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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Catherine Baer Coleman, M.S.(George Washington University)
Description: This third edition of this book is updated to include newer toys and their uses in facilitating effective play techniques. It is mainly designed for parents/caregivers as they are the child's first teachers, according to the author. However, the book has been widely used by speech-language pathologists, early interventionists, special educators and students in any of those fields.
Purpose: The purpose is to educate parents on the variety of functional useful toys and how each can stimulate language in many ways. This edition includes new toys and has expanded the technology chapters to meet the changes and growth in the use of technology to further language development. The book clearly meets its objectives as did the first and second editions. It is a long-standing reference for families and practitioners.
Audience: The book is written mainly for families as a way to understand the framework of language development and how play is the best early stimulating experience for children with and without communicative handicaps. The book is also a superb reference tool for graduate students who are just beginning to understand and implement the fine art of structured play therapy.
Features: The three parts cover language development, recommended toys and their use, and how toys can be used for learning. This will assist parents in making wise toy purchases or in using current toys in varied ways. The book is clearly written for parents with colorful pictures and language dialogue to aid the parents' interactions with their child. The seven appendixes, which include a materials list and toy manufacturers, are a helpful addition for parents and practitioners. The toy sections are clearly delineated and easy to read.
Assessment: The book is different than other materials which are generally geared toward the practitioners in the field. It is useful that this book is written mainly for parents and is a nice tool to offer to parents to aid the therapeutic process and relationship. Parents can not only observe the practitioner implementing play therapy but can have an informative book to further educate themselves on language development and intervention techniques.