“I always turn to children to be my teachers when I come up against new ideas and challenges,” writes Deb Curtis in her popular book, Really Seeing Children. “And, indeed, observing closely and reflecting on how children engage in exploration and discovery reinforced the notion that children, in fact, do more with less.”
Curtis describes what she’s learned from children about not feeling like we have to offer such a wide variety of toys. “Imagine not offering babies any toys until they find their hands for play,” she writes. “My mind started spinning as I heard Janet Gonzalez-Mena describe this approach used by Pikler Institute in Budapest, Hungary, where they have documented over 75 ways that babies learn to use their hands for play.”
Educators have the opportunity to slow down, observe, delight, and practice really seeing children every day. In her new book, Really Seeing Children, Deb Curtis offers a wealth of ideas to help teachers and parents see with fresh eyes.
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I am a little confused! How is a toy being defined? In my view, anything that a child can play with is a toy - a finger, toes, bubble made between their lips, stick, stone, leaf flying in the wind, pea pod on the ground, and so on. I think maybe the issue is we think something is a toy if it costs lots of money?