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Playing by Heart: The Vision and Practice of Belonging Paperback – March, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Health Communications Inc.; 2nd edition (March 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558742530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558742536
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Baldwin on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
By "play," most of us think of games or sports--what Fred Donaldson calls "contest behavior." This is a book exploring non-contest behavior, which is practiced naturally by wild animals and children under 3, but which most of us have largely lost. Fred's discovery that reengaging in non-contest behavior is a universal language and a way of transforming relationship is of great power. I have taken one "Playshop" with Fred, and wish he were more available. This book is of great value in opening our eyes to the possibility of non-competitive relationship. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Sprague on October 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this in 1990s - so glad to find its clear compassionate describing, encouraging & enjoying real playing with children & animals that love being together here now. Modern tragedy of schools & parenting is hyper-controlling children to obay for approval & praise, grades & rewards. I totally recommend this book for encouraging you to open up, relax & enjoy kids presence is really fun. It tickles our inner child of magic trusting together now! [New Games Book]]

I've been playing with kids in free-form with: balls, water, frisbees, hide & seek, water play, tree climbing & GeoToys we make, etc. Kids love making rainbow paintings with fingers & palms are always different, unique like clouds with color. Asking them simple questions learning together. What about free form clay making games? Hiking or playing in nature? Asking kids fair open ?? now is fun being open to any goofy answers. Kids love swinging around, hide & seek, chasing & rolling down hills, even food massage. So there's infinite potential for creative games & quiet cuddling. There's no other books, except maybe 'New Games' (more structured) showing fun cooperative group games with rules.

But 'Playing by Heart' is more free flowing, sensitive, caring, even healing of fears shyness & abuse by cooperating together trusting our instincts, emotions & respecting each other now. I heard from a friend who when to a playshop it was wonderful! Is anyone else doing that now, outside of home or in nature with kids? We really need to loosen up to enjoy children, animals, weather & deep relaxing after playing?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By marcia witrogen on February 8, 2015
Format: Paperback
I read the book and had occasion to experience Donaldson in person, playing in his inimitable Aikido style with aggressive, abused kids, and downs syndrome children, living in Hemet, CA. It was the very early 90's. Watching him transform aggression and "Let's kill Fred!"s, coming from five preteen boys, all at once --into loving, rolling embraces.... unforgettable, humbling, life-changing for me. With great trepidation, I tried to copy him, with one trial: I didn't break my back, but my heart began to break open in new ways. I've been an instructor/director of Improv since the late 70s, found Fred's book in the 90s, began to create my "Tao of Play" works in the 200s --- and all I can say is, Fred Donaldson is my primary mentor not only for True Play, but a way of life.
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