We all know how difficult it can be to keep the kids amused through the spring break and I know I am not the only parent to be bracing themselves for an onslaught of “I’m bored”, “what can I do?” and “but why can’t I just watch Netflix all day?”
Being a working parent who is based at home, I am lucky enough not to incur child care costs, but it does mean I have to balance work AND bored kids which can be a bit of a struggle sometimes. Luckily for me, being a DK book blogger, I was able to turn to my friends at the greatest book publishers ever, and they sent me books for kids of all ages.
First of all, we had “Maker Lab: 28 Super-Cool Projects: Build * Invent * Create * Discover” a DK / Smithsonian book with 28 projects for kids aged 8 – 12 years. The best thing about the projects was that all they needed was household items, so there were extra trips to the store to break up the day and no extra dollars to pay out.
The STEM-based projects are all illustrated with crisp, clear photos and are accompanied not only by instructions but by explanations, so there were plenty of answers for all of those “Why did that happen?” moments.
Gabriel has been particularly fond of this book as he is much more of a ‘hands-on’ learner than a book learner. Being able to make the lemon battery really helped bed in the idea and concepts around batteries and electrical flow.
Of course, Evey wanted to jump straight into the “Big Book of Crafts & Activites, ” and she picked it up already armed with her trusty pile of post-it notes so she could mark the pages for the crafts she wanted to try. This resulted in a book that had more pages marked than unmarked, nd we may still be working our way through these crafts next spring break.
Evey being Evey chose this furniture make-over to start with but we had to put that one on hold, not having a spare end table transform but we did make a promise to search Craigslist for a suitable piece. Instead, she made do with making these delicious banana bites.
There is a huge variety of ideas for how to develop your own secret code, making bath bombs, planting boots with strawberries, and making sunflower people. Lots of the ideas can be used at parties or play dates because they are simple and need minimum instruction which was great for when the kids had friends over. With over 150 fun crafts and activities this one will keep us going for a good few months to come.
New from DK were the copies of “How To Draw” and “Write Your Own Book”. Both of which were ideal for Evey’s creative side. Both books are spiral bound which made them especially easy to lay flat on the desk and use without the pages flipping up again.
How To Draw has easy step-by-step instructions for everything from animals, people, leaves, plants, and more. There are plenty of blank pages throughout the book for practicing as you go and the cut-out cover lets you budding Picasso design their own bookbinding.
Write Your Own Book was a fabulous tool for having Evey practice her writing skills without thinking about it. If I was to suggest she write a story she would um and ah and make every excuse to get out of it, but using ‘Write Your Own Book’ she became engaged in the planning and writing process in a way I have never seen before.
The wide range of writing prompts kept her engagued for days. With her dipping into the book for an hour here or 30 minuetes there, she noticibily improved in her writing over the two weeks of the spring break and didn’t once realise she was learning anything!
All of these books are available at all major retailers and online. I highly reccomend you try one out, I know we’ll have fun until at least the summer with them.