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Originally Posted by UUMom
Another mention of Bev Bos-- she has a book called "You Can't Say You Can't Play". I think it's fine to say 'Everyone can play" but not all kids, esp sometimes 4 yr olds, are all about hearing that.
An aside - You Can't Say You Can't Play is by Vivian Gussin Paley. It is a really great book and has some unique reflections and strategies. Regarding "left-outs" (which can take on some unique cultural/sexist/racist baggage at this point, unfortunately), we also read Horace and Morris and Dolores books and a few other great picture books, which deals with the "left-outs" issue. At her school a few months ago a girl with two lesbian moms was being excluded from play, based on what the children had heard at home. My daughter has become the voice of "no left-outs" with her friends. We had an issue with it about a year ago, when a friend who does tend to be bossy and crabby was being excluded, with my daughter doing it too. We talked about how even if someone was "challenging" , we still needed to find ways to play with and work with them, what were some ideas? And now it's good. She's five, but we started around four.

Another book that was very touching for me and might address some of these issues: Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful: Preventing Exclusion in the Early Elementary Classrooms by Donna Bryant Goertz. It is talking about a Montessori classroom situation, but it was really amazing - older children who are peeing their pants, and how children were excluding them, and how that was addressed so that there was a supportive, nurturing environment.
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