Big Body Play

Big Body Play by Frances M. Carlson

This book was put out by the NAEYC and talks about the benefits of children engaging in big body play. Big body play means that children are using their entire body such as rolling down a hill or wrestling with a friend. It is a naturally occurring play style that should be accepted and fostered to help children’s overall development.

While reading this book, I was quite skeptical about letting children engage in this type of play. Many teachers do not want the children to get hurt for fear of getting in trouble with administration and parents. This book discusses some of the ways to create an environment that allows this. One of the most beneficial suggestions is to create rules around it and to teach children some of the verbal and nonverbal cues that could go along with it.

Also, included are different regulations and suggestions of how to create a safe space inside or outside to allow this big body movement. It is important to designate a certain space so that children can do this in a safe manner. Also, you need to make sure that what you are allowing the children to do fits within the requirements with your state. The book provides some information on this and then tells you where you can find more information if you are needed.

This book can be a wonderful resource for any classroom teacher. It helps you to understand why children always want to engage in rough and tumble play while also giving you ways to manage this. While reading this my thinking was really challenged with these ideas but I think that is what makes it good. Also, this book is a good resource. It has information on safety standards, how to talk to parents and frequently asked questions about this type of play. I feel that this book should be in every preschool as a resource but if people have time then it would be great for them to have read it.

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