Review by: Beth Menninga, Numbers Work! Project Coordinator, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners - February 20, 2014
With these books, Heidemann and Hewitt provide thoughtful, thorough guidance and resources as we set out to maximize children's play experiences in early childhood education settings. These hands-on tools deepen our understanding of play, as well as adult roles in relation to play, and help us design concrete strategies to address challenges that arise when children play together. These two books, together with their companion book Play: The Pathway from Theory to Practice, should be required reading for every early educator in training or in practice.
Review by: Sally Moomaw, EdD, Assistant Professor, ECE, Univ. of Cincinnati; author - February 17, 2014
Play is a window into the healthy development of young children. Sometimes teachers sense that something is different about a child's play experiences, but they can't quite put their finger on what it is. This book offers extended information on the authors' highly useful play survey, which can help teachers answer, communicate, and ameliorate those concerns. It includes a family bulletin board to help parents understand what children learn through play in various areas of the classroom. Classroom teachers, parents, consultants, and college educators will all find this book useful.
Review by: Gaye Gronlund, MA, early childhood education consultant, author - February 17, 2014
This helpful workbook is filled with practical ideas for enhancing and facilitating young children's play experiences in any kind of early childhood program or setting. Provocative questions provide opportunities for readers to reflect on their personal childhood play experiences, on the play experiences of the children in their care, and on the ways that they have tried to facilitate children's play. The suggestions and activities help individual readers and provide a great foundation for group discussions, staff development workshops, or coursework for early childhood education students.
Review by: Cindy Ballenger, PhD, Director, Teacher Preparation, Eliot Pearson Dept. of Child Study, Tufts University - February 17, 2014
This book is just terrific! It is readable and informative. It seems at first very practical and direct and it does offer many clear suggestions about how to do things. However it is by no means a book that claims to contain all the answers. Rather, the suggestions within it are deepened and complicated by all the ways in which readers are asked to become involved. The reader is a partner in making sense of the issues and problems presented; the reader is asked to remember his or her own experiences in various aspects of play, to observe carefully in the classroom for a variety of specific purposes, to try out one or a new way to arrange the dramatic play area, or another spot, and then to observe the result. With sets of questions and activities as well as text, the book engages the reader in thinking flexibly and deeply about the ways to support children's play. This book would best be used by a group of teachers who could discuss all their responses together.