Summer—A Time to be Creative
By Holly E. Newton
Summertime is the greatest part of the year to take some time and be creative. Here are some great activity books that you and your youngster can enjoy together. Most of these books are great for ages 8 and older.
First, let’s begin with four activity books that you take in the car and while away the hours of driving. Yes, your child can enjoy the trip without having the TV blaring and blasting all of the way to your destination. Klutz’s Triptivities: Great Activities for the Road, published by Scholastic, is the perfect smallish flip book full of fun stuff for your kids to enjoy on a long drive. Some of the activities include estimations, language skills and doodling. There’s even a pencil included that fits perfectly in a pouch by the flip book so your child has it handy when ready to open to the first page.
The always popular Megan McDonald has another fun “Judy Moody” book out called Double-Rare Way-Not-Boring Book of Fun Stuff To Do.This paperback book, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, is similar to the previous book in that it’s also full of activities – but this book is geared more for girls. There are jokes, interesting facts and crossword puzzles and much more. I especially like the way the book is presented because there are also many opportunities to write your own thoughts and creative ideas in the book. There are stickers included at the back.
How To Draw Funny,by Klutz, has hilarious comic characters for you to learn to draw. Each page has an action verb heading and a simple illustration of a funny-looking animal on the top part of the page for you to copy right below. Some of the verbs include strong emotions such as “Nervous” and “Pain” and some include action verbs such as “Splashing” and “Sleeping”. The book also includes markers, a mechanical pencil and an eraser.
Klutz’s What About You?: 280 Questions on the World’s Most Fascinating Topic,by Karen Phillips, asks interesting questions that have to do with you. So these are great fun to answer, meditate and wonder about. Some of the questions include friends, food and books. There’s even survey-style paper located in the back of the book.
Wilderness Explorer’s Guide,adapted from the popular movie “UP”, is full of many kinds of activities associated with scouts. The chapters include locating and naming insects, safety in hiking and teaching knot tying. The fun lay-out of the book makes kids want to learn all that’s inside. And, there are three sheets of stickers located at the back.
Spies Revealed, by Clive Gifford, is a fascinating look into the world of espionage and secret agents. This over-sized book gives an incredible inside look into this world and helps with understanding and deciphering codes and spy techniques. The lay-out is kid-friendly with many pull-tabs, charts and a questionnaire to see how you’d be as a spy.
The rest of the books are craft books full of all kinds of creations. There are two new “Build-a-Book” kits where kids can create books that are already bound: My Really Good Friends and I Love My Dad are full of inspiration and ideas on embossed paper for kids to frame and decorate after their story is written.
Klutz’s Clothespin Cars, Fuzzy Little Monkeys and Fuzzimal Puppies, all published by Scholastic, make great gifts or toys for kids to make. These books have all of the necessary items to make and create and invite fun into a child’s day.
Klutz also has a designer book geared for kids a bit older. Paper Fashions Fantasy,includes stencils, fabric and glitter to make and alter different styles of princess gowns, fairy dresses and royalty galore. There are even tiny hangers to showcase your designs.
Klutz’s Tricky Video, will surely help the future movie entrepreneur prepare that fun video for the family by adding gags and tricks-of-the-trade. This fun to look at book will save hours of time by showing the step-by-step order of each stunt needed to make a lively show!
The last two books are geared for the younger set, ages 3 to 7. Dr. Seuss Lacing Cards: The Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss Puzzle Story: Green Eggs and Ham are both terrific and fun exercises in eye-hand coordination necessary for youngsters as they prepare to read and write.