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Play Activities for Child Development (A Guide to Pre-School Teachers)

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Item Code: IDL209
Publisher: National Book Trust, India
Author: Mina Swaminathan and Prema Daniel
Language: English
Edition: 2020
ISBN: 9788123742205
Pages: 214
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 9.5" X 7.3"
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Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description

Back of the Book

This is an easy-to-use handbook of nearly two hundred play activities for young children in the age-group of 3 to 5. All the activities are arranged in seven groups, according to different domains of development with a separate chapter on classroom organization and management. The book is illustrated profusely.

Mina Swaminathan has been a classroom teacher of young children and later a teacher educator, programme manager and policy adviser in Early Childhood Care an Education for more than four decades.

Prema Daniel, a post-graduate in Child Development, has vast practical experience of teaching young children. She has been involved in teacher-education programmes as well.




This book has grown out of the manual Play Activities for Young Children originally developed by the first author in 1983 and published by UNICEF in 1984. the manual was part of UNICEF’s support for improving the quality of the preschool education component in ICDS, which, already about ten years old and massive in reach, was even then seen to be less than adequate in quality. Its dissemination was very wide: the first edition of 1,50,000 reaching anganwadi workers in the Hindi speaking and - knowing areas of the study, and 7000 copies being used by trainers and supervisors. Later on, other Indian language editions (Tamil, Malayalam, and Oriya), of several thousands each, were prepared in various States, again with the support of UNICEF. The manual, which is now out of print, has thus been widely distributed and used, and the feedback from the field, mostly of an anecdotal kind, has been very positive. At any rate, the first author has found, in the course of her travels, that she is easily recognized as a friend, guide, and mentor, and warmly welcomed by anganwadi workers everywhere in India. And, from the early 1990s, UNICEF has been asking for a revised and improved version (though it has taken another decade to bring that intention to fulfillment).

Since the manual was for free distribution directly by Government, it could not be made available to teachers and institutions in other sectors, nor could it be made freely obtainable as a priced publication on the open market. However, many workers in ECE in the non-governmental sector (that is, those teaching in private schools and in balwadis run by NGOs) who have seen it, have been highly appreciative and enthusiastic about using it.

This is what gave us the idea of jointly developing a revised, enriched, and more systematic version of the original, and of trying to make it widely available as a priced publication, preferably low-cost, available on the open market to all teachers who are interested in learning more and improving their skills. With this in mind, we started work in 1998 and completed the first draft of the manuscript in its present form, with much encouragement from professional friends and well-wishers. But ironically, while professional sppreciate the pressing need for such a manual, the need does not seem to translate into market demand. It seems that the majority of private schools in India are not interested in play-based or developmentally-appropriate curriculum for young children, and prefer other approaches that we can only say we abhor as being contradictory to known principles of pedagogy and child development. This is because ECE in India, having been totally unrecognized till very recently, has been quite unregulated – there are no broadly accepted or laid-down guidelines, standards, or norms regarding what should be taught and, even more importantly, how it should be taught. The very few who are interested and supportive are obviously not enough to constitute a market, in terms that make sense of publishers. Hence, though the first draft of the present book was ready by early 1999, we spent more than three years trying to get leading educational publishers (in English) interested. Our efforts, ranging from outright rejection to varying levels of negotiation, ended in failure, but we also discovered that, had we succeeded, the price of the book would have made it prohibitive for those we were most interested in reaching. So we are immensely grateful to the National Book Trust for having the vision and daring to bring out a book that meets “needs” that do not generate “demand”. Even more so, because we know that, in due course, many Indian language editions will be published and find their way to those who are interested and need them, if they learn to make themselves heard.

The basic concept underlying this manual, which is addressed directly to the classroom teacher or childcare worker, is that of “developmental appropriateness.” We have used the same idea in the Activity-based Developmentally-appropriate Curriculum for Young Children, also our joint venture, published by the Indian Association for Preschool Education, Chennai. Hence, we have chosen to go about it by briefly delineating the various domains of development and then presenting a set of activities that could help foster the child’s development of concepts, skills, attitudes, and behaviours in those domains. The forms the core of the manual, which then goes on to deal with some of the organizational issues that teachers have to be concerned with. The plan of the manual, which then goes on to deal with some of the organizational issues that teachers have to be concerned with. The plan of the book is reader-friendly: each major section deals with one domain of development, starting with a short theoretical introduction and followed by a set of activities. This makes it possible for the teacher to go straight to the activity of choice, making use of the theory as and when required. The activities themselves are laid out in a uniform format, making it easy for the teacher, once familiar with the approach, not only to quickly find what is needed but also to understand it easily. The language is simple and direct, and the examples are chosen to stimulate the teacher to think of more activities; while the appendix contains carefully illustrated instructions for making teaching-learning aids, toys, and play materials. There is no special order in which the various domains –or the activities-have to be taken up, and the book can be dipped into and used flexibly. In fact, it is meant to be used like a resource and reference book, and not like a textbook to be read from one end to the other in a prescribed order. Hopefully, this would make it the classroom teacher’s friend and companion. And, if it does, that would be our best reward.

Working together on this book, with all its ups and downs, has been a most enjoyable and rewarding experience for both of us. One of our pleasant tasks is to express our deep debt of gratitude to all those who have encouraged, helped, and supported us in various ways:

UNICEF, for bringing out the earlier version of this book in 1984.
Bernard van Leer Foundation, for encouraging us to revised the book through a small seeding grant in 1998, as part of the project Operation Resource Support.
Mini Krishnan, friend, guide and adviser, for timely advice, moral support, optimism, and faith in us even when things seemed at their most bleak
Usha Aroor, for suggesting the basic design and format of this version
Sheela Subramaniam, for her skilled and patient editing
Varsha Das, formerly Director of the National Book Trust, for her warm appreciation, and acceptance of the book for publication during her term.
Sheela Pankaj, for constant support over the years in typing several drafts of the manuscript, handling all the details, and seeing us through to the end.
A. Sakthi Velan, for help and support in typing the manuscript.
Mallika Badrinath, our designer, for her creativity and perseverance in enriching the text with both meaning and visual delight.
Our editors at NBT, Dr. Baldev Singh ‘Baddan,’ Chief Editor and Joint Director and Dr. Srirang K. Jha, Series in-charge, for the care, concern, and skill with which this book has been handled, and.
Last, but not least, to all the professional friends and colleagues who, over the years and till today, have contributed to our learning through many shared experiences and meaningful discussions.
Without each one of them, this book would never have been possible.




1 Taking Big Steps 14
2 Walk like Animals 15
3 Rope Walk 16
4 Rope Train 17
5 Walk Along the Shape 18
6 In and Out 19
7 Balancing Board 20
8 Catch Me if You Can 21
9 Races 22
10 Curving Race 23
11 Throw a Ball 24
12 Roll a Ball 25
13 Bounce the Ball 26
14 Kick the Ball 27
15 Do it Differently 28
16 Old Tyres 29
17 Musical Chairs 30
18 The Dog and the Bone 31
19 Musical Islands 32
20 Is the Lamb at Home? 33
1 I Hear a Sound 36
2 Loud and Soft 37
3 Body Sounds 38
4 Sounds of Objects 39
5 Guess My Smell 40
6 Guess My Taste 41
7 Soft and Hard 42
8 Touch Cards 43
9 Count Without Looking 44
10 Blindfold Walk 45
11 Stuffed Animals 46
12 Tear it Up 47
13 Nature Walk – Listen, See, Feel 48
14 Rangoli 49
15 Finger Painting 50
16 Clay 51
17 Sand 52
18 Water 53
19 Make a Necklace 54
20 The Five Senses 55
1 Sorting by Size 59
2 Guess What ? 60
3 Bingo 61
4 Match the Domino 62
5 The Right Partner 63
6 Match and Mismatch 64
7 Missing Pictures 65
8 Which is Faster? 66
9 Mystery Game 67
10 Arrange in a Line 68
11 Shadow Play 69
12 Collect, Bring and Arrange 70
13 Things to Do with Trees 71
14 Floating and Sinking 72
15 Filling the Bottles 73
16 Jig-Saw Puzzles 74
17 Complete a Person 75
18 Design 76
19 Conditions 77
20 Sensitive Puppet 78
1 Hot and Cold 82
2 Magic Bag 83
3 Who’s There? 84
4 Show and Tell 85
5 Rhyming Words 86
6 Add a Word 87
7 Listen to Me 88
8 Left and Right 89
9 Family Names 90
10 Do as I do and Not as I Say 91
11 Who am I? 92
12 Detective Game 93
13 Riddles 94
14 Picture Reading 95
15 Story Telling 96
16 Let’s Act a Story 97
17 What Happened Next? 98
18 Let’s Take a Trip 99
19 Finger Play 100
20 I Can Do 101
1 Copy Cat 106
2 Happy Hands 107
3 Say Hello 108
4 Drawing Race 109
5 Special Helper 110
6 Where’s your Bone? 111
7 I’m Happy Book 112
8 Let’s Share 113
9 Make your Face 114
10 I am Important 115
11 Roll a Ball 116
12 Clean Corner 117
13 Back to Back 118
14 Be Quick 119
15 Call your Friends 120
16 Zip Zap 121
17 Snakes and Ladders 122
18 Helping Others 123
19 Good Habits 124
20 The Leader 125
1 Statues 130
2 Move in Rhythm 131
3 How Would You Feel? 132
4 Follow the Sound 133
5 What am I Doing? 134
6 Fast and Slow 135
7 Through the Maze 136
8 Fun with Crayons 137
9 Murals 138
10 Card Embroidery 139
11 Colour and Wax Resist 140
12 Wet Chalk Drawing 141
13 Collage 142
14 Hands and Legs 143
15 Painting With a Difference 144
16 Printing 145
17 Paper Folding (Origami) 146
18 Paper Flowers 147
19 Common Objects 148
20 Story with a Difference 149
1 Bank 154
2 Clapping Numbers 155
3 Counting Race 156
4 Act the Number 157
5 Sum Race 158
6 Track Race 159
7 Sum Race 160
8 Read a Calendar 161
9 Measurement 162
10 Posting Shapes 163
11 Posting Letters 164
12 Who is Wrong? 165
13 Help Me 166
14 Picture Word Matching 167
15 Classroom News 168
16 Read and Act 169
17 Flannel Board Shapes 170
18 Crosses 171
19 Draw on the Road 172
20 One to One 173
1 Organising Space 174
2 Organising Equipment and Materials 175
3 Organising Time 182
4 Organising Activities 186
1 Assessing the Programme 192
2 Assessing Children 192
1 Masks 197
2 Paper Folding 202
3 Puppets 207
4 Boards, Cards, Dice and Dominoes 212

Sample Pages

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