation, and specific activities tailored to this group and these purposes. Cathy Waggoner worked in the field of education since 1989 and her job has focused on character development in early education, while Martha Herndon has worked as a researcher and ECE educator. Together they provide a solid program for success.
Review: Library Journal - February 10, 2016
According to the authors, both educators, previous research proposed that young babies and toddlers were too egocentric to understand another person's perspective. However, new approaches appreciate the enormous capacity for learning that happens in these early years and argue that even the youngest ones have a significant ability for moral learning. Waggoner and Herndon explore how character is shaped through children's interactions with others, particularly primary caregivers, and focus their activities on six qualities typically associated with a strong spirit: caring, honesty, integrity, respect, responsibility, and self-discipline. With a healthy acknowledgment of child-development stages and limitations, the authors present activities such as peekaboo and tummy time for babies, followed by games such as "pillow walking" and "feeding the monster" for toddlers and two-year-olds. An alphabetical list of the games accompanied by recommended reading concludes this absorbing and informative offering. VERDICT Recommended for early literacy collections.
Review by: Rebecca Gray, CCC-SLP - July 13, 2015
This book gives parents and teachers of little ones the concrete EASY activities that they can start TODAY that will prepare children for tomorrow. It encourages caregivers to look beyond using short-term applied behavior methods and take a long-term view that creates future citizens of good character. I enjoyed the narration of the "case studies" that provided the reader with more interest. As a provider of early intervention services, I was happy to see that many of the activities can also be easily adapted to improve communication and social pragmatic skills in young children. Parents often ask me for tips on how to improve their child's behavior, but since I read this book I was able to better articulate the importance of instilling character and describe an activity that would allow them to work toward the goal of character and look "beyond behavior".