Playful Parenting and Ruth Krauss

Prior to having a child, I was not familiar with Ruth Krauss. I had heard of The Carrot Seed, but had never read it. I came across The Bundle Book and The Backward Day at the thrift store and picked them up because I loved the illustrations. I'm so glad that I did! Both of them show wonderful models of the principles of playful parenting.

In The Bundle Book, Mama discovers a lump in the bed that she's trying to make.

She guesses and guesses what could it be. Each time the bundle replies, "no!"

Until finally, the little one pops out from under the covers and the two embrace.

In The Backwards Day, a little boy awakens one morning and declares that it's backwards day.

Instead of scolding the little boy or telling him that there's no time for such nonsense, Pa and Ma play along.

The game ends shortly thereafter when the little boy declares that backwards day is done. 

Both of these are stories of small moments in family life. Little snippets, really. What's so notable for me is the calm way that the parents listen to and follow the lead of their children. With patience and support, they adopt a playful attitude in their interactions with their children and in doing so, fill the buckets of their little ones with confidence. This is a great lesson for me and a model for how I strive to parent every day.


  1. Beautiful! And it makes parenting and life so much more fun :)

  2. What fun! I love old books - I'll have to look for these because they are wonderful.