For the past five years, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite books along with the perfect gifts to go with them. It really is one of my favorite recipes for gifts for children: 1 great book + 1 fun toy = sure-fire winner with loads of use!
When I do workshops and trainings with teachers, I often hear several variations of the same question.
“But what about at home?”
What does “teaching reading” look like in a developmentally appropriate early childhood classroom?
“Does he ever stop talking?”
I love giving books as gifts. There’s something magical about those pages, especially when they land in the hands of a child.
I’ve put together lists of books paired with gift items in the past. You’ll find last year’s list here, some of my all time favorites here, and my first list (also some of my absolute favorites) here.
I remember the day I headed out on my own. No classmates. No chaperones. No host family. I got on a bus and went into the city center.
In my most recent post, I wrote about how powerful words are in a young child’s development. As I mentioned then, it’s been said that sometimes we’re in such a hurry to give kids the things we never had, that we forget to give them the things we did have. Meaningful conversation may rank high on that list of simple, yet powerful things we take for granted.
One of my favorite moments during my last Powerful Play workshop was talking with the table of teachers who were doing their in-depth study on dramatic play. With wide eyes and excited tones they made connections between the play they saw in the classroom and the developmental benefits of playing pretend.
“Susie” played hospital for weeks after her brother was born. “Bobby” had themes of death woven through his play for a month after going to his grandfather’s funeral. “Lisa and Lori” spent most of their dress up time negotiating themes and characters. And the concept that pretending is actually part of building the foundation for reading — that one sparked a major a-ha moment.
Seeing how excited they became as they unpacked all of this, reminded me of why I love what I do. And made me want to give the same experience to you. So here’s a repost from the archives, originally posted in 2010. A primer on the purpose of playing pretend.
Share your observations of powerful play in the comments!
Many parents have come to their child’s preschool teacher with the same concern. “It seems like my child plays dress-up all day at preschool. What could he possibly be learning from that?” The question is understandable – what does he learn from leaping around with his cape fluttering behind him? And yet, the question is somewhat ironic, as these very parents likely spent much of their childhood engaged in the same kind of play. [Read more…]
Book Plus. It’s my favorite formula for gift giving. Find a stellar book, add another meaningful item and you have a winning combination.
I'm a writer, teacher, speaker, trainer, and mom. I advocate for children and for childhood, and for intentional, whole child development.
Content Copyrighted (2008-2018), Amanda Morgan, All Rights Reserved