Playful Learning: An Interview (& Giveaway) with Mariah Bruehl

This giveaway has ended. Thanks for entering!

Mariah Bruehl is an educator at heart. After receiving her master’s degree in elementary education from Bank Street College, she taught at the Dalton School in New York. She then worked as the associate director of the Ross Lower School in Bridgehampton, New York.

After years of working in the field of education, Mariah created the award-winning website Playful Learning, which helps parents support their children’s learning and development.

Mariah’s first book was recently published, and it is packed full of ideas to integrate learning in natural ways for children ages 4-8. I recently had the chance to ask Mariah a few questions about her book, her educational philosophy, and her upcoming e-course. Check out the end of the post to see how you can win!

An Interview with Mariah Bruehl

1. How did becoming a parent change your views about teaching and learning?

“First and foremost, my children have shown me that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to educating children. Every child has his or her own learning style that needs to be taken into consideration.

“My daughters have completely different ways of approaching new information and experiences. My oldest needs to understand the larger picture or gestalt before she is ready to learn about the specifics of any given topic. My youngest daughter needs to understand the details and how they all fit together before she can see the big picture. These differences have big implications for how they learn to read, solve math problems, approach science, and so on. The same is true for parenting.

I strongly believe that there is not only one right way to raise children. Different children need to be approached in different ways when it comes to motivation, discipline, and learning how to find their place in the world.”

2. What learning experience from your book has had the most profound impact on your family?

“That is a really hard question! Each activity in the book holds such fond memories for us. If I have to choose one experience that has had the most profound impact on us, it would be the lesson on Put-Ups and Put-Downs. I feel strongly that if every parent and child were introduced to this concept the world would be a better place!

The idea is simple—put-ups are things that people can do or say that make you feel good and put-downs are things that people can do or say that make you feel bad. Yet, by identifying them and giving children simple vocabulary to use to talk about situations as they arise, they become very aware of their actions and the actions of others.

“Having an understanding of these simple terms has helped us to better communicate as a family and to discuss and work through a variety of social situations that have come up for our daughters over the years.”

3. Now that your children are a bit older, what do you think they have gained from engaging in these types of experiences with you?

“My daughters are now seven and eight years old. I feel that engaging in playful learning experiences with them over the years has helped them to develop lifelong habits of heart and mind. Although learning facts and developing specific skills are very important, a positive disposition towards learning and the desire to take on intellectual and creative challenges are characteristics that will serve children throughout their lives.

“The work I do with my girls and all of the students in my courses focuses on developing passion and teaching children how to effectively express themselves and their understanding of the world. Children’s voices can be very powerful and as adults we can learn a lot from them when we take the time to listen.”

4. Can you tell us about your upcoming e-course for children, Through the Lens: Explorations in Photo Journaling?

“After launching my e-course on Playful Learning Spaces, I became very excited about the potential of online learning. I loved the sense of community that was created by the participants.

“Through everyone sharing and discussing their work, we created an amazing collection of ideas and inspiration. It was a wonderful example of how a collective can became so much more powerful than any one individual.

“While Playful Learning Spaces is geared toward parents and teachers, I received many requests to create online workshops for children. My first offering is Through the Lens: Explorations in Photo Journaling.

“I feel that engaging in interactive classes online is a great way for children to channel their natural attraction to technology in a positive direction. The goal for Through the Lens is to nurture positive self-expression through photography, writing, and art—to discover and develop a strong sense of voice.

“This course will be dynamic and offer many ways for the participants to showcase their work and interact with one other in a safe and protected environment. It is also a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers to join in on the process and to connect with their children or students in new and exciting ways.”


Mariah is generously offering one Simple Homeschool reader a copy of her book as well as a space in her upcoming e-course!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, answering this question: What have your kids done recently that looks like play, but doubles as learning?

If you’re reading this in an email, you must come over to the blog to comment.

If you’d like two additional ways to enter the giveaway, here’s how:

Additional Entries

1. Mention this giveaway on Twitter, including @simpleschool, @playfullearning, and the URL of this post — . Then come back and leave an additional comment here, telling me about your tweet.

2. ‘Like’ Playful Learning on Facebook. Then come back here again and leave a comment, telling me you did so.

This giveaway has ended. Thanks for entering!

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She serves as editor of Simple Homeschool, and blogs about mindful parenting at Steady Mom. Jamie is also the author of two books: Steady Days and Mindset for Moms.


  1. Climbed the tree, hauled up books and pencils with a basket on a pulley and did homework up there.

    Did math at picnic table using fall leaves and pebbles as manipulatives.

    Went to YMCA for home school PE class.

    Drew pictures of wolves with colored and black pencils.

  2. Great post. Just today our family went apple picking at a nearby farm. We made our way through a handful of picture books this week – those suiting both the eight year-old and our two year-old. With much anticipation we headed to the farm and harvested over 30 pounds!

    This week’s fun will involve trying out lots of apple recipes, doing a water color rendering of a Granny Smith apple and gifting those around us with decorated bags full of apples. Tucked within this is science, math, language arts and more.

    Thanks for the opportunity. I also “liked” Playful Learning on Facebook.

  3. Making noodle necklaces!

  4. My son loves to play with magnetic letters. He talks all about the sounds and words they make while moving them around!

  5. I’ve looked at Playful Learning several times, waiting for my budget to allow buying it. Winning it, plus the e-course, would be amazing!!

  6. Q: What have your kids done recently that looks like play, but doubles as learning?

    A: Today my daughter did an outdoor scavenger hunt (by color). She had an absolute blast finding and figuring out what each natural item was, what color it best represented, and where it went in our little painted egg-carton container. She had fun and learned how colorful nature really is :)

    Great post and giveaway! I’m also checking out the info for ‘Playful Learning Space’s right now, which is something I’ve been trying to figure out here at home. Oh, and I’m definitely FB-ing and re-tweeting this!!!
    Elisabeth@Manic Mrs. Stone’s latest post: BIRTHDAY PROJECT // KITCHEN RE-STYLE

  7. Gee, play that doubles as work, happens all the time. I was thinking about this today as I watched my children incorporate a recent spelling lesson into their play. We have just laid out alphabet squares (rubber mat style) and the children were making a game jumping to letters making up words. All on their own, naturally playing, I overheard dd7 say, “Every syllable has to have a vowel.” I really love hearing them take it on and incorporate naturally.
    Erin’s latest post: Treasured Moments 30)

  8. My kids love music – yesterday they hauled an entire drum kit out to the front yard and taught a four-year-old friend about rhythm – to the delight of the neighborhood.

  9. Being outdoors all afternoon was a play/learning session (without them knowing ;-)) – discovering the wonders of nature – counting, asking questions about insects and plants, trees, birds…on and on. Discussing nutrition as they were indulged with an ice cream treat. :)

    Fabulous interview!


  10. Nature hike through the woods

  11. My 3 year old loves to count everything. She will make a line of blocks and count them all, counts everything in books. It is really cute.
    Heather’s latest post: fruit scrap vinegar

  12. I like playful learning on facebook :-)
    Heather’s latest post: fruit scrap vinegar

  13. The other night my 7-year old was struggling to understand the concepts of addition and subtraction, so my husband grabbed a bag of mini m & m’s and they had a lot of fun learning (and eating) their sums!

  14. we made zuggats wil legos for hours and made little men to fight as if at Jericho. It was pretty fun and we talked about history.

  15. liked on facebook

  16. We went for a Leukemia/Lymphoma walk this weekend. My kids learned compassion, action, purpose, and I’m sure a whole lot more. Sometimes I forget those life lessons in our “learning.”,
    Nora Bucy’s latest post: Susie (Nora) Homemaker

  17. We made some snacks for playgroup! The kids had to figure out how much we needed based on how many friends were coming, then follow the recipes (and taste test).

  18. My three children, all 5 and under, daily take walks and look for “clues” such as acorns, big black walnut balls and helicopter seeds on the sidewalk and then try to identify the trees they fall from. A very easy, no prep, kind of educational activity and they love it.

  19. This week we have been planning a redo of our yard and garden area’s. My husband made a picture of our house and yard on paper so that we could draw our designs and ideas. The kids of course had to help with their own ideas, they made some great drawings and plans for our garden and fun doing it too!

    Great Giveaway!

  20. Hm, that’s hard, I think about that often when I watch them play. My son and daughter have a long quiet time/nap time in the afternoon, and although my son doesn’t nap anymore, his imagination has blossomed from this time by himself. He has creatively made up so many ‘gadgets’ and interesting inventions. We had read a book about a hot air balloon, and when I came up to help him clean up, he had made the ‘basket’ of the balloon, tied it to a pulley system (the blind cords in the room) and it worked! It was awesome.
    Sarah M
    Sarah M’s latest post: {This Moment}

  21. I also already follow playful learning on facebook!
    Sarah M
    Sarah M’s latest post: {This Moment}

  22. This book looks amazing! I grew up in Southampton, right near Bridgehampton where the Ross school is….small world! I’d love to explore your e-course too!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts:)
    Kristen S’s latest post: Menu Plan Monday- Week of October 17, 2011

  23. I’m already part of your Facebook page:)

  24. My boys learn all the time! They love, love, love nature. They play in the yard – digging up worms and grubs, finding salamanders and frogs, building habitats and looking into the variety of nature books we have for what they’ve found. They don’t realize they’re researching and building upon those skills they’ll use forever. They’re learning about biology, anatomy & physiology and earth science and it’s not “learning” or “teaching” to them. It’s fun, it’s play and they love it!
    erica’s latest post: Halloween 2011…

  25. My daughter is five and loves to make her own books. She creates imaginary animals, draws them, names them and comes up with a background story for each. She numbers each page and then creates an index and cover for each book. She is very organized.
    Lisa’s latest post: With the Right Kind of Help Dreams Can Come True

  26. Collecting coins and learning their value and the presidents before we put them in our piggy banks.
    Melissa’s latest post: The more I think about unschooling…

  27. We talked about why the leaves were changing color. Then headed out for walk in the forest preserve with (retired science teacher) papa. He talked about galls and how the forest composts itself. We even saw some snakes ! What a great day to be together and squeeze some learning in when they didn’t even realize it was learning.

  28. they helped me cook a meal in the kitchen, with measuring out the ingredients, etc.

  29. Shannon C says:

    I would love to win! We recently took out everything magnetic in our house(toys, science kit magnets, magnetic words, etc.) and had a fun time creating things out of them.

  30. I was cleaning up one of my binders and found an old activity I had printed out for “school time” that was matching colors in a set of paper inchworms. She took all the cutouts right away and began playing. It was great to see her so excited.

    Another great source of play/work for her is dressing up. She really learns a great deal this way! I am always amazed at how readily she explores the world by stepping into roles. When we go to the doctor, she comes home and plays doctor, repeating some actions exactly as she saw them. She is a Mommy, a dancer, a Princess, a salesclerk… It’s super fun!

  31. I liked on fb
    Ledys’s latest post: Junebug Dress from Craftiness Is Not Optional

  32. Everytime we play outside, we learn. Bugs, birds, leaves, cloud formations, it would be more of a challenge not to learn! Whenever we go outside, we are also learning how important our environment is to us and to the living things with whom we share it. I hope for them to learn the life-long lesson of the importance of natural spaces.
    Jessica Zappia’s latest post: Waiting…

  33. I already like “Playful Learning” on Facebook!!!
    Jessica Zappia’s latest post: Waiting…

  34. The boys recently, in our unit study, had to come up with safe packaging for eggs. They got to throw these packages at a tree in our backyard to see if the egg inside would break. So funny and so great for my little creators.

  35. This month we have went to a Rennaissance Fest and we are doing a study on middle ages. My son borrowed some goats and entered them in the fair. He was able to take care of the goats and the horses and cows. We have been to the apple orchard to take a tour of grafting of the trees for next season, apple picking, storing, sorting, cooking. The importance of bees to the process and how bees work and produce honey. We have also taken a tour of a pumpkn farm. We went to an old plantation farm to see what life was like in the 1800’s- medicines, tools, cooking, clothing, etc. We went to a reenactment to watch different war eras reenacted.

  36. My girls were outside making a giant mess with acorns, leaves, dirt, old plates and spoons. The patio was covered, the table looked disgusting and there they were smiling and laughing as they made “acorn soup” and “dirt hamburgers.” Fun!!

  37. Nature walks…my kids think they’re all play, but I know we’re learning while we identify leaves, wild flowers, animal tracks, and take in the beautiful fall surroundings!

  38. House cleaning around our place ALWAYS looks more like play than learning!!!

  39. Ana mansilla says:

    Hi, I’m a homeschool mom so any idea of how to improve my kids learning is wellcome. Last time we were playing &learning… my oldest doesn’t like math but enjoy modeling, we made playdough for a birthday gift soy mesuring and dividing, adjusting colors and wraping gave us the perfect ocation to practice adding and substracting without a fuss. It was fun seeing him resolvió math problems.

    I will retweet this whith @herbochap and follow PL

    Great post great giveaway!!!!!!!

  40. Since bringing my oldest son home from public school, it seems there is nothing but creative play going on. Right now, they are pulling apart some styrofoam swords they got at a birthday party and making rockets from them. It was totally the oldest boy’s idea; I have no idea what made him think of it. Love!

  41. My children’s birthdays are at the end of the month so we have been making a lot of decorations. It has been so eye opening to see the amount of math they are learning by helping me measure for banners or count out the number of favors we need (or still need). My daughter has also been into swing building and has been looking into knots so she can tie together to best rope swing.

  42. My daughter has dyspraxia and needs a lot of OT exercises throughout the day. I used to take a very rigid approach to this, but now that I understand it a bit better, I just look for opportunities for this kind of play.
    When my husband moved our rope swing to a new tree, it didn’t quite fit. Instead of fixing it, we left it. Now my girls have found all kinds of unique ways to ride the swing and I frequently see my daughter spinning, swinging upside down or on one foot, etc. So good for her motor development!

  43. I liked Playful Learning on Facebook!
    Natalie’s latest post: Unschooling Rules

  44. Stefani M. says:

    Being a homeschooler, my kids learn and play at the same time frequently. My three-year-old is starting to get the idea of reading, and has fun asking me what certain words are, then (pretending?) to sound them out himself. His favorite, is when he’s perched on the counter near the microwave… he’ll point to it’s brand every time now and slowly say “Magic Chef.” I know he’s not really sounding it out, but it’s fun for him, and eventually, it will click. :)

  45. Stefani M. says:

    And now I like them on facebook. Thanks for a chance to win her book. Sounds great!

  46. I think the most satisfying play incorporates some kind of learning so I try to encourage it as much as possible. My girls love to play “house” and currently they have decided their “family” needs a new quilt, so they are going to make one with a little help. The math and geometry involved in piecing a quilt has been so much fun!
    Thank you for a great giveaway.
    Debra’s latest post: Li'l Lovey – Waldorf Blanket Baby

  47. I am a new fan of Playful Learning on Facebook… thank you for sharing this wonderful resource.
    Debra’s latest post: Li'l Lovey – Waldorf Blanket Baby

  48. Drawing pictures and writing stories. It’s a great way for my daughters to process anything new that we have read or talked about.
    Marci’s latest post: Happy 4th Birthday Luca

  49. I tweeted! You can find me at ATHDolls.

    Thank you for a truly wonderful giveaway. Even if I don’t win, I know just being aware of the wonderful resources will be enriching.
    Debra’s latest post: I’m Back!!

  50. My son is drawing cartoons lately, but that is helping his handwriting and spelling! He is reading a lot about cartoonists too, which brings up a lot of history questions. So much of what we do here kind of qualifies as work and play – for me too!

  51. Liked Playful Learning on FB!

  52. This past weekend, my husband and I took my 19 month old to the Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens. We spent a great deal of time making a cape out of old T-shirts and fabric scraps and while doing so, talked a lot about colors, textures, and shapes. It inspired me to always have bits of fabric, ribbon and other scraps of material on hand – a great tool kit for creativity on a rainy day.
    Angie (TheActorsWife)’s latest post: halloween harvest festival

  53. Liked Playful Learning on Facebook

  54. My twins love to play with Legos. They love to build cities and towns. They also love to use Lego people and Polly Pockets to represent the people who live in the towns and cities.

    What a great giveaway! Thanks!

  55. My kids have recently gotten interested in Monopoly…fun for them, and they take turns being the banker and working on their math! :)

  56. fabulous. i’d love to read this book! and ou eldest, soon to be 5, is getting a kids camera for her bday to do orecisely this – the course would be wonderful.

    she spends a good part of her day building structures with thin maple blocks – it looks like play but is so much more.

    thanks for the chance!

  57. Cooking together is a lot of fun, but we also cover chemistry, fractions, and safety. Thanks for the great resources :)

  58. Sara Gallaugher says:

    We have been having a great time watching the clouds. I’m always amazed how much my children want to know about the world around them. I know that I was that way but to see it though my child’s eyes are a gift.

  59. We’ve been using lego minifigures and action figures to learn math lately, my son loves it and it really keeps his attention. So, he’s learning and playing at the same time!
    Gina M.’s latest post: See You Later…

  60. I like Playful Learning on FB!
    Gina M.’s latest post: See You Later…

  61. My daughter has struggled with school very much lately. Recently diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, she is very resistant to school because of the challenges that go with it. I would really love to read you book. She is full of amazing art, and creativity, but hates sitting down for school time….this may be very helpful to me!!

    I did buy her a counting M&M book, and my husband buys her the candy often, so she enjoys “playing out the pages”
    Amber’s latest post: The Loneliness of a Child

  62. Lindsay Sledge says:

    We were inspired by the handmade books in Playful Learning so we are making a book each for the grandparents for Christmas.

  63. I have liked Playful Learning on facebook!
    Amber’s latest post: The Loneliness of a Child

  64. Spent the whole day outside yesterday . . . built, dug, played on the slide, ran with the dog, picked up leaves . . . it was a good day!
    Roxy Schow’s latest post: the pooch

  65. Their spatial skills got a really good work out making forts in their bedrooms. Learning how heavy fabrics need weighing down and how to fasten everything so that your youngest brother doesn’t destroy it on touch. However if he does it does give you a chance to adapt and make something better.
    Melitsa’s latest post: 71. Playing with food with MealMakeoverMoms

  66. We’re new to homeschooling but since my children were born we’ve been learning through play (what child doesn’t?!). I feel that my creativity always needs a boost so Playful Learning the book and hopefully winning also the e-course would help me immensely.

    What comes to mind about our learning through play is that recently we (my 7 year old) and I started playing the card game War and learning math at the same time. He also helped his older cousin with making a wallet with duct tape as we’re learning about money and a fun new thing to hold his money helped him learn about measurements.

    I’ve liked Playful Learning on FB; I’m excited to have learned about this site. Simple Homeschooling comes through for me every time!

  67. Both of our boys have learned so much this fall while playing t-ball and baseball – following directions, learning to throw and catch, learning to hit, how to be a good teammate for our 5 year old. This is our 8 year old’s first season to pitch which has given him the opportunity to learn to control his emotions on the field as well as learning some physics and spatial reasoning as he works on pitching. But most of all, we’re all having fun with baseball!

  68. My kids love to play games – Skipbo, Phase 10, Uno, Silly Sentences, Set, the Dr. Noggins games. These are great learning opportunities which they just think of as play.

  69. My 2 year old son loves to “pretend” he is reading. I love that he is learning to love books and learning about words and concepts, memorizing things about the world at the same time!

  70. Pretty much everything we do. Making pancakes, puzzles, carving pumpkins–learning, loving, growing. My kids are so amazing!

  71. My tweet: Reading an interesting post about playful learning @simpleschool, by @playfullearning,

  72. We have been working on the Solar system for this past month. My kids look forward to it everyday and have a great grasp on all the information. I know that they are learning, but all they know is that it’s fun and they like it. I love it when that happens!!

  73. I liked playful learning on fb.

  74. Liked on facebook. Thanks for this great giveaway.

  75. My son, who loves birds, decided to try to get them to eat from his hand. He has been spending time sitting outside like a statue with bird seed in his hand so the birds get used to his presence.

    Our “normal” homeschoool activities come to a screeching halt if one of the kids sees a new bird outside.

    My youngest took all the wooden pieces from one of our games and spent a long time lining them up and creating different patterns.

  76. My five year old likes to sit and look at books (usually when he is supposed to be cleaning them up, lol) and I just assumed that he is just looking at the pictures. (Side note: I taught him reading lessons from “100 easy lessons” a year ago for about 2 months but stopped when I was being met with attitude and tears. I decided we would try again in a year or 2) But last night when I told the kids that I couldn’t read them bedtime stories he says “I will” and read an entire (level 2 reader) story to me and his younger brother and sisters!!! Aparently he has not just been looking at the pictures, he has been reading to himself!!!!
    Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds’s latest post: Routines

  77. I liked playful learning.
    Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds’s latest post: Routines

  78. Used the elastic cording that was holding their new pair of shoes together to make bracelets, zipper pulls, and then practiced their knot tying skills.

  79. we do a lot of play that doubles as learning! gardening, cooking, board games, story-telling (narration)…..i’d love to learn more ways of incorporating learning into our play, or play into our learning. 😉 thank you!!
    annie’s latest post: Past My Bedtime Daybook

  80. liked on facebook! :)
    annie’s latest post: Past My Bedtime Daybook

  81. My baby is 17 months old so I think everything she does is learning. Some specifics from the past few days: pouring water in and out of her nesting containers, examining the parts of her doll stroller to see how it worked, watching friends play with a mummy at a Halloween party and realizing how to turn it on, playing with balls in a ball pit my friend has for her child, repeating words after us and singing funny songs with us, dancing to music, so much more!

  82. In the spring, my 3 children each got a 1 day old Nubian goat to bottle raise. They learned all about raising the animals by feeding and caring for them, but they thought they were the luckiest kids in the world to have such playful little pets! It was true learning through play, and nothing could replace the experience in their lives. They are excited for their Nubians to have babies in the spring!

  83. heidi sink says:

    My boys are always doing stuff that allows opportunity. Today they are taking care of their “animals” in a way that is preparing them for our new baby!

    One of their chores is washing the eggs that they gather and they love to count them as they put them in the cartons.

  84. Nikiya McDonald says:

    My children and I recently constructed a felt play mat. We had so much fun plotting the landscape and planning the garden and it has continued to provide hours of educational fun with all of out farm toys. :)

  85. Nikiya McDonald says:

    Happy to like on facebook!

  86. Baking pumpkin muffins! Math, reading, and nutrition.

  87. My children love to listen to music and dance. I have been intentional about telling them who the composer of is of the different songs they enjoy. Now, when a song comes on, they will sometimes call out the name of the composer! Also, I will often put on songs that teach Bible verses and they have learned many verses just by singing them.

  88. Liked playful learning’s facebook page

  89. great interview. the books sounds wonderful. just being outside usually results in playful learning here. recently we were sorting and practicing arithmetic with small stones in the garden.

  90. recently we were making playdough so the kids got to measure, mix, see how the color changes the dough and then play!~

  91. like on FB :)

  92. This is my first year of educating my children at home and I am designing my own curriculum for the most part. We have been doing a map study and as one of the activities my children designed a neighborhood together, using graph paper for the layout. They then used our tiled floor recreate their neighborhood on a larger scale, creating all the buildings out of recycled materials. They had a blast and played with it for days!

    I would love to add Mariah’s e-course to our educational repertoire! Thanks for the opportunity!

  93. I already “like” Playful Learning on Facebook 😉 Thanks!

  94. My kiddos have recently been using their diverse groups of Little People to set up cultural festivals and also work with ways on how people can get along. It’s been fun to watch and listen to.

  95. I have Maria’s book and really love it, I’m sure the course is equally wonderful.

    My boys spent the morning ‘checking on’ our free range chickens, making sure they didn’t go into the thorny bushes, finding out how to hold them so they don’t get upset, discovering the velocity an annoyed chicken can achieve! Farm work, fun and science rolled into one!
    Emmalina’s latest post: Carpets

  96. My three-year-old has some difficulty with sensory integration, and we’ve been playing with a variety of sensory experiences and talking about them while we play. He doesn’t know that he’s really learning how to classify and integrate what he’s experiencing, but I do, and am seeing the difference it makes in the way we talk about other sensations.

  97. I think that playing is essential to learning! My three year old plays mommy often and is learning about mothering and care-taking of little ones through this process. A more “school-like” example is playing with her Mighty Minds shapes, using the pieces to build shapes and she loves this “game”!

    I would love to read this book!

  98. I like Playful Learning on FB!
    Pamela’s latest post: saying goodbye

  99. I liked Playful Learning on Facebook. Thanks for the chance to win!!

  100. we were drawing pictures using shapes, and we made shapes out of playdough.

  101. a fan of Playful learning on FB

  102. Already like Playful Learning on FB but will tweet this. If I win the book (which I bought just last week at my son’s school book fair), I will donate the book to his school’s parents’ library. I’d love to win the E-Course!

  103. play dough :-)

  104. liked

  105. My kids love the rhyming game. We just make up rhymes while doing . . . anything. We get really silly but the kids are learning phonemic (sp?) awareness without a boring textbook. nook, cook, look :)
    Sabrina’s latest post: The Cold Blues

  106. We went through a corn maze and my four year old was one of the leaders. It was fun watching him make decisions on which way to go. Interacting with us and listening to directions. ,Working together as a team, we made it through the maze in record time.

  107. It’s amazing how much games, like Cribbage or Bananagrams, can teach as well as be playful at the same time. We’ve also gotten out the Magnetix recently and both kids were reminded about how magnets have north and south poles.

  108. We love playing any kind of board game and recently were playing the “Silly Sentence Game”….the little ones learn colors and sight words while my oldest (6) is learning parts of speech.

  109. I{ve had this book on my wish list for awhile. Using magnet letters on the fridge for spelling.

  110. Raking leaves and comosting! They love throwing, smashing old food in with grass clippings and leaves. Digging and turning it over, finding that the worms we find now are big and fat! When we started we could barely find the worms! Corn cobs are still there but we can’t find many tomatoes! Same with whole small potatoes and carrots versus the peelings! They love to compost!!

  111. Would love to win this!

  112. We’ve been making all sorts of fun physics related toys. How fun!

  113. This book for would be perfect for our family! I’m homeschooling my kids (5.5 and 4) and I’m trying to break free from the public-school, sit down at a desk and do worksheets, mentality. I think I’m learning more than my kids are! :) I’m really trying to incorporate “learning through play” into our lives. We’re raising chickens, going on nature walks, playing rhymming games, singing silly learning songs, etc.

  114. Liked on FB, also shared on Home Education & Friendship a little FB group I started as well… This looks a wonderful resource !! I homeschool and have the blessing and challenge of a couple of special learners… one being my yound son with Down Syndrome. Thank you for sharing this on your blog !!

  115. My daughter loves to make books. She doesn’t think it’s “school” but she gets so much handwriting practice and she always asks me how to spell dozens of words.

    I’ve heard wonderful things about this book and would be delighted to win a copy!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy’s latest post: How Women Are Losing in the Marriage Market

  116. What a great looking book. I’ve never come across it before & now I’m going to go “like” it on FB:)

  117. My daughter is a huge fan of the water & anything out doors. We’ve recently moved to WA & we’ve been visiting the beaches. On a weekend trip with my husband we decided to fill a bucket with water & some rocks. She loved playing & watching the barnacles fan out & “fish”. All the while we were talking about them eating she was enjoying the fans. They’re so inquisitive at this age (3). Thanks for this great giveaway!

  118. I have “liked” Playful Learning on FB & look forward to learning more about them!

  119. nature walks

  120. Tweeted about the giveaway here:!/zibbity/status/128557598034231296 & now following you both!

  121. Karen Johnson says:

    My son, Nicky, loves to find and read books in fantasy series. Of course, he’s learning while he’s reading.

  122. Games and lapbooks most definitely provide so much learning through fun methods.
    Wendy’s latest post: A Prayer From His Helpmate

  123. Liked Playful Learning on Facebook.
    Wendy’s latest post: A Prayer From His Helpmate

  124. My daughter caught a lady bug, built a car for it out of Knex and then reserched online what lady bugs ate. She learned to transfer an idea in her head to an actual object by creating the car and she learned about insects by researching what lady bugs eat.

  125. play-dough, cooking, talking on the phone (calling too!),…

  126. Libby Hunt says:

    My 2 year old and I like to bake together. Great for counting and following directions.

  127. a fan of Playful learning on FB, would love to win the book!

  128. Playing with spy gear-and learning geography and social studies at the same time (about the cities/countries spies go to).

  129. Libby Hunt says:
  130. Libby Hunt says:

    Playful Learning FB fan: libby bloom hunt

  131. I bought the game 1-2-3 Farmyard & Great States Junior…my girlies BEG me to play them every day! :) Fun & educational–just like it should be!
    Brookiej’s latest post: all i have to say is…

  132. Alison Minor says:

    this is so inspiring! i can’t wait to delve in and read more about the playful learning approach.

  133. Alison Minor says:

    I like Playful learning on Facebook

  134. Our “day off” from school which included a lovely, autumn nature walk! I’ve been itching to get my hands on this book!

  135. I LIKE Playful Learning on FB. :)

  136. Hmmmm…. let’s see. We do lots of play/learning everyday, but one that comes to mind is: playing with buttons. This is a favorite and they are able to sort into muffin tins by size, shape, and color.

  137. Also, I liked Playful Learning on Facebook!

  138. Tanya Wellburn says:

    Wonderful giveaway! Thanks for the chance! Our two youngest love to bake with me and we’ve learned lots of measuring/counting and direction following that way. And with the 6 yo new reader… lots of funny rhyming games. Thanks again!

  139. Tanya Wellburn says:

    I’m a fan of Playful learning on FB :)

  140. Definitely playing outside in the garden. They have enjoyed watching and learning the process planting a seed, watching it grow and harvesting the bounty.

  141. I like Playful Learning on Facebook.

  142. Discovering and then learning about plants, trees and insects while taking a walk or playing at the park.

  143. “Like” Playful Learning on FB.

  144. My 3 year old likes to play “tennis” with a balloon and kitchen utensils as rackets. I like to think of it as a lesson in physics. :)
    Charity Long’s latest post: Mundane Monday: October 17

  145. So glad to find Playful Learning on Facebook! I just “liked” it.
    Charity Long’s latest post: Mundane Monday: October 17

  146. well, i still have some paint on my hands from their last painting fun. we learned about seasons, apple trees through the seasons and what we could expect to see by them having fun with paint.

  147. “liked” them!
    angie’s latest post: art for congo.

  148. we had a ‘friday fun day’ last week that involved all things pumpkins. we got messy and dirty, counted and learned the life cycle and ended up covering so many “subjects” the kids had NO idea they were even learning.

    those are my favorite kind of school days.
    angie’s latest post: art for congo.

  149. I liked Playful Learning on Facebook

  150. My 2 year old daughter loves to do stickers which also doubles as learning when she has to name colors and match outfits onto the doll stickers

  151. cooking/baking, collecting leaves from different types of trees, growing & picking different types of flowers (including veggies!), watching the birds, squirrels and bugs in our backyard …

  152. Liked on facebook

    and we went apple picking and my son learned so much about that. Growing seasons, where apples come from and more. It was a fantastic experience.

  153. They play “board games” that have been remade with questions from their memory work. They love it!

  154. My toddler has been playing with homemade play dough and helping me make soup (she’s learning more than she knows!)

  155. I like Playful Learning on FB

  156. Liked Playful Learning on FB

  157. Creating puppets and putting on puppet shows.

  158. I would love to win this! We have started a “timeline” of the kids. They have loved cutting out pictures and putting them on posterboard to show what has happened in the years since they were born!

  159. My 4 and 7 year old daughters were disappointed to learn that we were out of temporary tattoos today. So, they decided to make their own. They got out several kinds of coloring utensils (permanent markers, washable markers, crayons, pens, and colored pencils) and several papers (lined, computer and even toilet!) and then tried to transfer the pictures they drew to their skin. They even tried soapy water when plain water didn’t work. Nobody got tattooed, but I really enjoyed sitting back and watching their minds work. :)
    Thank you so much for the chance to win! I am especially excited about the e-course. My 7 year old saved for 9 months last year to be able to buy her very own digital camera and I know she would be utterly thrilled to participate!

  160. I like Playful Learning on facebook. :)

  161. We make up silly rhyming songs and play counting games.

  162. I’m a fan on fb

  163. We collected flowers while playing outside, then looked up the names and descriptioms of what we’d found

  164. Legos help my oldest with his math!
    My littlest loves to mix vinegar and baking soda:)

  165. MichelleD says:

    Would love to win this book… I struggle with coming up with fun activities to learn the important facts. We do put facts to music and sing them… if that counts!! LOL!

  166. Rhyming phonetic words sends my three year old into a serious giggling attack!

  167. MichelleD says:

    I liked Playful Learning on FB!! :)

  168. Sara Headley says:

    Oh! I have been wanting to attend one of these courses for so long! I’m so thrilled to have this chance! Thank you!

  169. Making up her own math game using her abacus, notebook, pencil and of course her drawing of a penguin that was a key element to the game! I would love a chance to win this book and the ecourse. It find it intriguing!

  170. My kiddos like to play with Wedgits blocks- spatial skills and fun all in one!
    Kinda Crunchy Kate’s latest post: Menu Plan Monday – Calm Before the Storm

  171. Sara Cornell says:

    Today we walked on a nature trail and saw caterpillars, grasshoppers, fall leaves, etc.

  172. We just went to the pumpkin patch to pick our own pumpkins. My 3yr old was getting down and exploring the ground, everything about the pumpkin, and where it was growing. Later that night he was eating some grapes and dad asked where the grapes had come from (not knowing we had some in the fridge) and my son said “dad, grapes grow on a vine – thats where they came from. grapes grow on vines like pumkins do

  173. I liked playful learning on fb

  174. Picking up leaves and sticks on our walk around the block and then using them to create a restaurant.

  175. I just blogged about a fairy village we built was a really great opportunity to show my daughter how improvisation and creativity with the materials available can lead to magical things!

  176. My son is constantly constructing forts inside and out… the intricacy and design, innovative ways of putting materials together, and very specific purposes of many fort features always astound me… and, they’re all so different from one another. I love to see him in action.

  177. My 4 year old just learned matching by cutting up an old work book and putting the pieces back together…. oh yeah, she also learned how to use scissors in order to get this done!

  178. My daughter has been mixing paint colors and mixing paint colors and mixing paint colors. All of her paintings right now are big swirls of mixed colors!

  179. Oh my, I guess that would be most of what we do! We’ve been to the aquarium, natural history museum, toured a tall ship and have a bank tour tomorrow, all within one week! We often approach math through games, and our grammar is learned through a story. Learning IS fun, and it shouldn’t be presented any other way!
    Casey’s latest post: Museum Scavenger Hunt Book

  180. My kids went on a nature walk and I created a book with different leaves & nuts/seeds from certain seeds that they needed to find. So fun! Energizing! And, they learned a lot!

  181. I like Playful learning on fb :)

  182. Liked on Facebook

    Didn’t think so at first, but tag is an excellent 2 fold playing/learning experience! My 7 and 5 year old play with my 2 year old “letting” her catch them sometime and pretending that she is too fast for them to tag. While my 2 year old learns the concept of taking turns, feeling independent/leading, my older kids learn to be empathic and that it is okay to let your guard down a little so collectively, everyone has fun. :)

  183. My 12-yr-old son just got a Goodreads account. He thinks he’s playing, but he’s journaling, documenting, and writing about books. He’s also getting super excited about all there is to read out there.
    Karina Palmer’s latest post: Avery Finds Her Groove

  184. I liked Playful Learning on fb :-)
    Karina Palmer’s latest post: Avery Finds Her Groove

  185. Andrea Ginsberg says:

    My son has been making up songs. He is 4 and they are full of rhyming words. At 3 he had tons of hearing tests done because he did not talk very much, and now he won’t stop.

  186. looks like play….OMG! So many things. Visiting the Monterey Aquarium! Playing poker with the family! Talking about Legos with friends! And on and on :)

  187. My 12 and 10 year old both write their own plays and then gather costumes and props and video tape their performances with their cameras. When they are done they edit their films and then we watch them.

    They learn to write, rewrite, arrange themselves and props to look good on camera, learn how costums and props enhance a performance, art skills from making the props, and presentation skills for when they have to introduce their films to the family.

    We love this but I don’t love the amount of money we are spending on batteries :):)

  188. Michelle Baesler says:

    Thank you for the opportunity!!

  189. My children love to build with blocks. While it may look like play, they are talking with one another about shapes that go together or sizes with one block in comparison to another. They also work out balance and structure when building. They recently built a clipper ship from blocks, complete with white napkins for sails. It was started after we read aloud a book about a clipper ship (“All Sails Set”) to my daughter. My son has a really unique eye for pictures and loves to take photos.

  190. My 2year old and I kick around in nature, discovering seeds, leaves, colors, shapes, textures, and animals / birds. We have fun identifying different bird songs and try to imitate them.
    Erin’s latest post: Monday Nature Walks

  191. I “like” Playful Learning on Facebook!
    Erin’s latest post: Monday Nature Walks

  192. We baked a cake and learned about measurements and following directions.

  193. Oh goodness. Playdough animals, board games, playing store with fake money, making ‘robots’ we are constantly making robots in this house.
    Molly L’s latest post: some school this week

  194. This week: making applesauce, exploring Botanical gardens, Wild West party, listening to fun music, creating puppets, Tae Kwon Do, reading comics…

  195. mushroom hunting in forest – fun adventure, finding, treasure experience, with true identification along the way…

  196. liked on fb too

  197. We would love this! We like to draw pics for the stories we read.
    Also we live cookie together recently we made mini brownies and
    Put raspberry on them so the had to count each brownie to know
    How many raspberrys we needed! They loved it! Both making and
    Eating them!

  198. We played a game like Go Fish with sight words….they had fun!!! Also, baking is a wonderful tool with my sons!
    Martha Artyomenko’s latest post: A Dime a dozen by Mindy Starns Clark

  199. Laura Strong says:

    My girls love to be outside and we use that to ask questions and find out answers about the world around them! :)

  200. Laura Strong says:

    I liked Playful Learning of FB, too! :)

  201. Playing with legos: art, sorting by size and color, organizing a plan or thought pattern, working cooperatively with siblings

  202. I also like Playful Learning on Facebook.

  203. Playing in the fall leaves!

  204. Legos and building blocks = lots of learning: colors, shapes, basic engineering, creative design, cause & effect

  205. Cooking in her play kitchen. I hear her repeating the kitchen lessons that I have been giving her to her “children”.

  206. Helping us out in the garden: learning about our little back garden ecosystem (worms to chickens), using different tools for different jobs, teamwork (who gets to use each tool at a given time), cleaning up (and turning off the hose when it gets dark and you come insdie)!

  207. Helping us out in the garden: learning about our little back garden ecosystem (worms to chickens), using different tools for different jobs, teamwork (who gets to use each tool at a given time), cleaning up (and turning off the hose when it gets dark and you come inside)!

  208. My 3 year old son is obsessed with puzzles right now which are huge learning tools. My five year old daughter loves pretend games and many of the scenarios we have been doing lately involve writing (filling out pretend hotel slips, sending mail) so she is practicing her letters while also having fun.

  209. I “liked” Playful Learning on facebook! (and I really do like it IRL!)

  210. Kristin Lambert says:

    Gardening, cooking, building, singing…drawing our forms in the air with ribbon sticks and drawing them with chalk on our driveway and walking them brings a lot of laughter and smiles too.

  211. I went with my 7 year old nephew to the Omnimax theatre to see Hubble!

  212. I am entering again, for liking Playful Learning on FB!

  213. I think all of their play is learning in disguise. Barbies are an exploration of social behavior, lego building is an exercise in spatial relations, drawing is fine motor practice and creativity. It’s all in how you look at it!

  214. I tweeted about the giveaway!

  215. I “liked” playful learning on facebook!
    Jenny’s latest post: Try, try again

  216. visiting our local art museum and aquarium……so much fun with sooo much learning

  217. I also like Playful Learning on facebook

  218. We picked up fall leaves to put under paper and colour and talked about what kinds of trees they came from.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  219. Christina D. says:

    Simple play with a pinwheel yesterday led to learning about what air,wind, currents are.

  220. Christina D. says:

    We are also friends on Facebook!

  221. We love to play “store.” We sort and stack. We practice interpersonal skills. We count some sort of tender. And we have lots of fun doing it!

  222. I liked it on Facebook! What a great facebook page!!

  223. Baking bread – kneading the dough, patience while it rises and then shaping it into new creations.

  224. Writing their Christmas lists! And hammering nails into pumpkins. Lots of physical learning going on there.

  225. Board games!! :)

  226. Mixing pain colors

  227. LEGOs are big in our house…as are building “secret hideouts” of various kinds (indoor and outdoor)…we also like to create fairy worlds out of various plants and seeds…my daughter has learned more flower names by studying her fairy book than by any science book! And then she seeks to find the flowers to try and find the fairies!!! :-)

  228. They love playing Greek Gods.

  229. We planted a garden!

  230. nopinkhere says:

    My 5yo son recently assembled his own observation kit and took it to the park with us to look for insects. He even wrote down which insects he saw in a little book.

  231. Baking, baking and more baking! I love the put-up, put-down concept. We’ll be adding that to our lessons this morning :)
    Jen’s latest post: a mother’s heart

  232. i “liked” playful learning on facebook.
    Jo’s latest post: Playful Learning!

  233. Hammering nails in to a pumpkin! So much fun and strengthening muscles needed as she learns how to write.

  234. My kids just got home from Home-School camp, organised by one of our fellow home-school moms. After chatting with them, I realised how much they have learned in the last 3 days about team-work, friendships, & responsibility, just to name a few. I think that all they think that happened on camp was endless hours of fun!

  235. Crafty Mama says:

    My son and I would take his letter magnets and arrange them on the fridge so they would make crazy “words” (e.g., gjkhdx). I would then sound out the “words” as he cracked up. Even if they weren’t real words, he noticed how I was sounding out the letters, and then started to do that with real words. :)

  236. Crafty Mama says:

    I Tweeted! (Win a copy of @playfullearning ‘s book (by the same name) at the @simpleschool blog!

  237. Crafty Mama says:

    I like Playful Learning on Facebook! 😀

  238. Building with our trains and blocks!
    Jessica’s latest post: Treasure!

  239. I liked on Facebook~
    Jessica’s latest post: Treasure!

  240. My kids love to read, and then act out the stories they’ve read. Even my younger kids understand the story lines of books they’ve never read, because they’ve acted them out with their older siblings.

  241. We “collected” gold for the King to practice counting for my little guy and multiplication for his big sister. That all ties into their love of Robin Hood right now… and learning about the middle ages. Fun.
    Dawn Suzette’s latest post: Sick Day Supplies

  242. Playing with a homemade submarine in the bath tub -filling it with water to make it go underwater then blowing water into it through a tube to bring it up again. my son loves playing with water and figuring out how it “works”.

  243. My daughter loves helping me cook. She measures, pours, stirs, etc. and she’s the best taste-tester!
    Sarah’s latest post: if you’ve got no money, honey

  244. Already like Playful Learning on Facebook! :)
    Sarah’s latest post: if you’ve got no money, honey

  245. Tweeted about the giveaway too!
    Thanks to @simpleschool & @playfullearning for the giveaway of the great book Playful Learning. Enter at —

  246. My daughter is drafting her christmas list. It has already gone through several revisions as she carefully considers what she wants.

  247. Faye E. Hunt says:

    Just last night I cut out a pumpkin shape out of orange felt, a stem out of green felt, and different shaped eyes, noses, and mouths out of black felt. This morning after breakfast I gave the felt pieces to my two year old son and told him he could make a jack o’ lantern face. Boy did he light up! Not only did he have fun making a creative face, but he was learning about shapes and spacial relationships and practicing his fine motor skills to boot on in good Halloween fun!

  248. Faye E. Hunt says:

    I just “liked” Playful Learning on FB. Thank you for this awesome giveaway!

  249. My children are married, but something my daughter in law does creates a learning situation for my grandson. And the end of the day she enumerates all the things they did in chronological order. Great bedtime AND learning technic.

  250. We have our own little garden and have just planted seeds of broccoli, lettuces, spinach, and cilantro. We have fun every morning going out to see our sprouts and see who is growing the most!
    We also do a LOT of crafts around here. My children have half of the laundry room to use as a Creative Craft Center-drawers of fun things and materials, paints, feathers, pom pom balls, fabric, sea shells, etc.
    Of course we have lots of role playing with dolls, action figures, Playmobile, Schleich and Papo figures, etc.

  251. I also liked PL on FB, too!

  252. Esther L. says:

    We made paper spiders as Halloween decorations. I used that craft to talk about spiders and also work on counting with my 2 year old. The kids just thought they were having fun!

  253. We’ve been deeply immersed in the era of the Revolutionary War. As we’ve been studying our Founding Fathers, we have been as deeply entrenched in the lives of the minutemen and militia that walked for endless miles without shoes, jackets, or gloves all in the name of “Freedom”. I will often catch my boys making complicated drawings depicting the Red Coats against “Us”. As I look at their art work, I realize how deeply they are trying to connect with the history that they are studying. Their drawings help them to understand the why’s and what for’s of it all.

  254. My two-year old daughter loves to play with blocks, but I think her favorite part is the clean-up. She sings the clean-up song, and as we toss the blocks back into the bag, we count them or we search for colors. She thinks it’s only a game, but she’s learning at the same time!

  255. What a coincidence…I just requested this book from the library!
    My girls just spent an entire afternoon turning our kitchen table into a giant board game complete with a giant dice and personalized game pieces.
    Learning should be personal and fun!!!

  256. I “liked” Playful Learning on FB:)

  257. Liked you on Facebook!!
    aubrey’s latest post: A Lovely Rescue

  258. Board games are a big thing around here. And helping to cook in the kitchen. My girls have lovely little aprons and they adore mixing and measuring and reading recipes at ages six, four, and three.
    aubrey’s latest post: Intervention Needed – Where I Plead for Your Help

  259. Facebook Fan

  260. I enjoy taking my children on hikes and watching them explore the plant and animal life.