Helping adults prepare children for kindergarten and life.

Productive Play Podcast

Welcome! Co-Creators Debi Dutton and Elissa Sungar host “Productive Play” a monthly podcast based on the If Not You, Who? website. “Productive Play” was created to enlighten adults on ways to effectively interact with young children in an educational and fun way.        * We are currently on hiatus from recording to grow other aspects if INYW?. Please enjoy the archives found here!

Latest Episode

Show #14: Fall Books & Activities

1. “A Tale of Two Beasts” by Fiona Roberton

When a little girl rescues a strange beast from the woods, she takes him home. But for some reason, the little beast is not happy! There are two sides to every story, and this funny and charming tale is no exception. Fiona Roberton offers both points of view in this discussion-starting tale of the importance of seeing the world in different ways

Extension Activity: 

Have children create their own story with two perspectives. Older children could write their story themselves, younger children could verbalize it to the adult. 

Ask child to think of a situation in his or her own life that presented a problematic encounter with a friend or adult. Encourage them to tell of the event (a situation on the playground, school, or home) that made them unhappy, mad, or embarrassed.  Try to let them see both sides of the event from each person’s perspective to help them learn empathy, understanding and problem solving.

2. “Secrets of the Apple Tree, Shine-A-Light Book” by Kane Miller

Explore a tree up close and you will find a small world filled with great surprises! From worms wriggling among the roots, to birds nesting high in the branches, the hidden wonders of this amazing habitat are revealed when the page is held up to a light.

 Extension Activity: 

1) Do your own apple picking at a near by apple orchard! Look and touch the tree – the leaves, bark, and fruit.

 2) Head to the grocery store and let your child pick out their own apple for a healthy snack. Talk to them about the different colors, textures and flavors. Have a taste test with a few different types of apples.  Finally, cut open the apple horizontally across the middle and you will see a star with the seeds. 

3. “1001 Things to Spot on the Farm” Usborne Books

This charming picture book shows scenes from farms around the world, and on every page, there are dozens of things to spot. The detailed pictures provide hours of looking and talking, and dedicated spotters will be unable to put the book down until they have found all the water buffaloes in the rice fields, the cocoa pods on the tropical farm, or eight lambs on the sheep farm. Counting sheep has never been so much fun!

 Extension Activity:

Bring the book with you in the car and have you child find what they “spot in the book” out the window! They will be amazed how many things from the book they find within their own world. 

Create your own Things to Spot page. Use a sheet of paper and crayons or markers and have your child create their own Things to Spot page or book! Suggest they draw their house, playroom, or favorite place to play like a park or zoo and place special things to spot in their picture.


Previous Episodes

Show #12: 3 Tips for Life Long Success

This week where we talked about three tips for preschoolers that will help prepare a child for kindergarten increase their chances of life long success. Sleep, Plan & Read- simple yet effective things for parents to encourage amongst their young children.

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Show #12: Summer Survival Bag

Listen in as we discuss what to put in your “Summer Survival Bag”! We offer ideas on how to fill your bag with simple materials that can make your families time in the car and those random moments of unexpected downtime educational and fun!

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Show #10: On-The-Go Activities

 Today we talked about “on the go” or spur the moment activities to do with your child. These don’t require set up or any preparation so they are awesome for your child or children when you are in the car, running errands, waiting at a soccer practice or in a restaurant.

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Show #9: Holiday Help

The holidays can be stressful with lots of companys and parties. Get some help and sneak in some education with these fun "holiday help" activities!

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Show #8: Gift Giving

Homemade gifts help teach children generosity, value of money and the feeling of value after hard work of making a gift

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Show #6: Nature

Study done in 2007, showed many benefits to the children that played outdoors including: less aggressive, more creative, better concentration and being more physically active. Listen is as we offer educational and fun nature activities that get your child moving and outdoors. 

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Show #5: Physical Activity

  • Currently 8.4% of 2-5 year olds are obese- almost 50% higher than in the 1970’s.
  • 1 hour of “structured” play and 1 hour of “free play” recommended daily
  • Limit screen time to 1-2 hours daily or only after physical activity

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Show #4: Cooking

  • Cooking is a fun way to teach math, science, language and collaboration skills
  • Focus on the 5 senses and letting child explore each while in the kitchen
  • Let the time in the kitchen be an educational and family bonding time- come up with a “tradition” like Waffle Wednesday!

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Show #3: Music

Research shows that kids who are actively involved in music (who play it or sing it regularly):

  • do better in reading and math when they start school
  • are better able to focus and control their bodies
  • play better with others and have higher self-esteem

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Show #2: Teaching the #2

A fun, hands- on activity that teaches the #2. This activity can be used to teach your child other numbers, letters, shapes and even math!

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Show #1: Colors

Listen to our very first Productive Play show where we an active game that also teaches colors as well as great books to check out at your library to encourage colors. 

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