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The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids is a curriculum resource book for Early Childhood Educators written by Bobbi Conner. The book has various activities that encourage creativity in children aged two to twelve. Bobbi has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and was a radio host for the Parents Journal for twenty four years. Bobbi’s books, articles and programs have been featured nationwide throughout various forms of media. Although Bobbi has no specialized training or education in the field of Early Childhood Education, she is revered online as a “mother of three children who were raised with a hefty dose of creativity.” Bobbi is the author of other curriculum resource books such as: Unplugged Play, The Book of Birthday Letters, Everyday Opportunities and The Parents Journal to Raise Great Kids. Currently Bobbi presents workshops and programs to educators, professionals and parents across the United States of America on topics that are related to childhood creativity and the importance of unplugged play. The book is well organized through the table of contents. It begins with a section on the principles of childhood creativity.
Outlined is the importance of creativity and play to the learning process. The table of contents is further organized into three specific age groups: toddlers, preschool and school age. Those categories are bolded and divided by chapter. Within those chapters are activities such as: art, building, music, dance, dramatic and cognitive activities. Activities are play-based and can be changed to meet the needs of various interests and abilities. Each activity encourages learning through interactions with objects, people and information (Applied Curriculum). The index is also a good way to navigate the book. Activities can be found by turning to the index and searching alphabetically. In looking through the index, it is evident that the activities are play-based. Some play-based curriculum content that can be found in the index include: the Carlton dance, charades and a woodworking project (Conner, B. 2015, p.364). The book also includes a resource page that is divided up into the following sections: arts and crafts, building/construction, music and pretend/theatrics. Each section includes materials that may be needed for each of the activities and the websites that Early Childhood Educators can use to purchase these materials. The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids is published by Roost Book Publishing which is an imprint of Shambhala Publications and is distributed by Penguin Random House, a nationwide American publishing company formed in 2013. Penguin Random House was created from the merger of Random House and Penguin Group. Roost Book Publishing is an independent family owned publisher who have been making books for five decades. Their books are used to inspire people and focus on cooking, creativity, family and nature. Roost Book Publishing have a variety of other books that can be used as educational resources, such as: Playful Learning, Tinkerlab and Made to Play.
I chose this curriculum book for various reasons. A main reason for my selection was that the activities are clearly laid out. Each activity in this book is divided into three main sections: target goal, clear list of materials in point form, followed by a list of clear and simple instructions. As a beginning Early Childhood Educator, I believe that it is very likely to get overwhelmed when it comes to carrying out activities. With this book I feel that an Early Childhood Educator can easily find all they need to know to execute the activity successfully. I extremely like that all the activities in this book are child centered and developmentally appropriate based on the child’s ability and interest. I believe that it is extremely important for activities to be developmentally appropriate and child centered. With child centered activities the child learns how to properly express feelings and thoughts, develop social skills, expand creativity and develop crucial skills needed in life. The activities in this book help keep children actively engaged, provides emotional release, mastery of resolution and are process oriented rather than product oriented (Applied Curriculum).
From this curriculum resource book, I chose the following two activities. The silly-song musical theatre intended for preschool-kindergarten children is the first activity. For this activity the children will dress up using the costumes that are provided in the early childcare setting, where the child will sing and dance to a silly song. This activity will facilitate movement, communication and social interaction, which is part of a play-based curriculum (Applied Curriculum). The skill being practiced through this activity is Physical 5.4 Auditory Skills and Music. The children will be practicing this skill during this activity when they show enjoyment when listening to the music. While the silly song is playing, children will become excited and happy when hearing the funny beat, sounds or lyrics. For my second activity, I chose the Paper-Mache Masks activity which is intended for school aged children. This activity will facilitate choice of autonomy. The child has the freedom to choose what their paper-mache masks will look like. The child will also learn through various interactions with the materials. In this activity the children will help the adult create the mixture needed to make the paper-mache using cold water, flour, sugar and hot water. This promotes physical knowledge by giving opportunities for the child’s actions to result in knowledge of the properties i.e form, texture etc. (Applied Curriculum). After making the goop the children will cut the newspaper into thin strips. The children will then blow a balloon, dip the newspaper into the mixture and begin placing the newspaper strips onto the balloon. The creative process is child-centred. Once dried, the children will cut the paper-mache balloon in half with the assistance of an adult. The child will have two masks and can freely choose how they want their masks to look like. The skill being practiced in this activity is Cognition 4.2 Problem Solving, The children will plan to achieve a goal. The overall goal is to create a mask, so by following the instructions and steps the child will accomplish the overall goal and have two masks for them to decorate with freely chosen materials i.e paint, pom poms etc.
In conclusion, this curriculum resource book is user friendly, and I strongly believe that it can be helpful for Early Childhood Educators to transition into their roles confidently. The physical layout of this book is clear and concise. The activities are child centered and inclusive of play-based curriculum criterion. The developmental appropriateness of the activities are also noteworthy. I would recommend this book because it has helped me in my professional development.
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