Building Character from the Start: 201 Activities to foster creativity, literacy, and play in K-3 by Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor is full of ideas for sparking meaningful conversations between children and adults. It seeks to engage children holistically, by letting them create, read, and play.
The first part of the book (the section that concentrates on "creating") is a set of "finish the picture" type worksheets with suggestions for discussion based on the pictures.
Next, the authors describe favorite picture books and give ideas for activities and conversations connected to each. (I tried one of the fun book activities, and wrote about it here)
Unit three, "Play and Move" is my favorite part of the book. Lots of fun and creative group activities and games here! Not only is there great variety, but the activities seem like they've been tried in real life and are well thought-out.
Many of the activities in sections one and three are tied to the picture books discussed in the middle of the book, making it easy for a teacher to easily create a book themed, multi-faceted day of character-building.
This book has useful ideas for parents, but would be especially helpful for teachers, daycare workers, and afterschool programs.
Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor have generously provided a copy of this book (with a companion CD full of hand-outs) for a giveaway. For a chance to win it, just leave a comment in the section below, making sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!
For additional chances to win:
1. Visit Ragsdale and Saylor's blog Great Group Games, and leave a comment for them. When you have left a comment on their blog, come back here and leave an additional comment on this post saying that you have done so.
2. Subscribe to the RSS feed here and leave an extra comment to that effect (if you already subscribe, leave a comment with that fact)
3. Become a friend of Having Fun at Home with Google friend connect and leave an extra comment to that effect.
The giveaway will end at midnight on November 2nd.