The Power of Play by David Elkind

The Power of Play

Subtitle: Learning What Comes Naturally

Published: 2007

Genre: nonfiction, child development, psychology

Length: 256 pages

Interest: I’m sure it was recommended on one of the blogs I read. I am concerned with the way schools seem to be focusing so strongly on testing and the overscheduling so common among kids, so a book about the importance of play in a child’s life interests me greatly.

Summary: The book is all about the importance of play in a person’s (especially a child’s) life. Love, play, and work are what drive people, and any time you can combine the three, life becomes good. The author talks about the different ways children play and how play changes as the child develops. Especially for children younger than six, play is how you learn, so pushing academics and team sports offers no benefits at those ages. Instead, children should be allowed to explore and play.

Final thoughts: An excellent read that is very easy to understand. The author provides many specific situations that exemplify the point he’s trying to make, as well as studies to back up many of his claims. I found the section on how children develop and how that affect their play and interactions with others to be particularly fascinating. The book provided more evidence to allow for down time and not overschedule my child’s life. There needs to be time for play for kids and adults. I loved the book so much, I usually read it with a notebook and pen nearby so I could write down my favorite quotes.

Favorite quotes: “Love, work and play are three inborn drives that power human thought and action throughout the life cycle. Play is our need to adapt the world to ourselves and create new learning experiences.” p.3

“Our parental angst over not doing enough for our children is often expressed in overprogramming.” p.81

“During the early years of life, the child does not learn by ‘watching,’ ‘absorbing,’ or ‘looking harder.’ The young child does learn by constructing and reconstructing the world through his play-generated learning experiences.” p.102-3

Title comes from: A description of the topic.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 10/100 in the Read-a-Latte Challenge (BTW, her site got hacked, so I’ll add the link when she gets a new site up and running), a P in A-Z Reading Challenge (which takes me to 8/26), and 3/14 in the Nerdy Nonfiction Challenge for psychology (third category).


1 Comment

Filed under Book review

One response to “The Power of Play by David Elkind

  1. Pingback: Play by Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan | Fill Your Bookshelf

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