Recommended Reading

The following materials have been selected for their value in broadening the reader’s knowledge about childhood and preschool. They offer insightful glimpses into what it means to be a parent, a teacher, a child.


Content Rich Instruction in Preschool by Susan B. Neuman - What does engaging student’s minds through stimulating content learning look like? Susan B. Neuman writes about integrated instruction, guidance, teacher interaction, learner competence, and play that supports learning.

Early Childhood Education Takes to the Outdoors by Andrea Mills – When the author’s first grade son comes home from school boasting of making a snowman– only for Mills to discover it was made on the computer, and not out of actual snow– it’s a bit of a culture shock for her. For the past few years, the Mills family had lived in Zurich, where her son had attended a forest kindergarten. This article provides an overview of forest kindergartens, a European movement that is moving onto American soil.

Rough Play by Frances M. Carlson – This is the go-to article on Rough and Tumble Play, a type of non-violent play often maligned or misunderstood. Carlson writes, “This universal children’s activity is adaptive, evolutionarily useful, and linked to normal brain development.” While this may challenge our assumptions, readers are reminded, “research demonstrates its physical, social, emotional, and cognitive value. Early childhood education settings have the responsibility to provide children with what best serves their developmental needs.”

You Can’t Bounce Off the Walls If There Are No Walls by David Sobel – David Sobel is a leader in place-based education in North America. He writes, “new approaches to kindergarten offer us a glimpse of what childhood used to be, and still could be—the modern re-creation of the children’s garden. If we looked to these examples, we might be able to rescue childhood.”


1000 Hours Outside - A mama blogs about her quest to spend 1,000 hours outdoors with her children in one year. She encourages you to join her.

Balanced and Barefoot – I first came across Angela Hanscom’s articles in the Washington Post (Why Kids are Getting More Aggressive on the Playground and The Right– and Surprisingly Wrong– Ways to Get Kids to Sit Still in Class) and I had to follow her to her blog. A pediatric occupational therapist, Angela Hanscom is also the founder of nature center developmental program Timber Nook, which she founded based upon her understanding of how nature play supports children’s well being at the neurological level.

Playing With Sticks – A young teacher blogs about teaching in an outdoors preschool classroom. Her philosophical posts reach the heart of teaching. After trying to select a few ideas, we realized we wanted to share everything she’s said. Instead, we give you the link and let you read for yourself.


Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson – This is one of the go-to book on positive discipline, which focuses on problem solving with children, not punishing children. Nelson has also written many other related books, such as Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, Positive Discipline for Single Parents, etc.


Bringing Back Outdoor Play- Promotes outdoor play as essentail for the well-being of children.

National Association for the Education of Young Children: Guidance Matters – A selection of articles on positively guiding children in the classroom and at home.


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