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Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. Paperback – July 18, 2007


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Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. + The Toddler's Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 1 1/2- to 3-Year-Old Busy
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 10 years
  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (July 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761143904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761143901
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Conner, author (Everyday Opportunities for Extraordinary Parenting) and host of the popular public radio program The Parent's Journal, offers more than 700 ideas for play without plugs, batteries or beeps in this imaginative collection. Conner points out that electronic play has a number of drawbacks—contributing to the rise in childhood obesity and isolation, and limiting creativity—while unplugged play builds strong bodies, helps kids forge friendships and expands the mind. In an effort to get back to the basics of play, Conner began collecting and inventing hundreds of games, then tested them on groups of children ages one to 10. The author divides the book into three sections—for toddlers, preschoolers and the six-to-10 set—with subsections on solo play, parent and child, playing with others and birthday parties. She covers a wide range of activities, from noodle necklaces to toddler basketball with a laundry basket, including indoor and outdoor play for rain or shine, with clear instructions as well as discussions of safety issues. Child development experts such as Fred Rogers and Benjamin Spock have emphasized the significance of play; Conner has taken her sources at their word and produced a fun-filled compendium likely to become a dog-eared resource for parents seeking whimsical yet practical ways to unplug the electronics and promote the physical, cognitive and emotional benefits of plain, old-fashioned play. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Top quality brain food for parents. Bobbi Conner consistently offers the best public radio there is for child-aware people, and everyone can afford it." - Dr. Penelope Leach, developmental psychologist and author of YOUR BABY AND CHILD."

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Customer Reviews

If only I had this book five years ago, when my son first started asking for a Game Boy!
Meg Cox
Also the activities described in the book can usually be done with materials that you already have around the house.
AlCaSa
The book is divided into three useful sections - toddler play; preschooler play; and grade school play.
Christine Louise Hohlbaum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Christine Louise Hohlbaum on July 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Playfulness is the name of the game in childhood. Unfortunately, in their workaday world, many parents forget that all work and no play makes Little Johnny a bored, lethargic boy. Thanks to Bobbi Conner, Little Johnny just got 710 reasons to get up off the couch and join his hopscotching playmates outdoors.

Veteran radio show host on NPR, Bobbi Conner is concerned about today's kids and their lack of creative outlets. Instead of being busy with electronic entertainment such as video games and push-button toys, she suggests myriad avenues to get down to the business of play in fun, very simple ways. Unlike many guide books that read more like a Martha Stewart manual (and must be secretly backed by major craft store chains), Bobbi's approach is simple - take what you have at home and let `er rip.

The book is divided into three useful sections - toddler play; preschooler play; and grade school play. It was gratifying to see many of the games we've thought up on our own are in the book. Necessity is the mother of invention. This book is the mother of children's creativity.

Bobbi's tone is real-life and compassionate, not patronizing or oozing with `expertise'. She was once a time-strapped single mom raising her kids with nothing more than her ingenuity to keep them occupied. When we think back to our own childhoods or that of our children, the best times were those spent together around a Parchese board or telling stories to one another. But if you think you have to spend hours with your children to right the wrongs of those hundreds of TV hours your kid has logged, you're wrong. Bobbi recognizes the reality in today's world.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By TJ Holmes on August 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a pediatrician and parent, I can attest to the fact that children learn by doing, not by watching. In this wonderful book, Bobbi Conner makes it easy for parents to turn off the TV and have a ball with their children the old-fashioned way. Unplugged Play is overflowing with fun, creative ideas for how to have fun and engage young minds along the way. I hope parents buy this book in droves and put their "developmental" videos in the attic.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Meg Cox VINE VOICE on August 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
If only I had this book five years ago, when my son first started asking for a Game Boy! I might not have bought the device, but even if I had, I would have had a much better idea how to balance electronic, programmed "play" with free, physical, creative play. Bobbi Conner, the host of NPR's The Parent's Journal, has gathered more than 700 different games and activites together and organized them in a practical way: by age, indoor vs outdoor, by how long they take, etc. Some are active running around games, while others are quiet indoor exercises like "Doggy Diaries," in which kids imagine the secret lives of the neighborhood dogs. There are games your parents played that you forgot the rules to, and fresh ideas. The sidebars are crammed with additional information, including scientific studies showing how unstructured play helps children think more creatively and stay more active. A gem.
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35 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Sharon F on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
After reading many great reviews I purchased this book thinking it would be a useful resource for games and activities for my children. I was greatly disappointed. Almost every activity is the same, just a different variation. Most require yet another trip to a store to buy some plastic "toys" If a parent already had what the author has listed as a "well-stocked" toy room they should have no problem thinking up the games listed in this book. For any parent or caregiver with even the slightest bit of imagination this book is unnecessary. In place of this I would recommend Playful Learning from Le Leche League or any book from Bev Bos. They require more imagination and less trips to a store.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shanna A. Gonzalez on August 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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