Hey, did you notice the summer holidays are upon us?
Suddenly, I have this little human hanging around the house wondering what to do with himself. Where did he come from I wonder? I’m totally unprepared for the onslaught of “I’m-bored-s” and “Whatcha- wanna-do-s”. Dang it.
As luck would have it, Arthamay Tewartsay (I’m not supposed to use her real name here or the name of her book so I’ve resorted to pig latin but you know who I mean, right?) is on her toes and way ahead of me. As usual. Just in time, she sent her newest book for The Boy and I to check out. Nice of her, eh? I had no idea she cared… I guess this means I’ll have to send a thank you note or somethin’. Be all civilized and such?
So The Boy got right down to it. He found his first project in the “Experiment and Explore” section of the book. See, lately he’s been less interested in crafty crafts and more inclined toward sciency-type activities. The book has several of these, thank goodness. So Arthamay’s “Natural Gas Experiment” or what he called his “mini-balloon inflator” was first on the list. We collected the few supplies we needed and he was off and running. He was kept busy for 20 minutes just designing the label. Then he followed the gas-making procedure step-by-step, and it all worked like a charm. The faces he made and the running around during the whole exciting bubbly bit were just too cute! Don’t you love it when things work the way they’re supposed to? I do.
The book contains some 175 crafts divided into 7 big sections that include everything from character creations to science experiments to handmade games to storage solutions and more. It’s true that the book includes activities we’ve seen before, like the vinegar and baking soda experiment above. But there are many I haven’t seen too, like the soft “Beach Board Games” and the wondrous “Phenakistoscope”.
What do I like about the book? Good question. Well…
- It’s a handy and portable one-stop craft and activity reference for kids. 175 different things to choose from. That’s a lot of busy afternoons.
- The internet can be a wormhole that I don’t always want to send my child into. The fact that this is a physical book means that I have an alternative to the computer.
- A good portion of the projects don’t need new materials; most households have the required items. I told The Boy he had to choose a craft we had everything for in the house. With 175 choices, I wasn’t worried.
- If you have an older child, you could just send them to this book when they need something to do. The gorgeous photography, detailed parts lists, and straight-forward instructions might actually kick-start their autonomy. And that’s a good thing, if you know what I mean.
- Sometimes The Boy just likes to flip through books and dream away. I’ve already caught him doing just that with this book. Like most things by Arthamay, it is beautiful to look at.
- I want to make some of these things too! So not only is this a book for kids, it is a book for kids at heart. Awwww…
So yes, pretty much a glowing review… Shocking, I know.