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Reviewed by Samantha Coville for Readers' Favorite
The way that children play, and the way parents view and react to how they play, has changed drastically over the past few decades. Play to Live: Life Skills and Joy Through the Natural Talent to Play by Brian VanDongen examines this fact in depth and asks why this is the case. More importantly, it dives into how parents can deviate from the modern version of play, which is filled with online chats and cellphones, and shows how to use play time as an enriching and educational experience. As well as fun, of course. Author Brian VanDongen uses his own personal stories from growing up to share invaluable advice that will be helpful to both first-time parents and returning pros alike.
Play to Live simply oozes nostalgia in between the paragraphs and conclusion areas of each chapter, which are packed with to the point advice. Brian VanDongen reminds you of the days when you'd stay out until the streetlights came on and when a slinky or a stick could provide hours of amusements. And it gets you wondering why it can't still be that way to some extent. The author does a wonderful job of balancing acceptance that the world has changed and trying to keep some things the same. There are practical and helpful tips to provide your child with unique, fun, safe, adventurous play experiences that will not only help with bonding and family fun but develop your child's cognitive skills and resourcefulness. This little book packs a punch and I couldn't recommend it more highly. This could be an especially useful baby shower gift!