The Genius of Play, by Sally Jenkinson
Sub-Title: Celebrating the Spirit of Childhood
Size: approximately 14 x 21.5 cm
When children play, they become creators, dreamers, and artists. Sticks become wands, swords, dolls, or snakes. Children move like quick fire from the fantastic to the everyday, when free to express the genius of play.
The Genius of Play addresses what play is, why it matters, and how modern life endangers children's play. Moving, vivid stories reveal the secrets of play. Here is an outspoken Children's Play Charter for parents and teachers, which celebrates the playful spirit of childhood.
The author answers questions such as:
- What do children express in their play?
- How does play help develop empathy and social skills?
- How are children influenced by inappropriate toys, TV, and consumerism?
- How does play develop children's imagination?
- Why do children need adults who encourage play?
- How do creative childhood players become good adult thinkers?
Sally Jenkinson's perceptive observations will inform and delight parents and teachers who want to gain more insight into the secrets of children's play.
(Please see the Table of Contents and Reviews, below.)
About the Author:
Sally Jenkinson is a lecturer, mother and former Steiner Waldorf kindergarten teacher. She is a founder member of the Alliance for Childhood, having advised Waldorf kindergartens for many years. She is a respected contributor to British and European research conferences on early childhood. She is a tireless advocate for the importance of children's play, and of children's holistic developmental needs, particularly to the Department for Employment and Education during their consultation on early years education for the national curriculum.
Publisher: Hawthorn Press
"The Genius of Play is a well-researched book that makes a valuable contribution to the worldwide debate about childhood. Play lies at the heart of childhood and this book deepens our understanding and appreciation of the crucial benefits of play. Herein lie the roots of our capacity to act socially, exercise our imaginations, develop emotional literacy and face new intellectual challenges. The author also shows how play deprivatiohn, from which many of our children suffer now, is a threat to our well being. For all those who are seriously concerned about our children, this is essential reading." Christopher Clouder, Alliance for Childhood, author Creative Play for your Baby, Creative Play for Your Toddler, and Waldorf Education.
"Sally has a genius of perceiving the essence of childhood. Her examples of children at play are charming, but also profound, for they show us the depths of play and the tremendous significance of play in human life. She balances anecdotes with the insights of major educators, psychologists and child advocates revealing a rich world of literature and organisations devoted to the importance of children's play. In a time when childhood is endangered and play is a dying art, this book serves children well and offers much help to adults struggling to understand the power of play." - Joan Almon, Co-Chair, Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America
"This is a book which many who work with play will find useful and challenging. Sally Jenkinson forays into play 'times past' and, in so doing, raises concerns about play 'times present'. The recollections of play provide an important historical lens through which to reflect upon opportunities and accomplishments of children's play today. Sally's deep commitmnt to the integrity of play will also provide fuel to the debate about 21st century 'technologically prescribed' play as an inhibitor of children's freedom to construct the world for themselves.
The Genius of Play encourages educators to attend to children's intentions as they watch them play, to try to understand what it is that children are working out. It encourages us to allow the spirit of play to come through in the way we provide space (in all its dimensions) for children to play with freedom.
This is an important addition to the growing collection of books which address the theme of play today. Sally Jenkinson encourages us to attend to play in the whole of children's lives, as well as in their early preschool and school experiences. It deserves to be widely read and will generate lively debate amongst early childhood educators." - Dr Cathy Nutbrown, The University of Sheffield, School of Education
"A refreshing and exciting examination of the critical role that pretending may represent for the child and the later adult." - Jerome L Singer, Yale University
"A book of genius, which celebrates childhood magically and enchantingly by capturing its spirit throughout." - Diane Rich, Early Education
"Everyone who takes an interest in the lives of young children, in their being and becoming, will want to attend to what Sally Jenkinson is telling us. This is a beautiful and important book." - Mary Jane Drummond, formerly University of Cambridge