Title: Partners in Play: A Step-By-Step Guide to Imaginative Play in Children
Author: Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer
Publication Year: 1977
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Review: This book is out of print, but I bought a used copy online because it is listed in the recommended reading section of one of my favorite parenting books, The New First Three Years of Life, by Burton White. In a sense, the idea of this book is kind of silly. The subtitle is called, “A Step-by-Step Guide to Imaginative Play in Children”, which seems like an oxymoron. However, I personally think creative play is so important for children that if one needs a step-by-step guide in order to instill children with a sense of imagination, then it’s worth it.
I would like this book more except for the fact that I didn’t find too many ideas that I thought were easily implemented and useful to my children at their present ages (9 months and 35 months ). The book is specifically meant to cover the age period of 2 to 5 years old. My son is almost 3. However, many of the ideas I found to be too young and not very useful for him.
For young children the book suggests ideas like finding interesting things for them to smell, taste, and touch, pretending to be animals, and playing with puppets. These are good ideas, but my son is doing oil changes on his cozy coupe and holding class for his stuffed animals without my participation, so the ideas for young children seem a little unnecessary and unnatural, at least for my child.
On the opposite end the spectrum they suggest writing poems and acting out stories which seem advanced for a 3 year old. Many of the situational suggestions (school, post office, hospital, library, restaurant, car wash, etc.) and role suggestions (house painter, janitor, carpenter, newspaper reporter, camper, pirate, etc.) I think he would really enjoy, but they would take some planning on my part and probably more participation than I would be capable of giving while simultaneously caring for an infant. However, I do think the book is filled with good ideas and I envision using it for inspiration a lot more when my children are old enough to both benefit from imaginative play. (Personal Rating: 7/10)