review: 52 ways to grow creative children

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2010-11-25 19:41

This is a nifty little book that we were given a while back that is chock full of creative ideas for fun projects with your kids. Have a five year old that has raided your runner bean supports and delights in hurling the poles through the garden. Maybe he / she needs to have that creative energy "directed" in a more constructive manner...

Lisl Barry (and family) has produced a book that has some great ideas that will save your sanity on days where the little beauties need a "project". The book is also a reminder that some of the best things in life are free and that spending quality time with your kids is not about watching Shrek 2 for the tenth time. Rather the book encourages natural activities that can be enjoyed in your garden or kitchen and uses simple materials and tools to hand.

The book is divided into sections, one for each season, of ideas that are most appropriate for that time of year (although with our mostly balmy climate you don't need to restrict yourself to season). So with the wind blowing today we could try Knit a winter scarf (pg 76) in November. Did I say balmy...

The photographs that accompany the 52 activities (one for each week of the year) are pure delight and really capture the essence that you recognise in kids everywhere and the joy and prescence that you see on your own child's face.

You may already be doing some activities in the book with your children or may just need a reminder. But there will also be plenty that you never thought of, yet are very simple. As the cover note mentions - nature is an endless source of inspiration, fascination and provides the creative materials.

The book has a lot of ideas that encourage connecting your child to the earth and animals e.g. Get Connected (pg 2), Grow Sunflowers (pg 6), Start a Veggie and Herb Garden (pg 8), Make a Compost Heap (pg 10), Collect your Own Eggs (pg14), Create a Garden Orchestra (pg 20), Build a Tree House (pg 34), Make a Bird Feeder (pg 64) and enjoying time together in nature e.g. Go Camping (pg 58), Design Rock Pool Fishing Rods (pg 38), Sculpt from Sand (pg 44), Go with the Flow (pg 32).

These are activities that will be enjoyed by girls (Make a Bow and Arrow) and boys (Bake your own Bread) alike. There is also Number 53 - Growing Green Children which mentions some green tips you can follow at home to do your bit for the planet.

52 Ways to Grow Creative Children is published by Jacana ISBN 978-1-77009-754-4

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