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The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally Paperback – December 25, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this fascinating look at the importance of letting kids be kids, Elkind argues that "Play is being silenced." According to Elkind, a child psychologist and author of All Grown Up and No Place to Go, important, unstructured play is too often replaced in modern times by organized activities, academics or passive leisure activities such as watching television and playing video games. Elkind explains how even toys have changed: "toys once served to socialize children into social roles, vocations, and academic tool skills. Today, they are more likely to encourage brand loyalties, fashion consciousness, and group think." Elkind acknowledges that technology has its place in the classroom, but debunks computer programs marketed toward babies and preschoolers whose young brains are not yet able to fully comprehend two-dimensional representations. "Parent peer pressure" is often to blame, causing parents to engage in "hyperparenting, overprotection, and overprogramming." Media-spread fears about everything from kidnapping and molestation to school shootings and SIDS can cause parents to forget that "children can play safely without adult organization; they have done so as long as people have been on earth." With clarity and insight, Elkind calls for society to bring back long recesses, encourage imagination and let children develop their minds at a natural pace. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry," September 2008
"An easy and enjoyable read...Elkind's latest book reflects his career-long devotion to children's well-being...He lays out a comprehensive vision for how parents can support and foster children's free play and gently but convincingly illustrates why they should do so...This book will be well received by parents, teachers, and policymakers."