I just finished reading Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl.
In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a beautifully written book geared towards helping parents set up some fun learning experiences at home.
The book is set out in 7 chapters: 1) Nurturing Young Authors, 2) The Joy of Reading, 3) Mathematicians at Work, 4) Scientific Investigations, 5) Exploration of Art and Artists, 6) Growing Globally and 7) Raising the Citizens of Tomorrow. There’s also a huge section of printables at the end of the book.
Each chapter begins with an overview and is then followed with specific projects. There are also web and book lists. The photos are beautiful and the directions very clear.
While I really enjoyed reading this book and found it very inspiring, there wasn’t much in here that I’m not already aware of. But that’s only because this book is geared towards parents who don’t have a background in education. Having said that, I still found it useful. It got me thinking about the many ways in which I can infuse more “playful learning” into my school day.
One of my favourite ideas from the book, and one I didn’t know about, is the twig book.
These images came from The Crafty Crow (a fabulous children’s craft site).
One of my sons loved to write stories when he was little. He’d sit down beside me at the computer and ramble away while I typed. I wished I’d known about twig books then! Especially since he grew up to work in a publishing company.
Super easy directions: Find a twig and cut some paper to match. Hole punch two holes. “Line up the twig with the holes, wrap the rubber band around the top of the twig, and then string it through the top hole. Stretch the rubber band down the back of the book. Then string it through the bottom hole, toward the front of the book, and around the bottom of the twig” (from Playful Learning, p. 52).
I can hardly wait to take my new class for a twig collection walk. I think this is going to be a lot of fun!