Book Review: Unplugged Play

Rating: ★★★★☆

There are some parents who always have crayons, bubbles, and homemade play-doh on hand.  Their children are adept at drawing, cutting, and pasting, can reliably kick a ball, and are the first to join in the games at birthday parties.  To these lucky kids a homemade birthday cake in the shape of a tyrannasaurus rex is no big deal.  Their parents do not need to read Unplugged Play.

For the creatively challenged among us, however, this is a great resource for making your time together count.  It’s filled with hundreds of articles with activities for ages 1-10, each with a sidebar giving the number of children needed, indoor/outdoor location, and materials needed.  I especially like the fact that it is organized into three age ranges, printed so the sections are visible on the fore edge so a harried parent can flip the book open and start looking for ideas.  There is an introductory chapter describing the benefits of non-media play, and appendices with suggestions for family game night and materials to keep on hand.

Some of the activities require materials you may not have, and many will not fit the personality or specific interests of your children, but the book provides a wide variety of options to satisfy most needs.  It may be especially handy when caring for children you do not know well or who are a different age than you are used to.  Because of its exhaustive content, it’s probably best treated as a source of inspiration rather than a to-do list, and after using it for a few weeks as creative “training wheels,” parents and children may find that they no longer need it.

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Publication Information: Conner, Bobbi. Unplugged Play. Workman Publishing Company. 2007. ISBN: 0761143904.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 00-04, Age Adult
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Posted on August 27, 2009

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