Suggested Reading for November 30, 2012

suggestedreadingLots of early-childhood-related stuff worth reading this week.

Teacher Tom, as always, compellingly covers a variety of important topics. The importance of allowing kids to “waste” materials. “Show and tell” in his classroom, and that amazing things kids can do if you just get out of their way. “Kindergarten readiness,” and what the hell the term even means. And this old one about a very practical approach to clean up time.

A good collection of posts about activities to encourage fine motor skills. “Scarf in a box” from Mama OT; a great way to use tongs from Mummy Musings and Mayhem; and using knives in cooking projects from Toddler Approved.

A couple valuable posts for parents about dealing with stress and keeping your cool when your kids are driving you nuts—which happens to everyone. This one and this one from Creative with Kids, and this one from Janet Lansbury.

Andrew Solomon just published a book called “Far From the Tree,” about families where the children differ from the parents in important ways—race, disability, sexual orientation, mental illness, etc.—and how the families cope with it. This review at the New Yorker and this one at the New York Times make me want to read the book; and this blog post at the New York Times is some related food for thought.

I’ve seen a lot of stuff about gendered toys this week, and mostly the topic bores me. There’s plenty about kids and gender I think is interesting, but I don’t have much to say about which kids get to play with which toys. There’s a great little graphic going around on Facebook titled “How to tell if a toy is for a boy or a girl.” There’s a little flowchart. “Do you operate the toy with your genitalia? If yes: the toy is not for children. If no: the toy is for a boy or a girl.” Love it. But if you want some further reading, Mama OT writes well about playing with dolls.

Artsblog has a good post about the skills children learn from participating in the arts.

Last, but perhaps not least, I myself had an article published on NAEYC’s website for families. It’s a little introduction for families about using observation to understand their children’s behaviors, using some techniques that preschool teachers get trained in. I’m pretty proud of it—please take a peek.

Did you read something this week worth sharing? Put it in the comments!

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