The Genius of Natural Childhood

Secrets of Thriving Children

Sally Goddard Blythe



Young children love creative play, stories, nursery rhymes and games.  These are not only good fun, but are also good for the brain.

Sally Goddard Blythe analyses why early movement matters, and how games develop children’s skills at different stages of development.  She offers a handy starter kit of stories, action games, songs and rhymes, and explains:

  • Why movement is an essential ingredient for healthy brain development
  • Why music, song, lullabies and nursery rhymes prepare the brain for language
  • How fairy tales can help children face their fears in in safety
  • How rough and tumble play develops the neural circuits for creativity and self-regulation
  • The links between learning problems and sedentary lifestyles and overexposure to electronic media
  • What to look out for if your child does not seem to be “ready” for school.

By special invitation, Jane Williams of Toddler Kindy GymbaROO offers her favorite baby massage rhymes, with action songs, finger play and more rhymes to inspire families.

  1. Blythe’s book is a densely packed tour through early childhood fun and games. If you choose to use it less as a reading book, and more as a reference book, it will provide fodder for fun and stimulating activities for your young child. To satisfy those of us that do enjoy some trivia with our tools, however, the book opens with some important points on child development and why stories, rhymes and songs are so valuable for our children’s well-being. As an added bonus, she offers introductions to each activity, explaining some of the history behind it. For example, I never knew that Humpty Dumpty was based on a wartime cannon!

    The Genius of Natural Childhood is so full of rhymes, fingerplays, songs and stories that it would serve parents or educators well as a reference book or to be incorporated into the classroom curriculum, from infants to preschoolers.