BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s a question that’s divided education experts for years. What’s the best way to learn? One author says the best learning happens with parents.

As Gigi Barnett explains, her book shows parents how.

Book in hand, reading along in a classroom. It’s the traditional way to learn, but education experts say it’s not the only way.

“Play is learning and it’s how children learn,” said author Susan Magsamen.

To prove that, Magsamen wrote this book: “The Classic Treasury of Childhood Wonders.”

In it are games, arts and crafts– even recipes– all designed to help parents teach through play at home.

“We have something called invent a sandwich,” explained Magsamen. “You gotta eat, right? So, kids get to invent a sandwich, and as they’re doing that, they’re critical-thinking, they’re creating, they’re problem-solving.”

But Magsamen says many times, busy parents don’t know where to begin.

“This is a book that you can open up on any page and do instant activities without going to the store, without buying things,” she said.

Baltimore City school leaders call it purposeful play.

And they want all students– especially kids between pre-K and second grade– to play and learn at home.

So the district teamed up with Johns Hopkins University to get the book into the hands of parents.

“My parents were there, but they didn’t read to me,” parent Wali Hassan said. “So, it’s very important for them and I know it enhances their reading and their intelligence.”

Magsamen said about 40,000 students between pre-K and second grades will receive a copy of “Childhood Wonders.”

Johns Hopkins paid for all of the books, thanks to a partnership between the university and city schools.


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