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Top Books Giving Kids Permission To Discover Who They Are Through Play

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life, Dr. Peter Gray - 2010


“A compelling and most enjoyable read. Gray illustrates how removing play from childhood, in combination with increasing the pressures of modern-day schooling, paradoxically reduces the very skills we want our children to learn. The decline of play is serious business.” - Roberta Michnick Golinkoff


“The modern educational system is like a wish made in a folk tale gone horribly wrong. Peter Gray's Free to Learn leads us out of the maze of unforeseen consequences to a more natural way of letting children educate themselves. Gray's message might seem too good to be true, but it rests upon a strong scientific foundation. Free to Learn can have an immediate impact on the children in your life.” - David Sloan Wilson, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology, Binghamton University


Book Details: https://www.amazon.com/Free-Learn-Unleashing-Instinct-Self-Reliant/dp/0465025994


Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era - Tony Wagner/Ted Dintersmith - 2016


The basis for a major documentary, two leading experts sound an urgent call for the radical reimagining of American education so we can equip students for the realities of the twenty-first-century economy. “If you read one book about education this decade, make it this one” (Adam Braun, bestselling author and founder of Pencils of Promise)...Most Likely to Succeed presents a new vision of American education, one that puts wonder, creativity, and initiative at the very heart of the learning process and prepares students for today’s economy. “In this excellent book...Wagner and Dintersmith argue...that success and happiness will depend increasingly on having the ability to innovate” (Chicago Tribune), and this crucial guide offers policymakers and opinion leaders a roadmap for getting the best for our future entrepreneurs.


Book Details: https://www.amazon.com/Most-Likely-Succeed-Preparing-Innovation/dp/1501104322



How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, Julie Lythcott-Haims


"Julie Lythcott-Haims is a national treasure. . . . A must-read for every parent who senses that there is a healthier and saner way to raise our children." -Madeline Levine.


A provocative manifesto that exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood

In How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success.


Book Details: https://www.amazon.com/How-Raise-Adult-Overparenting-Prepare-ebook/dp/B00OO2LJS2


Well Played: The Ultimate Guide to Awakening Your Family's Playful Spirit, Meredith Sinclair - 2016

From Today Show contributor, Meredith Sinclair, comes this ultimate resource for awakening your playful spirit, jumpstarting your relationships, and upping your happiness quotient. 


In our age of digital addiction, many of us have lost our ability to be spontaneous. More parents are complaining that they no longer even remember how to play…with their children, their spouse, and even with their own friends. Don’t fret! In Well Played, expert Meredith Sinclair helps families relearn what used to come naturally and shows how to find happiness through play.


For children, playing comes naturally…or at least it used to. But today that kind of easy-going fun is harder to come by, for both kids and their parents. With hectic lifestyles and constant technology overload, families have simply forgotten how to play. The solution? Relearn how to integrate fun and creative play into our day-to-day lives.


Book Details: https://www.amazon.com/Well-Played-Ultimate-Awakening-Familys/dp/0062391364


Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher's Handbook, Viola Spolin - 1986



Viola Spolin (1906-1994) is the originator of theater games. Her improvisational techniques changed the very nature and practice of modern theater. Spolin was introduced to the use of games, storytelling, folk dance, and dramatics as tools for stimulating creative expression in the 1920s while a student of Neva Boyd at Chicago's Hull House. During her years as a teacher and supervisor of creative dramatics there, she began to develop her nonverbal, nonpsychological approach. Her son, Paul Sills, was the founding director of The Second City, where Spolin trained the company and served as Director of Workshops until 1965. The first two editions of "Improvisation for the Theater" sold more than 100,000 copies and inspired actors, directors, teachers, and writers in theater, television, film. These techniques have also influenced the fields of education, mental health, social work, and psychology.


Book Details: https://www.amazon.com/Theater-Games-Classroom-Teachers-Handbook/dp/0810140047


Purposeful Play: A Teacher's Guide to Igniting Deep and Joyful Learning Across the Day Illustrated Edition, Kristine Mraz, Alison Porcelli, Cheryl Tyler - 2016


Play is serious business.


Whether it's reenacting a favorite book (comprehension and close reading), negotiating the rules for a game (speaking and listening), or collaborating over building blocks (college and career readiness and STEM), Kristi Mraz, Alison Porcelli, and Cheryl Tyler see every day how play helps students reach standards and goals in ways that in-their-seat instruction alone can't do. And not just during playtimes. "We believe there is play in work and work in play," they write. "It helps to have practical ways to carry that mindset into all aspects of the curriculum." In Purposeful Play , they share ways to:

  • optimize and balance different types of play to deepen regular classroom learning

  • teach into play to foster social-emotional skills and a growth mindset

  • bring the impact of play into all your lessons across the day.

Book Details: https://www.amazon.com/Purposeful-Play-Teachers-Igniting-Learning/dp/0325077886


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