Playful Learning for Kids & Resources… w/Judy Sparks

by | Mar 1, 2022

“Playful inquiry invites children to learn and make sense of the things they encounter with the kind of curiosity and joy we remember from our happiest moments in childhood. From the time they are born, children are avid seekers of meaning and relationships who explore the world using all of their senses.Sep 3, 2012″

RESOURCE LINKS – Category: For Parents and Educators

Zero to Three is an excellent research-based periodical with exceptional articles for professionals and parents. In my work as an Early Intervention Specialist, this was my go to publication for the latest research.

I often shared articles with my parent clients. Recently they published a link for the CDC’s updated developmental milestones for infants and toddlers. This was the first update in over 20 years.

It’s somewhat controversial among parents of children with developmental disabilities, as it impacts services their children are able to access through Early Intervention Programs, and whether insurance companies will continue paying for your children’s therapy needs in a timely manner.

Related Article: 

The Center for Disease Control and Intervention also offers several resources for parents or professionals on topics related to children’s health and well being. Use the link

Books for Toddlers

We start with babies and toddlers by giving them words to identify their feelings. Here is a brief list of books parents can share with their little ones. I recommend offering Board Books so littles can have hands on experiences with books without worries about harming paper pages.

Lakeshore Learning Materials offers a Social – Emotional Board Book Collection that parents or Early Childhood Educators can order online. 

You will also find books and age appropriate toys for children ages 0 – 14 years. Their merchandise is carefully designed to provide developmental purpose for children’s skills building. This site is great for Educators as well as families.

Books that Promote Mental Health in Children

There are several options available to access literature designed to help kids manage anger, anxiety, worry and low mood. One such site offers a bundle of books geared to young children up to 8 years old, called Ten Kids Books Psychologists recommend in 2022. 

Check the link below to learn how to use books to help young children learn to manage big emotions. We all need such insight at times, even adults! 

National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI offers a comprehensive, research-based resource guide to information on mental health issues for children, finding mental health care and support for home care or residential treatment. Parents learn what to look for and when to act.

Their website posts many helpful articles and stories on the NAMI blog. NAMI has a resource page on “How to Talk to Your Child About Their Mental Health.” They provide guidance on communicating with young children up to teens with age appropriate activities to open a conversation.

“Talking with your child about their mental health condition is not easy. However, you are more than capable of opening a dialogue.”   (NAMI quote)

Site for Educators wishing to join the CLASS Learning Community

The CLASS Learning Community is a community of teachers, observers, education leaders, and other educators dedicated to help every child reach their potential by measuring and improving classroom interactions. It’s a great way to connect with others in Early Education.

To receive a chart listing books to promote emotional support, see below.

Teachstone graphic “Books to Promote Emotional Support”

NEXT UP:  Slumberkins

Some of you have heard of Slumberkins, a new collection of furry friends that come with books about emotional well- being for children. This project was created by two dynamic women, a family therapist and a master teacher in Elementary Education and Special Education.

Their passion for early emotional learning gives children the tools to express and understand their emotions. This curriculum lays the groundwork for lifelong emotional wellness for our children, for use by parents and other caregivers of our children. Kudos to Kelly Oriard and Callie Christensen!

“Great ideas have legs. They take you somewhere. With them you can raise questions….Puzzlements invite the mostprecious of human abilities to take wing. I speak of imagination, the neglected stepchild of American Education….”
~ Elliot Eisner, late professor of art and education, Stanford University
Judy Sparks
Children and Families in Life After Trauma (CFLAT)

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
View all posts by stevesparks →

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