The main body of the book is divided into short chapters covering each developmental stage from babies to age seven. Each chapter concludes with a summary table and a list of suitable toys for the developmental stage under discussion.
Other chapters cover children who are reluctant to play, doll history and creative play.
The translation from Swedish is seamless. Originally written in 1979, this book remains current and includes a brief section on iPads and tablets in young children.
The author is a parent and has studied child psychology - particularly the work of Rudolf Steiner. Like all philosophies and theories, one can choose the bits they want to assimilate into their lives. The writing is convincing. Any adult who has an interest in encouraging creativity will find something worth absorbing in these pages.
There is a chapter on the history of dolls and their relevance today. Brief mention is given to porcelain dolls of the 1800s and mass produced plastic dolls of today. Waldorf-inspired dolls and their advantages feature heavily.
The chapter on ‘Further Thoughts on Creative Play,’ was very interesting. I found the concept that children in our consumer society are encouraged to become collectors, instead of creators, particularly compelling. I enjoyed the writer’s critique of educational toys, and how their singular purpose can stifle creativity. Once again, the author writes a persuasive argument.
This is an interesting read, with lots of food-for-thought for any parent or educator.
The Australasian Distributor of this book is Footprint Books. It is available for purchase from Footprint books or any good bookseller.
Title: Children’s Creative Play - How Simple Dolls and Toys Help Your Child Develop
Author/Illustrator: Karin Neuschütz
Publisher: Floris, distributed by Footprint Books, $17.95 RRP
Publication Date: March 2013
Format: Soft cover
For ages: Adult