Ishani Shah-Verdia in conversation with Denita Dinger
The Joy of Writing: Preparing Bodies and Brains
Friday, June 5
6 p.m to 7:30 p.m.,
Co-founder, Sahaj Natural Learning Centre, Founder-Flurn, mother, play educator, parent cafe facilitator, speaker, defender of child-led PLAY.
in conversation with
Denita Dinger is a defender of the joyful and valuable learning that occurs in child-led play.
Joyful learning is meaningful learning. It is not forced, nor is it memorized. Meaningful learning is self-motivated, permanently stored, easy to retrieve, prepares us for life, is full of joy and what Denita calls “the important stuff”. “Stuff” like: empowerment, independent problem solving, confidence, self-regulation, owning discoveries, cooperating, self-motivation, perseverance, struggling, handling conflicts, taking turns, asking for what we need, instigating, confidence, leading and listening. The important stuff builds the base for which all learning can successfully build upon lives in child-centered play. The “important stuff”, sadly, is being replaced by sit-down, rote, measureable, hurry-up-and-get-them-ready-for-kindergarten
After 17 years as a family child care provider, Denita made a slight career change in 2014 and opened Kaleidoscope Play School. Her BS in Elementary and Early Childhood Education come in handy to help parents (and anyone who will listen) have age-appropriate expectations in this world where worksheets and other rote-methods of learning are replacing developmentally appropriate practice.
Denita's presentations are heartfelt, humorous, valuable and most importantly, REAL. She doesn't just throw out theory -- she is all about practice, and understands when people struggle with seeing the learning power of play. That struggle is something Denita knows well. She used to feel threatened if parents ever thought the children were “just playing” at her child-care. Therefore, she ran a rigid, heavily scheduled and adult-influenced program that was the complete opposite of what it is today. She knows, first-hand, how hard and rewarding the journey is from a teacher- controlled philosophy to a child-centered, child-led one. The results of her journey are what fuels her passion. She wants all young children to have the same, powerful learning opportunities that the children who attend Kaleidoscope Play School enjoy.
Denita has been a keynote presenter since 2009 and has co-authored three books with Jeff A. Johnson
through Redleaf Press: “Let Them Play: An Early Learning UnCurriculum”, “Let’s Play” and “Let’s All Play”.