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Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder
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Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  447 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Children are natural scientists, artists, mathematicians, authors, and scholars. From the time they are born they seek out information about the world around them in an effort to construct meaning and further their development. While children have an inherent drive to make sense of their reality, parents have a unique opportunity to harness their children’s curiosity and c ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Roost Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,215)
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SISTERS Magazine
Sep 06, 2015 SISTERS Magazine rated it it was amazing
Educating your children is one of the most meaningful and rewarding jobs, but it’s also a very challenging one. How often have you felt all excited about teaching them a new letter or showing some law of nature at work, but were disappointed becausetheir enthusiasm didn’t match yours? The thing is,teaching and being taught can be either an exciting adventure or a dreadfully boring chore. Children are naturally inquisitive and eager to learn, but the manner in which the knowledge is presented to ...more
Miranda (M.E.) Brumbaugh
This is a wonderful and creative resource for homeschooling students from preschool through 2nd grade. I found several new ideas for projects for science, reading, writing, art, math, social skills, and geography. What I really like is that each subject is broken into three stages, stage 1, 2, and 3. You use the different stages to gauge your child's learning progress; lessons, readings, and projects are given for each stage of learning.

The last part of the book is printables, which go hand-in-
Feb 22, 2012 Robina rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
The kind of book I originally took out of the library but definitely want to keep on my shelf. It's not exactly groundbreaking, but it's a good compendium of ideas that I may have seen before but that have slipped into various recesses of my brain. In other words, it's a good reference that's also very pleasurable to read. Lovely!
Aug 20, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok
Purchased this for our parenting collection. It is organized and written as though you are teaching your child as a student rather than experiencing art/learning. I do not see many parents wanting to do art projects with the child taking this out. Perhaps those who home school might be more interested. I do question some of what the activities and the age appropriateness. I do not think I will be quick to suggest this book for fun filled carefree days with your child. Much more for a structured ...more
Jan 22, 2011 Mandy rated it it was ok
I recently read Mariah Bruehl's new book, Playful Learning. The book contains some lovely photographs, and the concept of playful learning in itself, while not a new one, is worth speaking of. Play is an important part of learning, not only for children but also for adults. When we persue education and learning by choice and persuant to our individual interests, we are much more perceptive to learning.

However, after reading the book, I was left wondering with what purpose it was written. The aut
Aadel Bussinger
Dec 28, 2011 Aadel Bussinger rated it really liked it
When I started reading Playful Learning, I expected to read about a homeschooling mother or a teacher implementing new techniques into her classroom. I was very surprised to find out that this book is written from the perspective of a mother whose child goes to school, but supplements that learning with an almost unschooling philosophy. In the description of the book it states:
Current research demonstrates that children learn most effectively when they are actively engaged and enjoying themselve
May 09, 2011 Cheeyee rated it liked it
Review At: I Read, I Think,

I Share

Review Date: 5 Feb 2011

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This book offers fun and engaging learning-based activities for children ages 4 to 8. The subjects covered in this book including reading, writing, math, science, art, music, multiculturalism, and social and emotional development. Through the hands-on projects, parents can engage their children in the fun and creative ways. At the same time, it creates good bonding time for the parents w
Apr 13, 2014 Cheri rated it liked it
really a 3.75. great ideas for incorporating learning through play. at first I thought the book was for more school aged kids but as I skimmed through it and saw the different stages for each topic I realized she put together a great resource that can grow with the child. borrowed this from library but may consider buying it as a future reference for teaching things like mapping, data tables and graphs. loved the resources in the back that are reproducible.
Feb 04, 2012 Lindsey rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Ever since college, I've always wanted to apply what I learned about curriculum development to my life as a stay at home mom. This book is an excellent example of how to do that and I was excited that the author had experience in the Reggio Emilia model of early childhood since that's what I studied.

The book is organized by areas of development with a summary of developmental stages followed by several lesson plans for activities. It's geared toward parents of kids ages 4 to 8 who go to school
Dec 31, 2015 Lordden rated it it was amazing
Excellent and comprehensive. Each section has an outline of the various stages children will go through when learning about that area (writing, maths etc). These development outlines are the most valuable part of the book. It also has suggestions on how to set up writing, mathematics and science centers in the home.
Feb 08, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Good basic ideas for creating an at-home learning environment, much of which I've learned from experience. This book would have been more helpful to me a couple of years ago but did give me some good ideas going forward including a number of kid lit recommendations!
Feb 08, 2014 Melissa added it
Shelves: 2014-books
Visually appealing book. Many great ideas for activities to do at home with girls! Definitely a good resource to check out from the library for new ideas.

Other thoughts:
Feb 24, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, mama-resources
This is definitely a book that I will use as a reference throughout my boys' different developmental stages. I love the variety of subjects covered, from reading, to scientific exploration, to global awareness. I'm looking forward to exploring the many wonderful activities presented.
Oct 15, 2014 Suki rated it really liked it
A lovely book that goes through different areas of learning and breaks it down into different developmental stages. I very much enjoyed the many ideas for each developmental stage.
Aug 31, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: education, 2014
Great overview spanning range of basic subjects and stages (ages 4-8). Appreciated that she covers both the general underlying concept of each subject as it relates to the real world, as well as gives specific activities and project ideas.
Apr 10, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
Loved all of Bruehl's "playful learning" ideas, and wish I could devote one room in our house to all these activities, as she suggests. This is not a homeschooling book, but just a bunch of ideas (ranging in all subjects) to supplement your child's school education. I'm happy to say my daughter does most, if not all, of these kinds of things at school - but these are great ways to keep their interests alive at home with YOU, which is so important! Love the sheets/printables in the back and her e ...more
May 14, 2014 Ruth rated it it was ok
Only gleaned a few ideas from it. Basically how to turn afterschool time into a reggio emilia playspace.
Sharon Tyler
Jul 22, 2011 Sharon Tyler rated it it was amazing
Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl is a great source of ideas and inspiration to parents that want to instill a love of learning in their children. As I was reading the book I because excited and eager to get started in reorganizing and testing out some of the projects included in the book with my own children. This book is due for release on August 9 2011.

My complete review is available here on Associated Content.
Dec 04, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
The ideas in this book are great and very simple to do. It reminded me of little ways to bring letters and numbers to life for my younger children, and to provide them with opportunities to create. It doesn't have to be hard or involved to be fun AND educational.

P.S. I made a little writing basket (like the one pictured on the cover) for my 9yo daughter. She LOVES it!! It was so easy to fill a simple utensil basket with pens, papers, stickers and stamps. Now, she can make cards or write letters
Charlotte Dungan
Jul 18, 2012 Charlotte Dungan rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. I thought I would. The ideas are sound and the pictures are inspiring, but there is too much breadth and not enough depth for any of the subjects covered. If someone were just starting to think about learning at home this might be a good primer, but for a thoughtful parent, homeschooling or otherwise, there just isn't a lot of new material. I'd love to see her Playful Learning Spaces ecourse as a book - I can't afford the class but would love the inspiration for an in ...more
Apr 13, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it
Excited to try many of these ideas!
Feb 15, 2012 Natalie rated it it was amazing
This book is written by an educator and mother of two young girls. She created a beautiful learning room for her girls full of activity corners: reading, science, writing, art, etc. Everything is very aesthetically pleasing, simple and beautiful.

I've read portions of the book and have most recently been using her idea of a writing center, to encourage young children to write real letters. I'm excited to put other ideas from this book into use over the next few years with my young children.
Jan 13, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it
Not a homeschooling book....there are ideas that everyone can use. There was a little too much perfection and organization in the pictures for my taste. They LOOKED fabulous, but totally staged (at least compared to my house of preschoolers). But like I said, some lovely ideas. I especially was sucked in by the introduction in which the author shares her journey in learning that no school can replace a mother.

Definitely worth checking out and browsing through the ideas.
Apr 15, 2015 Vivian rated it really liked it
I am practically vibrating with enthusiasm for this book!

Moms, teachers, caregivers -- this is like pinterest between covers. Here's me wishing my children were small again and I could use the ideas here with them as pre-schoolers, during our summer "family learning connection" forays, or even "home-school" them.

There are loads of photos, chatty how-to's, printables, and more!

Visit to see what I'm talking about.
Apr 15, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it
Great projects for you to do with children in a playful manner. It covers a wide range of subjects from math, science, to art. Although my children are a bit older, 9 and 7, we were still able to enjoy some concepts like the "word jar". Spending time to decorate and choosing words to put in the jar. My children jump in and grab words to make poems and such.

April Franklin
Jul 07, 2013 April Franklin rated it liked it
It was cute but it wasn't anything terribly original. Lots of good ideas for learning activities, but most of them were things I've seen before. Still, this volume does a nice job of gathering a bunch of good activities and putting them together, and the photos and templates are beautiful and will inspire parents to try some of the projects in the book!
Nov 10, 2011 Nicole rated it really liked it
Lots of good ideas for activities in this book. It covers a pretty wide range of ages as well. I love all the picture book selections to go along with the activities, and the learning spaces are beautiful and well thought out. I plan to implement several ideas from this book in my home soon.
May 25, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I love this book simply because I had so much fun doing some of the activities in this book with my kids. It is a book I think I'll buy and keep on my bookshelf to pull out every once in awhile when I need something fun and educational to do with my kids.
Nov 24, 2014 Diana rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, parenting
A lot of great ideas for teaching children by making it fun and organic. Covers math, science, writing, reading, social studies, and connecting globally. Would definitely be a good resource to have once my son reaches preschool-kindergarten age.
Lindsey Jane
This book was just what I needed. I got lots of good ideas for this next school year, which I think the kids are going to love. It also helped me put things back into perspective and add some more fun to our homeschooling adventure.
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