Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Activity Books for All Ages

I have been researching traditions, rituals and family activities for years to get ideas for my own family. I have been looking for the past several months specifically for books on activities to do with toddlers as I have one in my home now. From time to time I plan to review the books I've read both as a reminder to myself and to help others in choosing books for their families. I have quite a few books that will need to be returned to the library tomorrow and before returning them, I'm making notes on what I like about each.

In this post, I'm focusing on the activity books I found that are either for all ages or for older children. There are a lot of activities in these that toddlers are simply not ready for yet.
  1. Creative Family Projects, Games & Activities: Exciting and Practical Activities You Can Do Together by Cynthia MacGregor - I really liked all the ideas for family memory and tradition projects in this book. Some of the ideas, like the time capsule, have pretty detailed lists of things to do. Other ideas are just suggestion to build on. If you're a scrapbooker, she does not concern herself very much with whether her suggestions are photo-safe or acid-free, which I was surprised by since the purpose of the book is keeping and preserving memories. There are so many fun ideas for family togetherness and teaching children lessons without their realizing it. This book may be out of print, but Cynthia MacGregor has several books with this theme.
  2. The Crafty Art Book by Jane Bull - This book has some seriously cool craft ideas for ages 6 and up (under 9 or so will need an adult's help for many of these). Actually, the instructions for cross-stitching, knitting and doll-making are simple and clear and I plan to use them myself. I've used the box-making craft in the children's program I used to run at a bookstore. This is great for rainy-day activities as long as you have your rainy-day craft closet stocked.

Ok. I don't want to overwhelm this post, so I'll talk more about other books in another post.

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