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It's Time to Play Outside: 101 ways for your young child to enjoy independent fun under the sun Review by Karen YuenMiska L. Rynsburger
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
It's Time to Play Outside is written by a mother of young children, who provides readers with 101 ways to encourage kids to play outside independently. After hearing my kids say they didn't want to go outside to play, I couldn't wait to try some of Miska's ideas! First, her book helped change my attitude about outdoor play - does it really matter if the kids get wet, muddy, drippy, and dirty? It really isn't hard to hose them off or rinse them in the kitchen sink, which simply adds more adventure to the outing! I started keeping a stack of neatly folded bath towels by the back door, so I could encourage the kids to enjoy their time outside without worrying about how to quickly clean up any messes.
The book is broken into several sections: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, Projects for Anytime, A Prop + A Story = Play, Backyard Science Experiments, and Fun with Sidewalk Chalk. It would be nice if future editions included a Table of Contents and an Index. The ideas are wonderful! Our kids really loved Miska's idea about putting duct tape around their wrist and allowing them to comb the yard for items to "decorate" their bracelet with. Then we cut off their bracelets and displayed their creation on the refrigerator! Because Miska has a degree in Elementary Education, and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership, she also suggested that the kids be encouraged to decorate their bracelets using repeating math patterns like twig-leaf-leaf-twig. She takes fun creative ideas and helps guide parents into making them very educational also. This book is highly recommended for all families who want to enjoy nature and teach kids to play and learn outside!