1st Edition

I'm Not Getting Them Ready for Kindergarten Breaking Tradition in Early Childhood Education

By Kristen RB Peterson Copyright 2025
    186 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    186 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    Teachers don’t have to cut out penguin beaks anymore. You can put your weather bear back in the cupboard (or bring it outside) and you can take the behavior chart off the wall. This book is your permission slip to break up with outdated and ineffective practices in your early childhood classroom and replace them with the magic of play-based learning! This helpful guide challenges outdated preschool practices in a kind and compelling way, inviting you to reflect on your own practices and adjust them based on current research and what is truly developmentally appropriate for young children. It provides tools and language to use to show the people outside your classroom (parents, administrators, other teachers down the hall) that play is learning. Each chapter is practical, conscience and meant to be read in the order and at the pace that is best for you and your class. Full of stories from the author’s own play journey, I'm Not Getting Them Ready for Kindergarten is key reading for early childhood educators who are ready to step outside the restrictions of an unnecessarily academic system and settle into the magic of play and child-led learning.

    Meet the Author




    Chapter 1

    I’m Not Getting Them Ready for Kindergarten

    Developmentally appropriate, play based environments DO get children ready for Kindergarten!


    Chapter 2

    That’s Not a Turkey

    Child-led learning is a catalyst for wonder and discovery!


    Chapter 3

    Creativity Vampires

    Child-led and play based learning are the ultimate creativity muses!


    Chapter 4

    The Hummingbird Teacher

    The teacher’s role in a child-led, play based learning environment.


    Chapter 5

    Let Them Pick Their Nose

    Children learn so much more when adults learn to say “YES!”


    Chapter 6

    The Great Worm Saving Expedition

    Children learn best through real-world adventures.


    Chapter 7

    Play Detectives

    Unveiling the genius in children’s play by observing and documenting.


    Chapter 8

    Yesteryear and Tomorrowday

    Traditional calendar time is like trying to teach a preschooler quantum physics!


    Chapter 9

    The Pizza Parlor Heist

    Ditching rotational centers and diving headfirst into free play!


    Chapter 10

    The Eagle That Taught Literacy Skills

    Letters don’t need a week; they’re more meaningful when we weave them into what excites kids and sparks their curiosity!


    Chapter 11

    Circle Time Anarchy

    Long circle times and circle times are inappropriate, counterproductive and boring.


    Chapter 12

    Behavior Charts in the Teacher’s Lounge

    Punishments and rewards miss the whole point; they’re band aids and quick fixes.


    Chapter 13

    Mermaids in the Woods

    Rethinking recess and seeing the great outdoors as an extension of the classroom.


    Chapter 14

    A Room Full of Junk

    Loose parts are teachers themselves!


    Chapter 15

    Sharing is NOT Caring

    Sharing isn’t caring; teaching children to take turns is.


    A Letter to YOU


    Kristen Peterson is the retired founder of a magical place called Butterfly Hill Nature Preschool. She is now a podcaster, international keynote speaker, and online entrepreneur, using her experience and B.A. in Education to help early childhood educators find play, settle in, and enjoy the journey.