BOOK LOOK – Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown MD


 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~ 


PLAY: How It Shapes the Brain,

Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

by Stuart Brown


~ Review ~


Dr. Stuart Brown’s book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul backs up with data and research everything I’ve come to know and have experienced in my 50+ years of being an elementary educator, homeschooling mom, and all around joyfully playful creative human being at every age and stage of my life.

Play is . . .

  • Play is required, on par with eating + sleeping + breathing, for the health and well being of our families, communities, and the world at large.
  • Play is the gateway for all of us to access our creativity and provides the catalyst for gathering all that we need on our life learning journey.
  • Play is where innovation comes from and has been the platform from which so many unique and very much needed ideas are launched into the world. (example: see story of Velcro)
  • Play is always an opportunity to express your most authentic self whether playing alone or together with other folks.
  • Play is engaging with books, movies, the arts, sports, games, hobbies, work you love or getting a job done more joyfully, day-dreaming, music, etc. What would your life look like without these? Yikes!
  • Play is like oxygen. So be sure to <Breathe in> and <Breathe out> mindfully and regularly!
  • P.L.A.Y. + Pass it on!!! ❤

In our Western culture where play is often written off as extra or frivolous it is helpful to be reminded of just how necessary it is for our human survival and thriving. If you’d like to see more of the data to support these ideas please take a moment to read Dr. Brown’s book. It is a game changer. 🙂


~ Reflections ~


Play and Learning Go Hand-in-Hand at ALL Ages + Stages

A truer statement could not be spoken. This is at the heart of it ALL.

This is also the very premise on which  P.L.A.Y. Passionate Learning All Year is based.

As the adult you are now, or even better when you were a child,  can you think of any situation in which there isn’t an opportunity for growth and learning? Not a chance.

Every day we have the opportunity to learn and expand what we know, how we know it, getting it into our bones, digging deeper, and playing with ideas to fully engage with the human experience.

Laura Grace Weldon says on page 1 in Chapter 1 of her excellent resource guide titled Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything (chapter-by-chapter reviews HERE)

“And, of course, children play. Play is generative, transforming the ordinary into something unique. It also imparts advanced social skills and a creative approach to life.”

And if you combine that with the work of Dr. Stuart Brown you will realize that kiddos AND adults have been playing, learning, and working side-by-side with each other in their families and communities since the beginning of time. Folks of all ages engaging together, indoors and out, naturally modeling for each other the skills they need to survive and thrive.

Work and play go hand-in-hand, at every age and stage of our lives, and now more than ever with the mindful and beneficial use of technology we can create lives that match our natural rhythms and earn a livelihood that allows us to be inspired and engaged daily. We can pursue our passions, play along the way, and share our hard work with the world naturally learning throughout the journey.

In other words, for kiddos and adults, both Stuart Brown’s and Laura Weldon’s books give you permission to embrace your authentic selves, play daily which gives you the space and grace to let your natural talents shine through, and bring these gifts forward to be of service throughout your lifetime.

AND if you can weave connecting to and engaging with nature into all of this work and play it will benefit you, your loved ones, and the planet ten fold.  Your authentic Work + P.L.A.Y. + Nature is a recipe for a full-filling life sharing your true gifts.

Sounds like pure genius right? That is what Laura call’s using one’s gifts – true genius.

So, what are you waiting for?

Time to experience P.L.A.Y. in action by picking up your copy of Stuart Brown’s PLAY: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul and putting it into practice today.

And while you are at it take a peek at Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon (spoiler alert – it isn’t just for homeschoolers – all Life Learners are welcome!).

You and your family will be ever so glad you did.

Sending Smiles ~ Karen 🙂

Note: This was re-posted with edits and additions from my BOOK LOOK post– Free Range Learning -series Chapter 1 Review found HERE )


~ Recommended Books for P.L.A.Y. in Nature ~


Purchase these titles HERE

P.L.A.Y. Project: Snowflakes + Cool Crystals #1


Welcome to my new P.L.A.Y. project:

Snowflakes & Cool Crystals


THANK YOU so much Snowflake Bentley!!!

My latest project was inspired by both the winter season and my favorite go to inspiration space aka the children’s section of the library filled with deliciously engaging picture, chapter, and resource books on every topic imaginable. Love it!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

I got started by reading a few of the titles mentioned in this post, gathering a few simple materials, and jumping in with both mittens!

A few fun tricky challenges so far have been to figure out which snow moments will produce the best crystal flakes. Typically it is the “fairy dust” moments that actually produce the most true to shape and spectacular flakes. The heavy snow storms tend to produce balls, slivers, or even slop all piled up.

Either way I am known to run out the door and onto the front porch at a moments notice to see if I can catch a few snapshots of the latest fluffy white fun falling from the sky.

It has also been an interesting challenge to photograph the snowflakes close-up with my simple phone camera. The photos in the books I mention below were taken with special lenses and microscopes.

I like seeing what I can come up with using what little equipment I have and seeing if over time things will become “crystal clear” with practice and fine tuning!


Join me in this seasonal fun by reading these enjoyable titles and getting outdoors for P.L.A.Y. time!

Begin with . . .

add in this geometric eye candy . . .

and continue engaging your curious mind with this!

Check back for more snowy book titles in my next post titled

Project: Snowflake + Cool Crystals #2 <HERE>!


Curious Capkins love getting outdoors to P.L.A.Y. with you in all seasons and all weather!

Throw on your snow suit, kiddos and folks of all ages, and make tracks to your favorite nature spot and check out those snowflakes!

Ready? Let’s go!

❤ ❤ ❤

P.L.A.Y. Rocks!


P.L.A.Y. Rocks – Pass it on!


Take the time to ramble amongst the rocks and rest assured your P.L.A.Y. nature will arrive promptly. 

River Rock – Special Striped Token Treasure

❤ ❤ ❤

Two-Tone Subtle Stripe Stones

❤ ❤ ❤

Andy Goldsworthy’s many published books reflecting his life long practice of P.L.A.Y.ing by creating landscape art come to mind when I see these photos of locally found rock treasures.

If you haven’t been introduced to Andy’s work take a moment to connect to this outdoor magic making by requesting his many book titles from the library. They are filled with inspiring photos of nature made art that just might get you or your favorite kiddos to head out in nature and create a bit of landscape art too.

*Also search for videos online of his work which are truly P.L.A.Y. in action!


P.L.A.Y. Rocks – Pass it on!


BOOK LOOK – A Leaf Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas


 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


A Leaf Can Be . . . 

by Laura Purdie Salas


Karen’s short + long of it with P.L.A.Y.ful story preview & P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions.


P.L.A.Y.ful story preview (short):

Life of a Leaf – Amazing! It can be most Anything!

Dynamic Discoveries

Potential & Possibilities

Four Season Finds

 

P.L.A.Y.-filled companion activity adventure suggestions (long):

  • Challenge: Treasurer hunt style -can you see Laura’s suggestions of what a leaf can be – tree topper, rain stopper, food maker, etc.? An opportunity to take a moment to notice in nature and create a check list in your journal.
  • Super Challenge: Walk about, wonder and wander, and see if you can add to Laura’s list of what a leaf can be. Example:  a “leaf munchie” = goaties in our barnyard were eating them like potato chips!
  • Super-Duper Challenge: Fall Fun = make a leaf pile when the trees have released them to the ground. Estimate how many leaves it takes to make the pile by filling a small bucket or container and counting the leaves. How many buckets worth do you think you have? How many leaves does it take to make your “pile grower”?

Capkins LOVE to be read to – especially P.L.A.Y.-full nature themed story books!

  Be sure to visit and support your local library = All Good! ❤ ❤ ❤