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Good activity ideas
on May 2, 2009
Mr. Seldin happens to be the president of the Montessori Foundation, and so I suppose it should not be surprising that the book is essentially an infomercial on Montessori schools. But does that mean it's not worth reading?
Actually, no- the book does have value, even for (or maybe especially for) parents who don't intend to send their children to Montessori schools.
* Games and Activities: Seldin provides numerous examples of at-home educational activities and games you can play with your infant, toddler, and child up to age six. Plus, the book is replete with photographs of the activities Seldin describes, making it a visually enjoyable read. The activities listed are probably the single biggest reason I will keep this book instead of swapping it at a used bookstore- as my daughter gets older, I can see that it will be useful to refer back to it to get some fresh ideas.
* Ideas for Child's room: Seldin describes ways in which parents can "evolve" a child's room, and the whole house, to fit the child's needs as they get older. I am fairly new to the the Montessori philosophy, but I can tell you that I immediately saw a difference in my daughter's fussiness and tantrums when I started making the house more accessible to her (for instance, now I have a low cabinet with "her" kitchen items in it- she can go get a bowl by herself and fill it with some rye crackers and raisins when she is hungry- she LOVES this new independence).
* Discipline Advice: One chapter in a book probably isn't enough to overhaul a parent's disciplinary practices, but Seldin does provide a few useful tips on minimizing tantrums and teaching care and compassion.
* Appedix of Montessori Resources: This alone isn't enough to buy the book, but I did appreciate that Seldin devoted one page at the end of the book to compiling a list of various Montessori organizations, books, and suppliers of Montessori educational materials. (If you're curious, my favorite supplier currently is Montessori Services - they have lots of useful games, puzzles, furniture, housewares and other stuff for kids.)
I have other reviews on my blog, the Daily Citron.