Psychology of Play
Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder
Playful Learning
Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder
Paperback      ISBN: 1590308190

Children are natural scientists, artists, mathematicians, authors, and scholars. From the time they are born they seek out information about the world around them in an effort to construct meaning and further their development. While children have an inherent drive to make sense of their reality, parents have a unique opportunity to harness their children's curiosity and channel it into a love of learning.

Playful learning is the magic that takes place when we meld a child's sense of joy and wonder with thoughtfully planned learning experiences. Through easy-to-implement, hands-on projects you can engage your child in fun and creative ways that encourage learning and impart the joy of discovery. With a little bit of information and forethought, you can play a pivotal role in the cognitive and creative development of your child

Mariah Bruehl has worked in the field of education for over a decade. She has taught in the classroom, developed curriculum in many different subject areas, trained teachers, and implemented programs across many grade levels. She is the mother of two girls and the owner of Playful Learning--a retail space and education center in Sag Harbor. Learn more at www.playfulearning.com.
The Aesthetic of Play
The Aesthetic of Play
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0262028514
A game designer considers the experience of play, why games have rules, and the relationship of play and narrative.

The impulse toward play is very ancient, not only pre-cultural but pre-human; zoologists have identified play behaviors in turtles and in chimpanzees. Games have existed since antiquity; 5,000-year-old board games have been recovered from Egyptian tombs. And yet we still lack a critical language for thinking about play. Game designers are better at answering small questions ("Why is this battle boring?") than big ones ("What does this game mean?"). In this book, the game designer Brian Upton analyzes the experience of play--how playful activities unfold from moment to moment and how the rules we adopt constrain that unfolding. Drawing on games that range from Monopoly to Dungeons & Dragons to Guitar Hero, Upton develops a framework for understanding play, introducing a set of critical tools that can help us analyze games and game designs and identify ways in which they succeed or fail.

Upton also examines the broader epistemological implications of such a framework, exploring the role of play in the construction of meaning and what the existence of play says about the relationship between our thoughts and external reality. He considers the making of meaning in play and in every aspect of human culture, and he draws on findings in pragmatic epistemology, neuroscience, and semiotics to describe how meaning emerges from playful engagement. Upton argues that play can also explain particular aspects of narrative; a play-based interpretive stance, he proposes, can help us understand the structure of books, of music, of theater, of art, and even of the process of critical engagement itself.

Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: Experiencing Flow in Work and Play
Beyond Boredom and Anxiety
Experiencing Flow in Work and Play
Hardcover      ISBN: 0787951404

Now in a special 25th anniversary edition and filled with brilliant wisdom and insights, Beyond Boredom and Anxiety offers a timeless introduction to the concept of flow and the scientific basis behind it-all through the work of one of the field's great scientists, Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi. Through real-life examples, discover how enjoyable activities provide a common experience-a satisfying, often exhilarating, feeling of creative accomplishment and heightened functioning-and under what conditions 'serious' work can also provide this intrinsic enjoyment.

Children at Play: Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development
Children at Play
Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development
Paperback      ISBN: 0892816295

Imaginative play is more vital for a child's future than many parents and educators realize. The more they are allowed to be absorbed in their play, the more fully and effectively they will later take their place in the community of adults.

Drawing on her experiences as a mother and as a proponent of Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf system of education, author Heidi Britz-Crecelius emphasizes the different qualities of play that may extend through more than one phase of childhood. She focuses on natural materials and recommends specific games, toys, and art supplies that further the mobility of the mind and the powers of expression without the burden that premature schooling can place on children.

In Children at Play, the author also reminds us that the human being, though bound by laws of space and time and tied to the earth, stems from eternity and belongs to a much larger community; the child's innermost being is directly related to the all-embracing world of spirit.
Children at Play: Clinical and Developmental Approaches to Meaning and Representation
Children at Play
Clinical and Developmental Approaches to Meaning and Representation
Paperback      ISBN: 0195129121

As they play, children do more than imagine--they also invent life-long approaches to thinking, feeling, and relating to other people. For nearly a century, clinical psychologists have been concerned with the content and interpersonal meaning of play. More recently, developmental psychologists have concentrated on the links between the emergence of symbolic play and evolving thought and language. At last, this volume bridges the gap between the two disciplines by defining their common interests and by developing areas of interface and interrelatedness. The editors have brought together original chapters by distinguished psychoanalysts, clinical psychologists, social workers, and developmental psychologists who shed light on topics outside the traditional confines of their respective domains. Thus the book features clinicians exploring subjects such as play representation, narrative, metaphor, and symbolization, and developmentalists examining questions regarding affect, social development, conflict, and psychopathology. Taken together, the contributors offer a rich, integrative view of the many dimensions of early play as it occurs among peers, between parent and child, and in the context of therapy.

Children's Special Places: Exploring the Role of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses in Middle Childhood (Revised)
Children's Special Places
Exploring the Role of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses in Middle Childhood (Revised)
Paperback      ISBN: 0814330266

From the ages of five to twelve, the middle years of childhood, young people explore their surroundings and find or construct private spaces. In these secret places, children develop and control environments of their own and enjoy freedom from the rules of the adult world. Children's Special Places enters these hidden worlds, reveals their importance to children's development and emotional health, and shows educators, parents, and other adults how they can foster a bond between young people and nature that is important to maturation.

Children's Traditional Games: Games from 137 Countries and Cultures
Children's Traditional Games
Games from 137 Countries and Cultures
Paperback      ISBN: 0897749677

This is one of those rare reference books that teachers and students alike find entertaining and useful. Judy Sierra and Robert Kaminski, renowned storytellers and folklorists, describe popular games from 137 countries and cultures, including over 20 games from Native American groups. Each game is easily learned and can be played by small groups in the classroom or on the playground. Clear instructions are given for all games, and simple diagrams are included where applicable.

Deep Play
Deep Play
Paperback      ISBN: 0679771352

With A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman let her free-ranging intellect loose on the natural world. Now in Deep Play she tackles the realm of creativity, by exploring one of the most essential aspects of our characters: the abitlity to play.

"Deep play" is that more intensified form of play that puts us in a rapturous mood and awakens the most creative, sentient, and joyful aspects of our inner selves. As Ackerman ranges over a panoply of artistic, spiritual, and athletic activities, from spiritual rapture through extreme sports, we gain a greater sense of what it means to be "in the moment" and totally, transcendentally human. Keenly perceived and written with poetic exuberance, Deep Play enlightens us by revealing the manifold ways we can enhance our lives.
Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
Free to Learn
Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
Paperback      ISBN: 0465084990
A leading expert in childhood development makes the case for why self-directed learning -- "unschooling" -- is the best way to get kids to learn. In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that in order to foster children who will thrive in today's constantly changing world, we must entrust them to steer their own learning and development. Drawing on evidence from anthropology, psychology, and history, he demonstrates that free play is the primary means by which children learn to control their lives, solve problems, get along with peers, and become emotionally resilient. A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn suggests that it's time to stop asking what's wrong with our children, and start asking what's wrong with the system. It shows how we can act -- both as parents and as members of society -- to improve children's lives and to promote their happiness and learning.
A History of Children's Play: The New Zealand Playground, 1840-1950
A History of Children's Play
The New Zealand Playground, 1840-1950
Hardcover      ISBN: 0812278089

New Zealand children from 1840 to 1890 were subjected to an unusual combination of agrarian existence and an industrial social philosophy in the newly formed schools. When schools became more universal in the expanding industrial society, a new emphasis on the control of children developed, and from 1920 onward, adult supervision in the form of heavily organized sports and playgrounds encroached more and more on the untrammeled freedom of the rural environment.

Returning to his home country of New Zealand, Brian Sutton-Smith documents the relationship between children's play and the actual process of history. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of informants from every province and school district of New Zealand, the author illuminates for the first time the various social, cultural, historical, and psychological context in which children's play occurs. He treats both formal and informal play, as well as the play of both boys and girls.